Week 9 of the college football season is in the books. Which prospects boosted their draft stock? And which saw it take a tumble? Here are five prospects who saw their stock shift after this weekend.
Stock UP: Frank Gore Jr - RB, Southern Miss
A rough season for Southern Miss continued in Week 9 as they surrendered a double-digit lead to Appalachian State to make it seven straight losses. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, as Frank Gore Jr showed once again that he is amongst the most talented players outside the Power Five.
Gore Jr ran for 252 yards and two touchdowns on his 23 carries, averaging a ridiculous 11 yards per attempt. Gore Jr was doing a lot of this work himself, with over 85% of his total yardage coming after contact. This marked Gore’s third 100+ yard game of the season and the second 250+ yard performance of his career. He may lack ideal size, but he’s a talented ball carrier.
Stock UP: Bralen Trice - EDGE, Washington
Trice has firmly established himself as one of the best pass rushers in college football over the past two seasons. He showed why he deserves that reputation again this weekend with a truly dominant showing against Stanford. Whilst the box score might not tell the full story, you can see the impact Trice had as soon as you turn on the tape.
Trice finished the game with a whopping 16 pressures. For context, the next best showing from any player in Week 9 was nine pressures. Trice becomes the first player to log 15+ pressures in a single collegiate game since himself in Week 12 of 2022. You can say what you like about the quality of Stanford’s offensive line - this was a special performance from a talented prospect.
Stock UP: Malik Washington - WR, Virginia
Washington has been a revelation since arriving in Virginia over the offseason. The former Northwestern receiver has been a productive collegiate receiver for some time, but he has really taken his game to the next level in 2023. That continues this weekend with another outstanding performance against Miami.
Washington finished the game with 12 catches for 152 yards. He caused plenty of problems for highly-regarded Miami safety Kamren Kinchens. He was targeted four times against Kinchens, catching each of these targets and taking them for 100 yards. Washington now sits third in the FBS in both receptions and receiving yards. He is shaping up to be a very exciting slot receiver.
Stock DOWN: Riley Leonard - QB, Duke
Leonard felt like a prospect who was primed for a breakout 2023 season. Things started off well, but an ankle injury against Notre Dame in Week 5 seems to have derailed his season. Leonard missed the next game against NC State and whilst he has been back for games against Florida State and Louisville, he hasn’t looked the same.
Leonard completed just 37.5% of his passes against Louisville in Week 9, averaging just five yards per attempt. He wasn’t helped by drops, but there is no question that his accuracy has been a serious issue in recent weeks. Leonard has completed just 41.7% of his throws in his last three starts. In that period, he has thrown one touchdown and three interceptions. If this continues he would likely benefit from returning for the 2024 season.
Stock DOWN: Braelon Allen - RB, Wisconsin
Prior to the 2023 season, Allen was being mentioned in the conversation for the best running back in the upcoming draft class. There was plenty of excitement to see how he would perform in his junior season with a new offensive coordinator in Phil Longo. His season has had its ups and downs, and Week 9 fell firmly into the latter camp.
The unfortunate headline from this game was the leg injury Allen suffered. He left the game in the second quarter and was ruled out for the rest of the contest. Things hadn’t looked great before then though. Allen fumbled the ball twice on 11 carries, taking his tally for the season to four. These issues with ball security are beginning to become a real concern and will no doubt impact Allen’s draft stock.