Every college football player probably thinks about playing in the NFL some day. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is no different. Not known to be one fo the most polished quarterbacks out there, Marshall is prepared to show what he is capable of in 2014 as he attempts to lead Auburn to another SEC championship and perhaps a spot in the College Football Playoff.
“That’s my dream,” Marshall said back in January according to AL.com. “I know that I’ll be able to play quarterback at the next level.”
Those who break down the NFL Draft and prospects are likely to suggest the ideas about Marshall, which is that he needs to work on his drop-back passing mechanics if he wants to be a worthy NFL quarterback in the draft. Marshall completed 59.4 percent of his passes in 2013 for 1,976 yards and 14 touchdowns (with six interceptions). It seemed as though Marshall may not have completed a ton of passes, but the ones he did complete seemed to be rather important. Just ask Georgia or Alabama, for example. But the criticisms, if you want to call them that, are probably fair. To play quarterback at the NFL level requires being able to be somewhat consistent and accurate. Mobility is becoming more of a key, but having a good pocket presence is still in demand.
Those concerns have led others to embrace a position change at the next level, but Marshall is keeping his sights set on playing quarterback in the NFL. Marshall is not ready to embrace that possibility.
One can now only wonder just where Ron Jaworski thinks Marshall will be drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah