Originally written on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 11/30/12
In a rematch from just last weekend, a game in which Stanford won convincingly 35-17 over UCLA, this game has a whole new meaning, as the winner heads to the Rose Bowl. In a game loaded with defensive talent, three impressive tight ends, and two bruising running backs, it should be as much of a pro-style college football game as you’ll see this weekend. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA - #23, 6'0, 189One of the more unheralded running backs in the country, Franklin has shown strength through tacklers, excellent burst through the hole, fantastic patience and balance as a runner, and has even flashed as a pass blocker and as a receiver. He lacks deep speed and isn’t a future devastating running back in the NFL, but he could be a solid running back in the NFL if he can stay healthy, even with starter upside in the NFL. Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA - #8, 6'7, 252A receiving tight end who is athletic enough to be moved around as a match-up tight end, Fauria has the ideal size, body control, and development as a route runner to go along with his hands-catching ability as a tight end. Not fully developed as a tight end, lacks elite upside, and is still developing as a run blocker, but Fauria is still among the top senior tight ends in the country. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - #56, 6'4, 280A defensive tackle/end in-betweener on the defensive line and a likely 5-technique at the next level, Jones has the elite upside due to his length, strength, athleticism, and flashing separation ability as a pass rusher. Still a bit raw and finally playing well this season, Jones has the elite upside but hasn’t consistently been able to produce and make a consistent impact on the game. He’ll be asked, however, to do just that in this one. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA – #11, 6’4, 235 (JR)A former running back, Barr has remarkable athletic ability as an outside linebacker and has flashed everything from scrapping and attacking the ball carrier in the middle of the field to making plays as  a pass rusher when he sinks to the edge, to fading back in coverage with ideal balance and transitions. It’s unclear exactly where he’ll play at the next level, and these Stanford tight ends may be another tough yet worthy-to-see test for Barr. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford - #33, 5'11, 210One of the most powerful and focused runners in college football, Taylor has elite shoulder strength to fight ahead for added yards through the hole as well as playing with great pad level and initiating contact when he does get to the edge. He lacks the deep speed and top level agility to be a future first rounder, but he’s got the bulk, strength, and drive to be a solid 1-2 punch running back in the NFL and worthy of an early round pick. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford - #86, 6'6, 260 (JR)A unique talent at tight end, who does a lot more than your usual tight end, Zach Ertz may be a better prospect than high second rounder Coby Fleener was a year ago. Ertz shows body positioning, ball grabbing, and short area separation when asked to play receiver in this offense. Ertz also shows some ability as a blocker, and could be a complete tight end prospect and a future Top 50 tight end prospect just like his former teammate. Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford - #11, 6’8, 265 (JR)Not quite the prospect Ertz is, I’d expect Toilolo to stay this year and be the feature tight end in the position factory that is Stanford. Toilolo isn’t as complete of a tight end/athlete that Ertz is, Toilolo can line-up inline with more success as a blocker, has the length to dominate the seam with more development, and is one of the top junior tight ends in his own right. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford - #44, 6'4, 240A key factor in how Stanford beat Oregon, Thomas may be a bit position-less for his NFL future as of now, but he’s shown the ability to set the edge as an outside rusher, the hand strength to drive and contain in run support, and has shown 4-3 linebacker coverage in the curl/flat area. He’ll need to consistently contain the UCLA running game if Stanford hopes to have another big win over UCLA and go to the Rose Bowl. Shanye Skov, ILB, Stanford - #11, 6'3, 244Another player who had a dominating effort in the Oregon game, Skov has bounced back from his junior year injury to put together an impressive senior season as a complete linebacker. He scrapes well in the middle of the field, finishes tackles in space, and looks the part of a future 3-4 inside linebacker at the next level. He’ll need to shed blockers in the middle of the field today as well as not let the UCLA passing game work in the middle of the field.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

Russell Wilson contract $60 million guaranteed? Not so fast

Bernard Pollard backs Tom Brady, disagrees with suspension

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
OPTIMUM SCOUTING
RECENTLY ON OPTIMUM SCOUTING
2016 NFL Draft: Joey Bosa Among Four Suspended for Ohio State’s Opener
2015 NFL Training Camp: Colts WR Duron Carter Could Turn Second Chance into Starting Spot
2016 NFL Draft: Big Ten’s Top Five Prospects at Each Position
2015 Fantasy Football Rookies: Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon Lead Top-25 Rookie Projections
2015 NFL Training Camp: Saints Cornerback Delvin Breaux is a Story, and a Talent, Worth Learning About
2016 NFL Draft: Braxton Miller’s NFL Potential As He Moves on from Quarterback
2015 NFL Draft: Irony Abound in Green-Beckham’s Opportunity to Replace Justin Hunter
2016 NFL Draft: SEC Media Day Review
2017 NFL Draft: Florida State Sophomore RB Dalvin Cook Being Investigated for Battery
2015 Supplemental Draft: Isaiah Battle in Rams Plans “a Year from Now”

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker