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Star Search: Week 6 College Football Standouts

RB Standouts

Israel Abanikanda, Pitt (36 car/320 yards/8.9 avg/6 TD)

Israel Abanikanda has been putting up video game numbers all year, besides Pitt’s game against Georgia Tech. This most recent match with Virginia Tech though, he launched to another level. He was ripping through the Hokies defense. He was running with patience and vision, and then hitting a second gear to explode through the gap and eliminate angles. That being said, it isn’t likely that Abanikanda replicates this performance. But, with 830 yards on 129 carries, while the next ball carrier has 42 carries on the year, he will continue to get the volume needed for his game winning production.

WR Standouts

Quentin Johnston, TCU (16 tgts/14 rec/206 yards/14.7 avg/1 TD)

As a highly drafted player in the CFF realm and prominent NFL Draft prospect at his position, Quentin Johnston’s start to the 2022 season was somewhat concerning. Thankfully, everyone can rejoice after a world-beating performance against Kansas. Johnston was winning all over the field. Lined up inside and outside. Running routes shallow, down the field, and across the middle. Eluding tacklers and eating up yardage as a runner. He displayed everything he can offer along with his tremendous combination of size and athleticism. Sonny Dykes and the Horn Frogs already knew that Johnston needed the ball for them to stay playing at a high level, but this last game commands that they involve heavily, week in and week out.


TE Standouts

Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan (10 tgt/9 rec/67 yds/1 TD)

After a slow start to the season, Schoonmaker has emerged as a steady, reliable target in the 5-0 Wolverine's passing game. His first three games saw only 3 catches on 4 targets, but in the three games since then, he amassed 20 catches on 24 targets for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Wolverines are rolling and Schoonmaker finding his groove will be a big part of their staying in rhythm as the season continues.




Payne Durham Purdue (8 tgt/7 rec/109 rds/1 TD)

Payne Durham was due for this list back in early September, but after another big day, we atone for that error here. At 6’5” 255, he’s a big man who will require a gang tackle if he gets up to full speed in the open field but has the athleticism and nuance to be an effective route runner, also indicated by +50% of his snaps coming from the slot. He has the makeup for the next level and when he can get the targets, he’s shown that he’s a machine.



Cory Dyches Maryland (5 tgt/4 rec, 106 yds, 2 TD)

Dyches is a local kid from Oxon Hill, MD., who hasn’t been a starter but for two games this season. This past weekend against Purdue was his second such start in which he capitalized with 106 yards and 2 touchdowns, 68 of those yards coming on broken coverage where he got behind the defense for the score, although it wouldn't be that simple. The corner, Cory Trice, 6’1” 215, caught up to Dyches and wrapped him up at the waist, and tried to dead-weight him to the ground, in which he proceeded to get himself dragged 5 yards into the endzone as Dyches had total determination to score. Dyches spends a third of his snaps in the slot or out wide. Due to his versatility as an athlete, he’s labeled a TE/WR on Fantrax and is worth monitoring as the season move's along.



Sam LaPorta Iowa (16 tgts/9 rec/100 yds/0 TD)

The Hawkeye’s offensive limitations have kept La Porta from reaching the end zone this year, but he’s maintained the demonstration of a well-rounded game that will get him to Sundays in 2023. A player I wrote about in the pre-season watch list, it was nice to see him finally go off for season-highs in targets, receptions, and yards. He has a flexible and sturdy athletic profile for his size, showing the ability to manipulate his body at contact for extra yards and maintain body control throughout the route, smoothly transitioning in and out of the act of the reception.








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