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Everyone who tuned in Sunday night for the Florida State Seminoles’ prime-time matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish caught a game that set a fiery tone for the 2021 college football season. Two teams swarming with NFL prospects each got their moments to shine, and an unexpected appearance from fan-favorite backup quarterback McKenzie Milton sent it into overdrive, even if Florida State’s overtime comeback bid fell short in their 41-38 loss.
That shouldn’t be too surprising. The Saints were in the area just days earlier, having visited West Florida’s campus before the Argos kicked off their Division II title-defending season with McNeese State. And New Orleans has drafted players from both teams in recent years: they picked Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book in 2021 and tight end Alize Mack in 2019, as well as Florida State offensive lineman Rick Leonard in 2018 and defensive back P.J. Williams in 2015.
Now, that doesn’t mean the Saints are going to draft anyone from either of these teams just because one of their scouts was in the stadium. They’ll review the tape to help fill out scouting reports for reference in the spring. But it’s fun to speculate about who may have caught New Orleans’ eye.
Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer had a huge game, catching 9 receptions for 120 receiving yards (including a touchdown). Defensive end Isaiah Foskey was a force with a pair of sacks while safety Kyle Hamilton showed off incredible range on two big-time interceptions. Mayer is just a sophomore, but the others should be early selections next year.
On the other side, Florida State running back Jashaun Corbin looked the part while picking up 144 rushing yards on just 15 carries (averaging an unspectacular 3.9 yards per attempt outside of his 89-yard touchdown sprint). Defensive end Jermaine Johnson had a strong debut after transferring from Georgia, posting a sack and a half (plus 2.5 tackles for loss) with several other pressures. The Seminoles may not be back to churning out first-round picks like they used to, but they’re trending in the right direction.
Anyway: hopefully the Saints’ college scouts learned a lot to help the team make informed personnel decisions later on down the line. They’re headed for a four-month marathon from now to the college football playoffs.