With college football's Week 5 in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action.
Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse: For Etta-Tawo, a transfer from Maryland, it appears escaping the Terrapins' struggling passing attack was the best thing for him. While the Terps have started the season 4-0, they rank 112th (out of 128 teams) in the FBS in passing offense. Through 5 games, Etta-Tawo already has 840 yards receiving (leads the FBS) and 6 TDs (his previous career high for one season was 500 receiving yards). His effort against Notre Dame this weekend (7 catches, 134 yards, 1 score) cemented his status as a likely mid-round selection in next year's draft. The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder displayed the ability to win downfield, elusiveness and strength with the ball, as well as the strength to box out his man in tight coverage. It won't be surprising if scouts project him as a James Jones-type receiver on Sundays.
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan: I could have easily written Lewis' teammate, fifth-year senior CB Channing Stribling, as a riser as well. But Lewis had more to gain with his outstanding performance against Wisconsin on Saturday, as he had missed three weeks due to injury to start his senior year. The physical play of Lewis and Stribling made it difficult for the Badgers to make big plays through the air. Lewis' one-handed interception to seal the win for the Wolverines was a textbook example of concentration in the heat of battle. He also displayed the willingness to put hits on ball carriers throughout the game, reminding scouts of how good he was as a junior.
Adam Butler, DT, Vanderbilt: While junior All-SEC linebacker Zach Cunningham gets all of the hype on the Commodores' defense (as he should considering his elite physical attributes), Butler also jumped out in his team's hard-fought 13-6 loss to Florida. The former offensive lineman has been a part-time starter during his time in Nashville, but still has been credited with at least 6 tackles for loss in each of the last 3 years. Butler had 2 tackles in the backfield against the Gators, consistently winning gaps and overpowering his opponent.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming: Hill made his mark on the Cowboys' record books by becoming the school's all-time leading rusher Saturday night in the team's road win over Colorado State. The junior's 166 yards on 19 carries included a one-yard touchdown. The score was an excellent display of his running ability -- he ran into a stacked line up the middle, but kept his wits about him, bouncing to his left. There were three defenders out there waiting for him; he ran past one and put his head down to carry the other two into the end zone for the score. Hill's legs never seem to stop and his stiff arm (as one CSU defender learned) is highly effective.
Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern: During his sophomore and junior years, Breida covered nearly 3,100 yards and scored 34 touchdowns in the Eagles' option attack, averaging more than 8 yards per carry. So far this season, his team has won 3 of 4 games with Breida averaging 4 yards a run and he's found the end zone only once. At 5-11, 190, Breida isn't the biggest of backs. He'll need to show NFL scouts the same elusiveness, quickness and strength he displayed in 2014 and 2015 through the rest of this season if he is to be considered a draftable prospect.
Cole Croston, OT, Iowa: Iowa's home loss to Northwestern was especially difficult for Croston, as his battle with Wildcats pass-rush specialist Ifeadi Odenigbo did not go well. Croston gave up 4 sacks on third downs to Odenigbo, including 3 in the second half. As a run blocker, the former walk-on was very effective, sealing the edge and moving his man off the line. But his inability to get a good punch and keep his feet moving and arms extended while engaged with Odenigbo around the corner made it impossible to keep C.J. Beathard upright. Unless he adjusts his technique, NFL scouts might only consider him draftable as a mobile interior lineman.