When Nebraska and Southern Miss play today, the best NFL prospect won't have a red and white jersey. The top player to watch today is Jamie Collins of Southern Miss.
In three years, he's progressed from being a defensive back all the way to a defensive lineman. In that time, he's amassed 222 tackles, 11 sacks, 25.5 tackles for loss and 10 passes defended. He's on the watch lists for the Butkus and Lombardi awards and don't be surprised if he's a finalist by season's end.
All day, Collins will be chasing down Nebraska's underrated running back Rex Burkhead. The senior has been a productive workhorse. Burkhead is somewhat a product of Nebraska's running scheme, but he's still talented enough to possibly be a top 150 pick in April.
After the jump, players to watch, a key matchup and a question for the day.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles at No. 17 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2
Nebraska Cornhuskers 2013 NFL Draft prospects:
Offense: No. 81 - Brett Cotton, TE - 6'6, 255 pounds, No. 25 - Kyler Reed, TE - 6'3, 230 pounds, No. 22 - Rex Burkhead, RB - 5'11, 210 pounds (Senior)
Defense: No. 55 - Baker Steinkuhler, DT - 6'6, 290 pounds, No. 51 - Will Compton, MLB - 6'2, 230 pounds, No. 3 - Daimion Stafford, S - 6'1, 205 pounds,
Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2013 NFL Draft prospects:
Offense: No. 52 - Jason Weaver, RT - 6'5, 305 pounds (Senior)
Defense: No. 8 - Jamie Collins, DE/LB - 6'4, 239 pounds (Senior), No. 22 - Deron Wilson, CB - 5'10, 175 pounds (Junior), No. 98 - Khyri Thornton, DT - 6'3, 299 pounds
Southern Miss DT Khyri Thornton (No. 98) vs. Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead (No. 22)
Thornton isn't the biggest defensive tackle, but he can get a push. He had nine tackles for loss a season ago. Burkhead likes to run to the outside on pitches, but Nebraska's line could get disrupted by Thornton pushing the line.
Question of the day:
How many spots will Jamie Collins line up at for Southern Miss?
Collins started his career at SoMiss as a defensive back and in 2010 moved to linebacker. In 2011, he moved from linebacker to bandit. To say he's versatile is an understatement. Look for him to be moved around throughout the game to exploit weaknesses in Nebraska's offensive line.