With Week 5 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: The junior running back continues to impress scouts with his dynamic running skills and big-play ability. Elliott rushed for 274 yards on 23 carries and sparked the Buckeyes to another win with three second-half touchdowns against Indiana. While scouts are growing accustomed to seeing Elliott break off big runs in key situations, the fact that he posted three long touchdowns (55, 65 and 75 yards) in the second half of a highly competitive game not only cements his status as a clutch performer, but it could lead scouts and coaches to view him as a franchise player worth building around.
Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU: The Heisman Trophy contender continues to post ridiculous numbers as the conductor of the Horned Frogs' explosive spread attack. In a 50-7 win over Texas, Boykin tossed five touchdowns and amassed 384 yards from scrimmage in about three quarters of work. The five-touchdown effort pushed Boykin past Andy Dalton as the Horned Frogs' career leader in touchdown passes (74). Most importantly, it confirms his growth as a passer and playmaker in the minds of NFL evaluators. Although he appears destined to make a position switch at the next level based on his size, athleticism and versatility, Boykin's spectacular play over the past two seasons might convince a team to take a chance on him as an electric offensive weapon.
Marquise Williams, QB, North Carolina: The electric playmaker is not the most explosive or elusive athlete on the field, but few dual-threat quarterbacks are more effective with the ball in their hands. Williams showcased his remarkable big-play skills with a spectacular performance against Georgia Tech that featured 319 yards of total offense (148 yards and two touchdowns rushing; 37 yards and a touchdown receiving; 134 yards passing). Although Williams' game lacks polish and refinement, it is hard for scouts to bypass playmakers with a penchant for scoring touchdowns and delivering big plays.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: Stanford has re-emerged as a contender in the Pac-12 North behind stellar play from McCaffrey, the son of former NFL WR Ed McCaffrey, in the backfield. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound sophomore has reeled off three straight 100-yard games and given life to an offense that seemingly lacked an identity early in the season. Against Arizona, McCaffrey racked up 156 rushing yards on 17 attempts with a score and snagged a pair of passes for 11 yards. The workmanlike effort sparked the Cardinal to a 55-17 win and opened the eyes of scouts searching for the next dynamic change-of-pace back in the college-football pipeline. With McCaffrey showing impressive skills as a multi-purpose threat, NFL evaluators are paying close attention to how the young playmaker continues to develop on The Farm.
Greyson Lambert, QB, Georgia: The junior failed miserably in the Bulldogs' 38-10 loss to Alabama. Lambert connected on 10 of 24 passes for 86 yards and failed to threaten a Crimson Tide defense that's been vulnerable in the back end. With Lambert failing to play up to expectations in his first game on the big stage, scouts will question whether the 6-5, 220-pounder has the tools and potential to develop into a franchise player.
C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame: The 6-0, 220-pound senior had piqued the interest of scouts with his solid play for the Irish, but the attention might wane after watching Prosise struggle mightily against Clemson. He mustered just 50 rushing yards on 15 attempts and fumbled -- a "no-no" for prospective workhorse runners at the next level. Although he flashed solid receiving skills with four catches for 100 yards and a touchdown, Prosise must deliver better results on the ground against elite competition to enhance his value as a feature back in the scouting community.