The third week of the college football season featured stellar performances from players across the country as characters and storylines from the 2022 campaign continued to emerge amid another crazy weekend. Some of those who shone on the big stage last week may have been one-hit wonders, but there were also some familiar faces and potential Heisman Trophy nominees who stood out on the big stage.
One of the beauties of this sport is the wide range of characters; the gamut ranges from five-star prospects that must be selected in the NFL Draft to former revellers and transfers who make the most of any opportunity they can find. It was the same last week as a motley bunch of players who stole the show with their big wins.
As the season approaches the end of September, we’re revisiting the Star Power Index for the second time this season to see who’s shining the brightest. This is not a Heisman Trophy watchlist or a ranking of potential earnings based on the name, image, and appearance of players, and it is not an NFL tryout draft. There are many places where you can find these things.
This is a rundown of players who make the most of their platform – whether for quality play or for other reasons – to stand out as stars in the sport.
College Football Star Power Index
Samson Evans, Eastern Michigan running back
Samson Evans kept no statistics in his first two seasons at Iowa, struggling to find the field as a backup running back and receiver. For the last two seasons in Eastern Michigan, the former three-star prospect played as a stand-in and finished the 2021 season as the Eagles’ third-best player. On Saturday, the five-year-old put on a standout performance for the ages as EMU stunned Arizona State 30-21 to herald the end of Herm Edwards’ tenure at ASU. Evans gained 258 yards and landed 36 carries for the first time in his career that he rushed over 100 yards.
Notebook: On a night when ASU was presumably the strong favorite to control the line of scrimmage, Eastern Michigan bum Samson Evans broke through to a career-high 258 yards on the ground behind the dominant offensive line.
— Noah Furtado (@_noahfurtado) September 18, 2022
Michael Penix Jr., Washington quarterback
It was fair to wonder how much the Indiana transfer had left in the tank after a series of injuries derailed his once-promising run in the Big Ten. With three games, however, the 2022 season promises to be the best in Penix’s five-year career. His 397 yards and four touchdowns in a 39-28 win over Michigan State on Saturday earned him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, and Washington moved up to No. 18 on the AP Top 25. Reunited with former coordinator attacks in Indiana, Calen DeBoer, who is now in his first season as head coach of the Huskies, seems to have uncovered the greatness seen in Penix’s play early in his career. Washington doesn’t play USC in the regular season, which means last week’s win over the Spartans could be the Huskies’ most played game of the season, and Penix has made a name for itself on the big stage.
Nick Singleton, Penn State running back
Last season, Penn State defeated Auburn 28-20. despite in their running game as the Nittany Lions only gained 84 yards on the ground while their upper back was held at 2.4 yards per carry. The Nittany Lions defeated the Nittany Lions in a rematch last week at Auburn. because of his ground game, scoring 245 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in a 41-12 win. Five-star freshman Nick Singleton led the charge with 124 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including 53 yards (see below) and a 38-yard scoring run that slammed the door on Auburn in the fourth quarter. His 334 rushing yards in a season is the most by any PSU that has played three games since Larry Johnson in 2002. The Nittany Lions finished 118th on offense last season, but with Singleton playing at that level, Penn State will look more like a program that has won 11 games three times in four years between 2016 and 2019. than a program that has struggled for an 11-11 record over the past two years.
Anthony Richardson, Florida quarterback
Richardson appeared in this season’s debut star power rankings following his heroic performance in Florida’s season-opener over then-numbered. 7 Utah. Now, two weeks later, he is signing up for SPI for unflattering reasons after the UF’s loss to Kentucky in Week 2 and last week’s disgraceful 31-28 victory over South Florida. The redshirt sophomore has 24-of-53 for 255 yards with four interceptions and no touchdowns in his last two games, and the spotlight is about to turn bright again. The No. 20 Gators will play No. 11 Tennessee in the SEC on Saturday’s CBS Game of the Week, and Richardson will be a big part of the game’s narrative, for better or worse. His talent is evident and few players are more important to the success of the national team than Richardson. Which direction it takes from here will be one of the main SEC storylines in the coming weeks.
Johnny Wilson, Florida State wide receiver
Florida State has a long way to go, with five of its last nine games against teams currently in the AP top 25. But the Seminoles are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2015, thanks in large part to the arrival of Johnny Wilson at wide receiver. The 6-foot-7 Arizona State transfer showed his breakout potential with four catches for 111 yards in the former Soviet Union’s first two games, but Wilson really became a hero on Friday night with seven tackles for 149 yards and two goals as the Seminoles were decimated by injuries. gutted a 35-31 victory in Louisville. Wilson scored the game-breaker early in the fourth quarter and put the Seminoles in the lead for good a few minutes later with a ludicrous touchdown touchdown in the far corner of the end zone. Both scores came from backup quarterback Tate Roodemaker, who had complete confidence in Wilson’s abilities. In three games, Wilson nearly surpassed his two-season total at ASU.
Brock Bowers, tight end in Georgia
It’s not fair to Brock Bowers that he won’t be eligible for the NFL Draft until 2024. The Georgia No. 1 sophomore would probably be ready after his outstanding freshman campaign, and he’s already proven himself undefeated in his sophomore season in college. Not only did the Bulldogs use him as a traditional target in the receiving game during a 48-7 victory over South Carolina, but offensive coordinator Todd Monken used him as an open-field athlete on jet fields and reverse touchdowns. In total, Bowers threw three touchdowns – two touches and one sprint. Capturing a Bowers touchdown 6 yards over Gamecocks defenseman O’Donnell Fortune with 11:25 left in the second quarter required a ridiculous combination of hands, athleticism and coordination. It also increased Georgia’s lead to 21-0 and dispelled any doubt that the Dawgs were on their way to a landslide victory.
Will Anderson, Jr., linebacker from Alabama
To win a Heisman as a defender, you will need a few good moments and a couple of highlights to help you stand out from the crowd. Alabama EDGE rusher Will Anderson earned on both fronts in a 63-7 Louisiana-Monroe thrashing of Crimson Tide last week when he scored the first touchdown of his career. Anderson deflected a deflected pass from Charlie Rodgers and rumbled 25 yards to score the Crimson Tide 14-0. In fact, the game required a little high-level skill. But in practice, it caught the attention of the nation during a game that might otherwise have gone unnoticed as Alabama had a day without drama. Expect Anderson’s sixth pick to be featured multiple times this season.