With many teams playing three games already, we're unfortunately about a quarter of the way through the college football season. With that, we're really starting to see some players improve their draft stock. Here's the five who helped themselves in Week 3 of the college football season.
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
When you're Stepfan Taylor, it's easy to be overlooked. He played with Andrew Luck and two top 45 picks on the offensive line last year. He's not the biggest nor the fastest. In Stanford's win against USC Saturday, Taylor stood out. He had 213 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the victory. More impressively, Taylor's touchdowns were to tie game. Taylor has been a workhorse three consecutive seasons for the Cardinal. He won't go high in the draft, but he should be a solid option in the NFL. Taylor's play earned him Walter Camp National Player the Week honors.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
It's going to be a back and forth all season between Lotulelei and Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins for the top defensive tackle spot. Against rival BYU on Saturday, Lotulelei was aggressive from start to finish. That type of consistent effort is impressive for a 320-pound player. Against BYU, Lotulelei had a team seven tackles, including a team-high six solo stops. He also had a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, two pass breakups and a blocked field goal. It was the sort of stat stuffing from a tackle we haven't really seen since Ndamukong Suh. Yes, we said it.
Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Both of the top defensive tackles had good showings last weekend. Before Ohio State's win against Cal, the defensive line was given much grief since the team only had three sacks in the first two games. The Buckeyes had six on Saturday alone, the last coming from Hankins in the fourth quarter. Hankins had 10 tackles on the game, which is impressive for any interior lineman. Hankins is strong enough to hold his point at the line, but he's incredibly quick to getting through gaps up front.
Manti Te'o, MLB, Notre Dame
It's impossible to properly equate the heart of a college football player and use it as a predictor of professional success. But on Saturday, we learned a lot about Te'o's heart. He did what he should as a player, finishing with 12 tackles in Notre Dame's 20-3 win against Michigan State. But leading up to the game, Te's girlfriend and grandmother both passed away.Te'o's a tough player, evidenced by his five tackles of Le'Veon Bell. But if we didn't know it already, we now know why he's the leader of the Irish.
Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
The cornerback class for the 2013 NFL Draft is a rapidly improving one. One week Alabama's Dee Milliner looks great. Another, it's Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks. This week, it was Ryan. Against South Florida, Ryan played physical and showed he can work the run and the pass. He had nine tackles for the game and two pass breakups. But he always seemed to be around the ball.