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Star Search: Week 9 College Football Standouts

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QB Standouts

Drake Maye, North Carolina (34 comp/44 att // 388 yds // 5 TD)

Regardless of his youth, the redshirt freshman from UNC has been one of CFB's best quarterbacks in 2022. Maye has shown expediency when working through his reads, as well as an internal clock that hasn't been too early or late on the instinct to shift or slide as the pocket morphs to the pressure. He is not the most dynamic escape artist and won't have many designed runs that a defense has to worry about, but he can make up for it with the arm talent to throw across his body, with accuracy, as he boots out to either side, with just enough speed to pick up 10 yards in such scenarios.

RB Standouts

Carson Steele, Ball State (29 att // 188 yds // 1 TD)

Steele has the size and speed to go with his decisive and strong running style that excels in the Ball State gap scheme. So far, he's shown that he can out-race the defense to the edge, accelerating through the turn for dangerous yardage up the sideline. He has excellent contact balance and successfully fights for extra yards by being a step quicker than the defense expects. He does leave some reps on the field in pass blocking, but his overall game is tough to nitpick and suggests he could be a player to keep an eye on as a UDFA when he comes of eligibility. He's not a Power 5 player, but he is 6th in the nation with 1,070 total rushing yards and 806 yards after contact, which leads the nation by 99 yards.

WR Standouts

Rashee Rice, Ole Miss (9 rec/15 tar // 180 yds // 2 TD)

At 6'2" 203, Rice is an effective receiver at all three levels of the passing game. Whether he's showing off pro-level speed on an underneath drag route, or finding himself one-on-one in the deep, middle of the field vs a safety, he can capitalize on space and mismatches with the defense. His route running/separation isn't currently where it needs to be to put him at the top of this class, but he's not overly deficient or has any key flaws that suggest he can't sharpen those aspects of his game. He has good hands, runs with force as if he were a running back, and has the athleticism to belong on a roster in the NFL. If he can sharpen his craft and become a more effective route runner and separator, he can become an effective 3rd option in an NFL passing attack, with the ceiling to perhaps be a strong 2nd option. Until that time, his production may rely on what the ecosystem can provide.


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