Helmet Stickers: Standout Performers from College Football Week 3


Week three of the college football season was filled with incredible standout performances. It’s time to highlight the players who made the biggest impact on the field and earned themselves helmet stickers for their exceptional contributions. Let’s dive into these outstanding athletes who left their mark this weekend in college football.

LSU WR Malik Nabers

Stats per ESPN
13 Catches
239 Yards
2 receiving touchdowns
18.4 yards per reception

2023 Helmet stickers: 1

Nabers put on an absolute show against Mississippi State in week three. In the first half alone, he had 10 catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Mississippi State had no answers for Nabers and he torched their secondary all game long.

What sets Nabers apart is his unique blend of explosive vertical speed and elite ball-tracking ability that makes him a home run threat on any given play.

As the game progressed, Nabers continued to be a game-changer for LSU, and his halftime performance alone would have been sufficient enough to earn a helmet sticker award. His contributions were instrumental in his LSU’s victory over the Bulldogs. He is a first-round talent and he is making his case that he is the second-best receiver in the country, after Marvin Harrison Jr.

Illinois DT Jer’Zhan Newton

Stats per ESPN
6 tackles
2 pass deflections

2023 Helmet stickers:1

If you were to glance at Jer’Zhan Newton’s stat line for the game against Penn State, you might underestimate his true impact on the field. A few tackles and two deflected passes do not tell the story of Newton’s impact in week three.

Throughout the game, Newton proved to be a constant thorn in the side of the Penn State offense. His remarkable ability to penetrate and disrupt plays in the backfield showcased his quick first step, powerful burst off the line of scrimmage, and relentless motor.

One of the most underappreciated aspects of Newton’s performance was his ability to ruin the timing of Penn State’s plays. Whether it was blowing up run plays in the backfield or collapsing the pocket on passing downs, he consistently disrupted the rhythm and flow of the Nittany Lions offense.

While the numbers on the stat sheet may not tell the whole story, those who witnessed the game know that Jer’Zhan Newton was an unstoppable force on the field. Games like these are the reason why Newton is going to be a top-15 pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Washington’s QB Michael Penix Jr.

Stats per ESPN

27 of 35 for 473 yards

77.1 completion percentage

4 touchdowns

0 interceptions

2023 Helmet stickers: 2

Week three of college football brought us many fantastic quarterback performances, with Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. stealing the spotlight. Penix’s performance against Michigan State was nothing short of extraordinary.

In just three-quarters of play, Penix racked up an astonishing 473 passing yards, tossing five touchdowns while completing an impressive 77% of his passes. His ability to dissect the Michigan State defense was on full display. Penix’s performance was a testament to his arm talent and football IQ.

What makes Penix Jr.’s Week 3 performance even more remarkable is that he became the first quarterback in Washington’s history to throw for 400 yards and three or more touchdowns in the first three games of a season. This historic accomplishment shows just how impressive Penix Jr. has been this season. His Week three performance was a statement of intent, signaling that he’s one of the premier quarterbacks in the nation.

Oklahoma’s QB Dillon Gabriel

Stats per ESPN

28-31 for 421 yards passing
90.3 completion percentage
5 passing touchdowns
1 interception

2023 Helmet stickers:1

Dillon Gabriel was, without a doubt, in a league of his own during Week three. He completed an astonishing 28 of 31 passes, for an extraordinary 90.3% completion rate—a school record for completion rate (with a minimum of 25 passes). Granted, they were massive favorites against Tulsa but he took care of business and led Oklahoma to a 66-17 victory.

Gabriel amassed 421 passing yards and five touchdowns through the air. His ability to read defenses, and make quick decisions, were second to none this weekend.

As the college football season progresses, Dillon Gabriel has firmly established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. His ability to orchestrate an explosive passing attack and deliver under pressure makes him a player to watch in the coming weeks. In a week filled with standout performances, Gabriel earns a well-deserved helmet sticker.

Colorado’s QB Shedeur Sanders:

Stats per ESPN38/47 (81%)
• 348 passing yards
• 4 passing touchdowns
• 1 interception
• 117.02 passer rating

2023 Helmet stickers:3

Shedeur Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes have been the stars of college football this season. On Saturday night, Sanders led an incredible comeback drive to force overtime against Colorado State. He drove the ball 98 yards with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, all without Travis Hunter.

Shedeur was near-perfect in overtime and led Colorado to victory. He has become a real Heisman contender and is making his case as the third-best quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft, only behind USC’s Caleb Williams and NC’s Drake Maye.

Shedur Sanders, the son of football legend and Colorado’s head coach Deion Sanders, has long been in the spotlight due to his family legacy. However, this game was a reminder that he’s carving out a legacy of his own.

Sanders’ Week three performance is just a glimpse of the bright future ahead for this talented quarterback. He continues to be one of college football’s most electrifying playmakers.

Honorable Mentions:

Missouri Kicker Henry Mevis: Mevis’s 61-yard game-winning field goal instantly became one of the most memorable moments in college football.

Oregon QB Bo Nix: Nix is having an incredible start to the season. He threw for three touchdowns in a blowout win against Hawaii.

North Carolina QB Drake Maye: Maye continues to show why he’s the second-best quarterback in the country, posting 414 yards through the air in a win against Minnesota.