College News & Analysis

College Football Week 1: PFF Team of the Week & Player Awards

Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) throws a pass in the third quarter game against the Louisville Cardinals at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse has now cracked a spot on the PFF Team of the Week in back-to-back weeks — his first two games at the FBS level.

The PFF Week 1 College Football Team of the Week features several PFF 2023 top-100 draft prospects, including Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., who broke up five passes against Purdue.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader headlines the offense after leading his team to a surprise blowout win over ACC foe Louisville.

PFF All-American guard O’Cyrus Torrence also grabbed a spot for his debut as a Florida Gator in the upset win over Utah. The Louisiana transfer earned an 81.7 PFF grade, with zero pressures allowed.


PFF TEAM OF THE WEEK

Offense

QB: Garrett Shrader, Syracuse Orange
RB: Tank Bigsby, Auburn Tigers
RB: Anthony Grant, Nebraska Cornhuskers
WR: Jacob Cowing, Arizona Wildcats
WR: Isaiah Williams, Illinois Fighting Illini
WR: Kris Thornton, James Madison Dukes
TE: Johnny Lumpkin, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
LT: Javon Foster, Missouri Tigers
LG: Clark Barrington, BYU Cougars
C: Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
RG: O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida Gators
RT: Alex Palczewski, Illinois Fighting Illini

Defense

DI: Levi Bell, Texas State Bobcats
DI: Desjuan Johnson, Toledo Rockets
Edge: Jared Verse, Florida State Seminoles
Edge: Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech Red Raiders
LB: Daiyan Henley, Washington State Cougars
LB: Shane Lee, USC Trojans
CB: Jakorian Bennett, Maryland Terrapins
CB: Joey Porter Jr., Penn State Nittany Lions
S: Christopher Smith, Georgia Bulldogs
S: Millard Bradford, TCU Horned Frogs
Flex D: Malaki Starks, Georgia Bulldogs

Offensive Player of the Week: QB Garrett Shrader, Syracuse Orange

Shrader was one of the best running quarterbacks in college football last season, but his poor passing performances offset his impact and put his 2022 starting job in jeopardy. However, the Syracuse quarterback played excellently in the Orange’s upset win over Louisville to open the season.

  • Shrader earned a 94.1 passing grade for the game, the highest of his career by more than 10 grading points.
  • He tossed five big-time throws on 25 attempts. He had just nine big-time throws on 235 attempts in 2021.
  • Shrader’s rushing success continued, as he picked up three explosive runs of 10-plus yards and broke six tackles on 14 attempts (eight designed, six scrambles).

Defensive Player of the Week: Edge Jared Verse, Florida State Seminoles

Verse wreaked havoc at the FCS level last year. This year, he’s doing the same in the Power Five. The first-year Seminole built upon his elite performance in Week 0, dominating LSU in Week 1.

  • Verse’s 27.5% pass-rush win rate is the second-highest PFF has on record for an edge rusher with at least 40 pass-rushes against an SEC offensive line.
  • His seven total pressures vs. LSU tied for the most of Week 1 among edge rushers facing Power Five competition.
  • The Albany transfer also came in clutch with a blocked field goal, helping FSU edge out LSU by a point in the end.

True Freshman of the Week: S Malaki Starks, Georgia Bulldogs

The 2022 five-star recruit put on a show across his 55 snaps in Georgia’s big win over Oregon.

  • He missed zero tackles on 10 attempts for the game.
  • Starks intercepted one of his five targets in coverage.
  • He earned an 84.9 coverage grade for the game, the second-highest of Week 1 among SEC defensive backs behind only teammate Christopher Smith.
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