CFB News of the Week: 3/26/21

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Derrik Klassen
·5 min read
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San Francisco 49ers traded up to the third overall pick

Technically, this is NFL news, but we can tie it back in to which college player the 49ers are targeting with this pick. All signs point to this trade being for a quarterback.

Since Trevor Lawrence will go off the board first overall and the New York Jets still have the second overall pick, there is no guarantee as to which QB will be there at third overall. It could be Zach Wilson or Justin Fields, in addition to Trey Lance, who will almost certainly not be off the board at No.2.

With the 49ers making a trade now, though, they either feel like they know which QB will be there or they do not care which will be available and are comfortable taking either one. Seeing as all three quarterbacks are legit first-round caliber players, it makes sense that the 49ers would not need to be too picky about which one they land. All three, for different reasons, could be studs in San Fran.

Texas A&M TE Jalen Wydermyer (finger) to miss spring practice

With the Aggies losing their QB, the offense is going to need all the practice time it can get. All the skill players need to get acclimated to their new signal caller. Unfortunately, one of Texas A&M’s best returning skill players — TE Jalen Wydermyer — will miss the rest of spring due to a finger injury that will require surgery.

The finger injury is reportedly not related to football. Wydermyer sliced his finger open in some sort of “freak” accident, an accident so bad that Wydermyer is now required to have surgery. It’s still not entirely clear what happened and, to be honest, it probably will not ever be.

Hopefully Wydermyer only misses the spring. If he can be back and ready to go for fall, this setback should not hurt the offense too much. Wydermyer is still expected to be among the best TEs in the SEC.

Steve Sarkisian temporarily stopping practice over COVID

Vaccines are on the way, but the country is far from being fully rid of COVID-19 and it’s still an issue for these football programs. Texas HC Steve Sarkisian announced late last week that Texas would be temporarily shutting down their practices due to an “abundance of caution” regarding COVID-19.

That sounds a lot like Texas already had some COVID issues and are now trying to extinguish any further issues before they arise. The school did not announce how many football plates, if any, actually contracted the virus. For now, it sounds like the school is sticking to virtual meetings and such, rather than in-person meetings, until they can confirm some of the cases.

There is no real target for when Texas could return to action. Hopefully it will be just a few days once they know who has it and can isolate them, but there’s no telling with this sort of thing. Expect an update early next week.

ACC COVID practice shutdowns

Steve Sarkisian is shutting things down over in Texas, but the ACC has some problems of their own as well. Both Pitt and Georgia Tech shut down their programs due to COVID for the time being.

In both cases, it seems their hand was forced a bit more than Sarkisian’s was. The Texas shutdown seems more like a precaution to something worse; the ACC shutdowns sound like COVID is already out of control within the programs and they need a serious course correction to get back on track.

The only real difference is Georgia Tech had not yet started spring practices, so it isn’t like they were already in a groove. Pitt, on the other hand, had already practiced four times, so shutting down now is a bit of a momentum killer.

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Penn State Pro Day

Pro Days, in general, embellish testing times to favor their athletes. It makes perfect sense; every school wants to look like they have the best athletes. Penn State either took that approach to the next level or they really do have the best athletes around.

The school’s most notable prospect, LB Micah Parsons, ran one of the more absurd 40-yard dash times on the day. At 6-foot-3, 235-pounds, Parsons was clocked at 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. Since 1999, only three other linebackers were recorded at sub-4.40, either at the NFL Combine or at their pro day. Ryan Shazier, Shaquem Griffin, and Isaiah Simmons are the only ones to do so. All three players weighed less than Parsons did, particularly Griffin.

What Parsons did for a dude his weight is outlandish, even if we perhaps kick up the time a bit to adjust for it being at a pro day. If he was not already on his way to being a top-15 pick, he surely is now. Parsons may even crack the top-10 with a time like that.

Parsons was not the only one, though. DE Jayson Oweh also torched the 40-yard dash. Coming in at 6-foot-5 and 253-pounds, Oweh blazed the 40 in the 4.37 to 4.40 range. Even at 10-ish pounds heavier, he matched Parsons’ time. For Oweh, this kind of time could be huge. Parsons was already going to be a high pick and his time probably will not do anything crazy to his stock. Oweh was a lock to be a Day 2 pick before the pro day, though. With this unholy 40-yard dash, putting his speed and power on display, Oweh may be able to leap into the first round.

This was huge for Oweh in the sense that it confirmed the one area of his game we know to be good. Oweh was not productive at Penn State, nor did he flash very impressive pass-rush moves or understanding for the position. He is an athletic ball of clay, and he proved he’s got all the athleticism in the world.