Written By: Roy Countryman @Blitzalytics
Week 7, in the college football landscape, has come to a close. We all witnessed a ton of close games, surprising upsets, and some impressive individual performances.
This week’s winner of the Lott Impact Trophies player of the week is none other than standout LSU linebacker, Devin White.
White flashed his skill set brightly Saturday to the tune of 13 tackles, a fumble recovery and a QB hurry that helped his LSU Tigers upset the Georgia Bulldogs. In addition to being named the Lott Impact Player of the Week, he was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his dominating performance. To describe White’s presence on the field you first have to take notice that he is the heart and soul of the Louisiana State defense. He takes his leadership seriously on and off the field, and is a true general on the field that helps his teammates get lined up in the appropriate places. He possesses good speed to cover plays sideline-to-sideline, but it is his instincts and play diagnostics that enhances his game speed with a burst to the ball carrier. He is a powerful striker on contact, can separate the runner from the ball, and possesses enough hip fluidity to drop into zone coverage using his keen instincts to make a play on the ball in the air. He truly can impact the game by slicing through gaps and shutting down plays from the inside. He thrives on making big plays in big games, truly a bright lights standout.
There were other deserving candidates that were taken into consideration, and here is just a quick look at a few of White’s biggest competitors for the player of the week award.
Jordan Kunaszyk, Linebacker: California
Kunaszyk had a career day with 22 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Although he was physically dominant throughout the contest, his Cal Bears were defeated by UCLA. He possesses a throwback style for a linebacker when discussing a players skill set. He is at his best seeing the play develop and fly downfield. Do not discount his athleticism though, he has enough speed to reach the far hashes in run defense, and he trusts his eyes bringing a consistent striking ability that rarely allows ball carriers to elude him. He is an effective inside blitzer with the ability to time in order to shoot the gap. With a steady set of hands, he often will come down with an interception when given the opportunity.
Chase Hansen, LB: Utah
Chase Hansen was a key contributor to his Utah Utes expressing dominance over Arizona this past week with 9 tackles, and a sack in the effort. Hansen is a converted safety that plays with a hard hitting demeanor, and the coverage ability to flourish in combatants with the high flying offenses in college football. He is a terrific open-field tackler who possesses good speed to cover plays sideline-to-sideline, with great hip fluidity for the linebacker position, and a prowess for carrying man coverage responsibility of big-bodied tight end’s and running backs out in the flat. With great instincts, he can read a play developing and will show an outstanding ability to elude or shed oncoming blockers. A true three-down defender, that can influence a game in pass defense and the running game, Hansen truly resembles the meaning of Impact as the team leader in Utah.
Ed Oliver, Defensive Line: Houston
Another week, another mention of Ed Oliver in the consideration for player of the week. This past weekend all he did was collect 6 tackles, an impressive 5 TFL, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and an additional QB hurry en route to his Houston Cougars rolling East Carolina. Every time he steps on the field it is undeniable who the most dominant player is. He truly can overtake a game from his place along the defensive line, with offensive coordinators having to equate for him on every single play with a double team, or be left in a vulnerable position due to his elite combination of power, quickness, and technique. His strong anchor like hands allow him to ragdoll offensive lineman, and shed blockers to penetrate into the backfield. Enjoy watching this man play, because he will be one of the top players at the next level shortly.
As always we would like to congratulate LSU’s Devin White for winning this weeks award, and the other candidates that were in consideration. Best of luck to those playing in Week 8’s upcoming slate of games.