College football Week 6 separated the pretenders from the contenders, the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys. It was a week that provided the most clarity yet as to the ultimate direction of the 2023 campaign. Who were the top college football players, the best of the best, this week?
It’s time to unveil our Week 6 College Football Players of the Week.
Week 6 College Football Players of the Week
Quarterback of the Week: Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma
Dillon Gabriel came to Oklahoma to play in big games, not just to play in them but to win them. When you play for the Sooners, games don’t come much bigger than the Red River Rivalry, and in the Saturday afternoon Dallas sunshine, Gabriel delivered a victory for Oklahoma over bitter rival Texas that confirms their candidacy as a legitimate College Football Playoff contender.
The final minute drive down the field that resulted in Gabriel, despite a face full of pressure, finding Nic Anderson in the end zone was the stuff of Heisman Trophy highlight reels. The Oklahoma QB had the final say in a 34-30 win, having opened the scoring with a 9-yard run some three hours earlier. He ended the day with 398 total yards and two total touchdowns.
Honorable mentions: Carter Bradley, South Alabama; Drake Maye, North Carolina; Jacob Zeno, UAB; Carson Beck, Georgia; Kurtis Rourke, Ohio.
Offensive Player of the Week: Antario Brown, RB, Northern Illinois
After beating Boston College in Week 1, the Northern Illinois Huskies have been in free fall, losing four straight games. Star running back Antario Brown has been banged up in that stretch, but returned to the national spotlight in explosive fashion with a commanding performance in a 55-14 win over the Akron Zips. Brown rushed for 280 yards and four touchdowns on the day.
It was a career day that had program record-setting potential before being wound down early. While the overall numbers were impressive, it was how Brown dominated on Saturday that earned him a spot among the top college football players. The Huskies’ running back routinely flashed his speed and tackle-breaking ability as he ripped off chunk play after chunk play.
Honorable mentions: Jawhar Jordan, RB, Louisville; Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky; Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama; Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams, RB, UMass; C.J. Daniels, WR, Liberty; Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia.
Defensive Player of the Week: Kobe Singleton, DB, Liberty
Despite some incredible defensive performances across the weekend of college football, a standout display from midweek CUSA action scoops our Defensive Player of the Week honors. Liberty cornerback Kobe Singleton earns his spot among the college football top players after a showing that outstripped his stat line and contained the most impactful defensive play in Week 6.
Box score scouts won’t be blown away by Singleton’s four tackles, three of which were solo efforts. However, with Liberty’s unbeaten record on the line with the clock ticking towards expiration in their game against Sam Houston, the Flames’ cornerback lined up in press across from 6’3″ Bearkats WR Jay Rockwell and as the ball lofted to the end zone made a picture perfect pass breakup.
Honorable mentions: Devin Grant, DB, Buffalo; Gentry Williams, LB, Oklahoma; Bryce Houston, LB, Ohio; Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama; Mason Graham, DT, Michigan; Mason Reiger, DL, Louisville.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Alex Hale, K, Oklahoma State
The Oklahoma State Cowboys secured their first Big 12 win of the season, shocking reigning champions Kansas State 29-21, on the back of an incredible showing from kicker Alex Hale.
Although he missed one of his field goal attempts, the former walk-on nailed five with a 53-yard long, while hitting two extra point attempts. The Australian’s 17 points accounted for more than half of the total scoring for Mike Gundy’s team.
Honorable mentions: Alejandro Mata, K, Colorado; Bhayshul Tuten, KR, Virginia Tech; Will Reichard, K/P, Alabama; Trevor Wilson, PR, Kansas.
Freshman Player of the Week: Caleb Downs, DB, Alabama
In a week of incredible freshman performances, Caleb Downs separated himself as one of the top college football players. The former five-star recruit has been a force all season for an Alabama Crimson Tide team that usually takes a cautious approach to game time for their true freshman.
In college football Week 6, the insanely talented safety secured his second career interception while logging the second most tackles for the Crimson Tide. His pick was a momentum changer for an Alabama team that was 17-10 down against Texas A&M, whilst showcasing his elite athletic capability and game-reading ability. Downs is up there with the best DBs that Alabama has produced, and he produced on the biggest stage in Week 6.
Honorable mentions: Kevin Concepcion, WR, NC State; Peyton Bowen, DB, Oklahoma; Devin McCuin, WR, UTSA; Brett Norfleet, TE, Missouri; Arlis Bordingham, TE, Florida; Dillon Thieneman, DB, Purdue.