Saturday evening I was able to attend one of the most historic rivalries in college football, USC and Notre Dame. Both teams have plenty of NFL Draft prospects to examine. Southern California has been down for the past several years, firing their head coach earlier this season exemplifies that.
Notre Dame has been on the other end of the spectrum for “blue blood” CFB programs. They’ve made it to two College Football Playoffs in the past three seasons. Although it looks like they will be out of this upcoming playoff, they still boast a (6-1) record, with their one loss coming at the hands of #2 Cincinnati.
Even with these two programs seemingly on different spectrums, this rivalry proves to always show a good game. So without further ado, here are my game notes for some of the top 2022 NFL Draft prospects from USC at Notre Dame.
Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC
Drake London was an absolute menace for USC against Notre Dame. London was used mainly as USC’s “X” receiver, but spent time in the slot as well. As USC’s alpha wide receiver, London accumulated 15 catches and 171 yards receiving. That’s good for 56% of USC’s receptions and 57% of USC’s passing yards, in this game!
London displayed incredible yards after the catch ability all night, highlighting his incredible “wiggle” for his size (listed at 6’5” — 210 lbs.).
Cam Hart, Cornerback, Notre Dame
Cam Hart has been someone on my radar since his incredible game against Wisconsin at Soldier Field about a month ago. He continued to show great technique and awareness all night last night. Hart completely locked down his side of the defense.
In his two reps against Drake London he recorded a pass breakup on one and was in his hip pocket the entire route on the other, forcing Slovis to throw the ball away on a roll-out. It is still too early to tell how high Hart can go in this upcoming draft, but he is a name draft fans should be aware of before testing in Indianapolis this spring.
Drake Jackson, Edge Rusher, USC
Drake Jackson was held in-check for most of the night against Notre Dame. Tommy Rees (Notre Dame’s Offensive Coordinator) chose to run away from Drake Jackson’s side of the field often. This is proving smart as Kyren Williams tallied 25 rushes for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.
However, Jackson still continued to show why he’s a first-round talent while recording a sack using incredible bend and speed. I would still love to see Jackson add a counter move to his game, a few times Notre Dame’s tackle’s would “catch” Jackson and let him run around the pocket while ushering him away from Jack Coan or Tyler Buchner.
Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
This has absolutely nothing to do with what Kyle Hamilton did on the field, but has everything to do with him getting injured early in the second quarter of the game. Hopefully, it is not a season ending injury and he’s able to come back and prove to NFL scouts and teams that he’s 100% and ready to dominate the NFL.
The prognosis seems very encouraging here, I expect this will be the last time we see Kyle Hamilton on anyone’s “Stock Down” lists. Hamilton is a Top-5 talent in the draft when healthy.
Kedon Slovis, Quarterback, USC
Kedon Slovis had one of the best true-freshman seasons in recent memory, battling with Joe Burrow for the title of most accurate quarterback in college football. Slovis then had a rough sophomore season, which some attributed to a shoulder injury that was bothering him all season.
Now in his junior year, Slovis had to prove he’s a legitimate option for NFL teams as their franchise-altering quarterback. Slovis has failed to prove that this season and it continued Saturday evening.
Kedon Slovis has a few good playmakers at his disposal, including star receiver Drake London, but he continues to struggle to get the ball out on-time and in rhythm. This also could be a coaching knock, but USC’s offense against Notre Dame was basically all Drake London (as shown above by his receiving stats and percentages).
Slovis also had to deal with USC starting two freshman tackles, but if he wants to be a round one quarterback in the NFL draft, he needs to be able to play through that and make his team around him better.
Slovis has talent, he also has hustle. At the start of the second quarter Kedon Slovis had a batted pass that resulted in an interception. Notre Dame’s Bo Bauer had a free 88-yard pick-six, but Slovis busted his tail and tackled him just short.
Notre Dame’s Offense would fail to score. Slovis saved USC four points because of that tackle, that means something to me. Slovis may not be a round one quarterback, but I believe he has a spot in the NFL still.
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