Dame’s Dudes: Kayvon Thibodeaux headlines CFB’s Week 8 Top Performers

10/26/2021
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Another week of college football is in the books. We are inching closer and closer to the NFL draft season. Prospects are jostling for positioning on draft boards and rankings. As usual, we are here to discuss my top college performers of the week. These NFL draft prospects are known as “Dame’s Dudes”.

You can check out week 6’s 2022 NFL prospects and performers here.

  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

Oregon’s star defender is arguably the best player in the nation. Therefore, Kayvon Thibodeaux is the top 2022 NFL draft prospect on many big boards. In a matchup against UCLA, Thibodeaux was an unstoppable force and unmovable object all wrapped into one. He displayed the first-step quickness, speed to power conversion, and length that has scouts salivating.

He ended the game with six quarterback pressures and three sacks. Thibodeaux’s motor never stops running. He continues to work his way through or around offensive linemen in his pursuit of the quarterback. He is a new member of Dame’s Dudes, but he has been on my radar for quite some time.

  • Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest

Saying the Demon Deacons offense was rolling would be an understatement. Wake Forest’s signal-caller Sam Hartman engineered a scoring frenzy against Army. Hartman’s offense scored 70 points while possessing the football for a little over 17 minutes. That is incredible efficiency. The rising Heisman candidate finished the game 23 of 29 for 461 yards and five touchdowns. 407 of his passing yards came through three-quarters of play.

Wake Forest’s offense thrived attacking Army’s defense downfield. On passes 20+ yards downfield, Hartman was four of five for 220 yards, three touchdowns, and a passer rating of 158.3. Not only is Hartman building a Heisman resume, but he is also building an NFL draft resume. Therefore, he earned to debut as one of Dame’s Dudes.

  • Malik Williams, WR, App St.

Appalachian State pulled off arguably the biggest upset of the week against Coastal Carolina. It was a total team effort, especially on offense. As a result, they were able to exploit matchups by air and ground. Chase Brice played a huge role in this victory, but he could not have accomplished this with wide receiver Malik Williams.

Williams was a three-level threat for CCU’s defense. As a result, the senior wideout reeled in ten of his 14 targets for 206 yards and one touchdown. He led the nation in receiving yards and air yards for the week. Williams was a consistent chain mover with seven of his receptions gaining first downs. These types of performances will shine a spotlight on his skillset and abilities ahead of the 2022 NFL draft.

  • Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

The Illinois Fighting Illini went to war in the tune of nine overtimes to pull off the upset over the 7th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. This game can be described in many ways. I viewed it was as a gritty, black, and blue type of contest. Illinois’ offense was powered by redshirt Junior running back Chase Brown. Brown is not a stranger to Dame’s Dudes.

Though, he has not showcased enough consistency to garner NFL draft hype. His breakout performances have been of the 200+ yard variety. He finished the game with 33 carries for 223 rushing yards and one touchdown. Brown gained 113 yards after contact. Therefore, showcasing his physical running style. Illinois would not have defeated Penn State without the tough performance of Chase Brown.

  • Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

Unranked Wisconsin knocked off the 25th ranked Purdue Boilermakers. The defense played a huge role in this victory. They allowed 13 total points and harrassed Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell all afternoon.  Leo Chenal followed the football across the field all game.

It is not every day an off-ball linebacker has the type of game Chenal had. He finished with nine tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss. Also, he accounted for four quarterback pressures. Chenal was a man on a mission. He flashed the versatility as a Blitzer/pressure creator, and second-level disruptor. Leo Chenal earned his first spot as a member of Dame’s Dudes, in addition to making some money for the 2022 NFL draft.

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