Written By: Roy Countryman @Blitzalytics
Week 6 is in the books, and collectively there were a ton of competitive games to watch. Highlighted in some were our candidates for this week’s award.
This week’s winner of the Lott Impact Trophies player of the week is Adarius Pickett, Defensive Back: UCLA.
Pickett was one of the key cogs in helping keep UCLA in a tight game against Washington, but it ultimately ended in defeat. To take nothing away from his career day though, he contributed 16 tackles, and his first interception of the season that he returned for 12 yards. Those 16 tackles add to his UCLA leading total of 61, coming dangerously close to already eclipsing his career high of 85 that he accrued last season. Pickett seemed to be flying around the field like a bird of prey, quickly diagnosing plays, and laying some timely hits. He possesses a very talented skill set that includes; good speed, great diagnostic ability during the play, instincts to react in a flash, and fluidity in his hips to be able to flip and cover downfield. Where he truly is a difference maker is his ability to set the tone with some bone-jarring hits. He brings his pads, and a mean disposition every time he has a ball-carrier in his sites. He not only has a nose for the ball in run defense but has the ability to come up with turnovers evidenced by his 6 career interceptions. He is very intelligent, brings a unique element of energy, and is the heart and soul of the UCLA defense.
Pickett was not the only athlete taken into consideration this week, and we will take a quick look at some of those competitors.
Hudson was a key cog in being able to bring home a victory for his Wolverines against Maryland 42-21. He contributed 5 tackles, 2 TFL, and 1 sack in the contest. Hudson is the definition of the new wave DB, and he plays a key position on the Michigan defense called the Viper, a similar position that brought much fame and draft prestige to Jabrill Peppers. Hudson is a well put together DB, that plays closer to the line of scrimmage, but from time to time will be asked to drop off into coverage. He has excellent closing speed and quickness, solid build, can shed blockers downfield, and land some hard hits. His true calling card though is his knack for making game-changing plays by his pass rush off the edge. He has an innate sense of when to time up blitzes, as well as a slipperiness to his demeanor that makes it hard for OT or TE’s trying to get a hand on him. He also can stop on a dime and jump up into throwing lanes as well to foil a play.
One of the best talents on the defensive side of the ball was on display when Ed Oliver flexed his muscles and helped his Houston Cougars defeat Tulsa 41-26. He tossed in 13 tackles, 1.5 TFL, and another QB hurry. There are tons to say about the way Oliver plays football at the college level, and you can guarantee that he has already established himself as one of the top players for the next level. Although hype surrounds the big man, his work ethic, and humbleness are traits that stick out. Oliver possesses out of this world quickness off the ball, strong hands to ragdoll Offensive Lineman trying to block him, a rarified ability to get skinny in between gaps and penetrate into the backfield. He has a knack for causing disruption, and turnovers, and will lay some heavy hits when he has a ball carrier lined up. Relentless in his pursuit and will hustle downfield to make plays. His motor is always heated up and revving. The Cougars defensive tackle has some ridiculous athleticism for a D-Lineman, and at times looks like a svelte LB the way he moves around the field. He was making a bid to be the first two-time Lott IMPACT champion this year but fell just short to Adarius Pickett’s impressive performance.
Edwards contributed in a big way to his Badgers defeating Nebraska 41-24. He accrued 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and another QB hurry. Edwards is a very intriguing next level talent at linebacker, who can make his presence felt in both the run and passing departments. He has good size, great instincts, and good speed to be able to make plays sideline-to-sideline. He is a little stiff in transition when asked to drop into zone coverage but has a keen sense of when and where the ball will be on any given play, and he is not above getting his hands on a few INT’s. He uses excellent tackling mechanics, and not many ball carriers escape his clutches. This week he made his presence felt in the blitzing department, where you could see his power, and short area explosiveness be felt.
Outstanding work from all the candidates that were in consideration for week 6’s award, and best of luck to those trying to make a name for themselves in week 7.