Rumor had it that college football Week 3 would be a dud. Well, the top college football players had different ideas and an entertaining slate of games across the three days of action was filled with some of the most eye-popping performances of the season.
Our Week 3 College Football Players of the Week crown the very cream of the crop.
Week 3 College Football Players of the Week
Quarterback of the Week: Kaidon Salter, Liberty
As it was seven days ago, the battle to be named the CFN Quarterback of the Week was fiercely fought with multiple worthy candidates. Luckily for Kaidon Salter, he’s used to winning a battle, having been a part of one of the most uncertain summer camp quarterback battles. Having beaten out Jonathan Bennett to be the Liberty QB1, he’s been impressive for the Flames.
Salter was at the height of his brilliance in Week 3, asserting himself as one of college football’s top players. The Liberty QB diced up a good Buffalo defense, throwing five touchdowns and racking up 344 passing yards. A true dual threat, he also led the team in rushing yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry on 10 totes and finding the end zone with his legs in the 55-27 victory.
Honorable mentions: Jayden Daniels, LSU; Darren Grainger, Georgia State; Michael Penix Jr., Washington; Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma; Garrett Shrader, Syracuse
Offensive Player of the Week: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
No need for a long explanation here. Malik Nabers was quite simply the most dominant offensive player in college football in Week 3, asserting himself as one of the top players in college football despite appearing to suffer a shoulder injury in the demolition of Mississippi State. He ended the afternoon with 13 receptions for 239 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Even laid out in black and white, the ludicrous statistical production doesn’t really do justice to Nabers’ dominance in Week 3. Mississippi State tried to cover him with a safety, which proved ill-advised with two almost identical touchdowns. Even when the Bulldogs put a corner on him, the LSU WR found a way to break free. He was the epitome of uncoverable on Saturday.
Honorable mentions: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State; Emmanuel Michel, RB, Air Force; Trevor Etienne, RB, Florida
Defensive Player of the Week: Bryce Houston, LB, Ohio
One of the standout results of college football Week 3 saw MAC title challengers Ohio take down Big 12 opponent Iowa State. While the Cyclones are undergoing some off-field issues impacting the on-field product, that should take nothing away from a stellar performance by the Bobcats led by a ferocious defensive effort behind linebacker Bryce Houston.
Houston ended the 10-7 win with a team-high 15 tackles while making an impact in the backfield with one tackle for loss. The Ohio linebacker was a fly in the ointment whether the Cyclones tried to move the ball through the air or on the ground, contributing significantly to limited Iowa State to just 38 rushing yards. He also made important situational stops.
Honorable mentions: Hunter Wohler, LB, Wisconsin; Coziah Izzard, DL, Penn State; Tyren Dupree, LB, Liberty; Bennett Walker, DB, Eastern Michigan; Jasheen Davis, EDGE, Wake Forest; Andrew Chatfield Jr., EDGE, Oregon State
Special Teams Player of the Week: Harrison Mevis, K, Missouri
Where most people have a leg, Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis has an actual cannon. The “thicca kicker” spurned the NFL to return to the Tigers for the 2023 college football season and they’ll be mighty glad he did. Although he missed one against Kansas State, Mevis’ 61-yard walk-off field goal gave Missouri a surprise win over the reigning Big 12 champions.
Honorable mentions: Matthew Golden, KR, Houston; Tory Taylor, P, Iowa; Noah Rauschenberg, K, North Texas
Freshman Player of the Week: Keyone Jenkins, QB, FIU
Unfancied by national media ahead of the CUSA season, FIU moved to 3-1 with a win over UConn in college football Week 3. The Golden Panthers got off to an electric start, leaving a shellshocked Huskies team down by 21 points at the half. While there were several outstanding performances on both sides of the ball, freshman quarterback Keyone Jenkins set the pace.
Jenkins opened the scoring for FIU early in the first quarter, converting from the 1-yard line after an impressive six-play, 75-yard drive. However, it was his second-quarter dissection of the Huskies’ defense that earned Jenkins his place amongst the top college football players. The young passer hit Jalen Bracey for a 45-yard score before a 64-yard Kris Mitchell connection put the nail in the coffin for UConn’s third consecutive defeat.
Honorable mentions: McCae Hillstead, QB, Utah State; Luke Hasz, TE, Arkansas; Derius Taylor, RB, Minnesota; Kaleb Jackson, RB, LSU