With college football's Week 10 in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action.
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: Trubisky showed signs that he'll be able to command an NFL offense in his performance during a win over Georgia Tech. His accuracy is impressive; the majority of his throws to the opposite side of the field were on target, and his misses were barely off the mark. Trubisky hit receivers on the run and has enough arm strength to connect with them all over the field. His touch on shorter throws is an asset. The Ohio native was a dual-threat quarterback prospect out of high school, so he has enough quickness to pick up yards on option plays or draws. In fact, he ran with a running back's patience on a draw for a score in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech. NFL scouts for QB-needy teams are starting to believe he could be the answer to their woes at the position.
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas: Foreman nearly set the Texas single-game rushing record by tearing up a porous Texas Tech defense for 341 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday. That performance came on the heels of a 250-yard effort against Baylor the week before. He's had 10-straight 100-yard games dating back to last season. Foreman is a north-south runner who presses the hole in a hurry, but he can move laterally in a hurry despite tipping the scales at 250-plus pounds. Even with that bulk, his ability to accelerate once he's in the open field results in huge gains, and he's also able to bounce outside if the opportunity arises. And, of course, Foreman's lean and tree-trunk legs make him a strong interior runner. He's become a favorite of scouts, and it's easy to see why.
Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas: Sprinkle looked like one of the best tight ends in the country against Florida on Saturday afternoon. The 6-foot-6, 256-pounder presents difficulties for linebackers and safeties with his large frame. Sprinkle has catcher's mitts for hands to bring in difficult catches while on the run. While he didn't look especially fluid in an H-back role, Sprinkle displayed a willingness to block on the edge. Technique work on moving his feet after contact should be enough to make him serviceable there at the next level. Sprinkle reminds me of former Packers first-round pick Bubba Franks. Franks was overdrafted by Green Bay, but he still had a very good run as a two-way tight end.
Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: The Wolfpack fell to Florida State on Saturday, but Chubb once again showed scouts his potential. The junior has added 20 pounds since last season, when he was a linebacker, to become one of the better defensive ends in the country. The 6-4, 275-pound Chubb ranks 12th in the nation with 13 tackles for loss (he had 1.5 vs. FSU), and already has six sacks. Whether coming out of a three- or four-point stance, his ability to power off the ball makes it difficult for tackles to maintain their anchor. Chubb still looks like a linebacker when chasing from the backside, as well, which is impressive. The sky's the limit for Chubb.
Fred Ross, WR, Mississippi State: Ross was a great red-zone target, scoring twice among his six catches for 98 yards, for quarterback Nick Fitzpatrick in the team's win over No. 4 Texas A&M. The senior's strong upper body allows him to beat the jam at the line and gain position inside. Ross also has enough speed to threaten the deep ball, and the foot quickness to stop short so he can free himself of his man. His blocking outside was impressive, as well. He used his strength and determination to stay on the target for as long as necessary. The Bulldogs won't get as much coverage as other SEC teams this year, but scouts know one of the conference's top receivers resides in Starkville.
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon: Considering the success Oregon has had over the past decade, the fact that the team has lost six of its last seven games is hard to believe. Freeman was injured against Nebraska in mid-September, but managed to put up 153 yards and three touchdowns after a week off. Since then, however, Freeman has struggled, averaging 2.6 yards per carry and scoring only one touchdown over the past month. Against USC on Saturday night, he looked hesitant hitting the hole, wasn't able to work through first contact and was lacking his typical explosion in the open field. Freeman needs to do better than 38 yards on 10 carries if he wants to get high grades from scouts.
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor: It's been a rough year for Baylor, and consecutive losses to Texas and TCU aren't helping matters. Over the last four weeks, Russell has completed 57 of 114 passes (50 percent). He should be completing well over 60 percent of his throws in Baylor's offense. He did run for 138 yards against Texas, but that will only go so far in his evaluation as a future NFL quarterback. Russell still has the tools to play at the next level, but with other quarterbacks like Trubisky stepping up their games this year, he's losing ground.