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Here at CFBZ we mainly focus on FBS football but we pride ourselves on bringing all perspectives to our readers. Earlier this summer we had a chance to do some Q&As with some intriguing FCS schools like Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Jacksonville State. Earlier this week we had a chance to sit down with Matt Elder, the lead writer and scouting director of the new scouting site Buffalo Bills Draft. Don't let the name fool you, Matt doesn't just talk about the Bills. His site is chalk full of great information about college football and specifically about how players project to the next level. Matt brings a fresh perspective that you won't see on sites like the four-letter network as Matt has a vast knowledge of all things related to non-FCS schools (and his knowledge of FBS is fantastic as well- except for his fandom of the Fighting Irish- ZING!).

One of the series that Matt has been doing over at his site that I've really liked is a series called "Sleeping Seniors." In that series he takes a look at players that he feels might slip through the cracks in terms of draft projections and could be steals in the draft (or afterwards during unrestricted free agency period). Make sure you take some time and read these as it will give you a good understanding of some guys to keep an eye out for and you can name-drop these guys at your tailgate or college football party and look like the smartest guy in the room when they hit it big in the NFL! Here are the links to that series: ACC Atlantic, ACC Coastal, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten Leaders, Big Ten Legends, Pac-12, SEC East, SEC West. Since this is an FCS based Q&A you understandably might not want to read about those FBS schools so I would also recommend checking out his recently posted position rankings for the 2012 and 2013 draft. Here is a link to the offensive skill positions (but many more are available at his site): QB, RB, TE, and WR. Without further adieu let's get to the Q&A:

Let's start off by looking at week one of the college football season, what are the three games that you think have the biggest potential for upset involving a FBS vs FCS match-up?

Well it’s going to appear like I’m picking on the ACC but I really think they are vulnerable this year with some of FCS opponents they picked.

Let’s start with Duke v. Richmond, QB Aaron Corp is looking to see his NFL Draft stock rise and he has weapons across the board to help him do that. Duke will need to go score for score with Richmond who could put up a big number.

Next I think that NC State could be in for a lot of trouble when it comes to stopping the offensive machine that is Liberty. With the news of DT JR Sweezey being sidelined for the next 6 weeks this game just became that much tougher. The key to Liberty winning will be QB Mike Brown staying upright and WR Chris Summners beating NC State down the field. If they can do this, NC State could be in for a shocker.

Finally I think the William & Mary have a great shot against Virginia. Mike London knows better than to overlook the Tribe being the former coach at Richmond. That being said the Tribe may just have too much for the Cavs to keep up with this year.

As a bonus I’ll add that while I don’t think this will be an upset, you always want to watch what Appalachian State does against its FBS opponent. This year they go to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech…and well…we all know what happened there last year.


Outside of week one are there any other FBS vs FCS match-ups that we should keep an eye on?

While these games may not be of the same quality there are a few to watch, Southeast Missouri State v. Purdue (week 3), Stephen F. Austin v. Baylor (week 3), UMass v. Boston College (Week 4), Cal Poly v. Northern Illinois (week 4), and North Dakota State v. Minnesota (week 4).


What are the can't miss FCS games this year?

There are three can’t miss games this year for the FCS level this year and it all gets started on Sept. 24th.

9/24 Chattanooga @ Appalachian State-People are whispering that QB BJ Coleman could be in line to lead the Mocs on a potential title run. To do that though they will have to travel to Boone, NC and beat App State. The road to the title almost always runs through Boone, NC.

10/8 William & Mary @ Delaware-Just two weeks later we get another matchup that will have huge National Title implications. William & Mary are my pick to win the National Title this year, but to do so they will need to get past a Delaware team who lost in last year’s National title game.

11/19 Montana @ Montana State-This is a classic rivalry game and last years victory for Montana State basically ended any chance Montana had at getting into the playoffs. Don’t think Montana has forgotten that and this one should end up being a game of haymakers with each team trying to knock the other one out.


Every year a lot of kids transfer down from the FBS to the FCS. Which players do you think will have the biggest impact for their new teams this year?

Well a few players have already been down for a season or two from the FBS level who should have big impacts. The three QB’s that everybody is talking about are Aaron Corp (USC to Richmond) Mike Paulus (UNC to William & Mary) and BJ Coleman (Tenneseee to Chattanooga). Each of these three are quarterbacking teams that have national title aspirations and will need to turn it up a notch if they hope to be successful this season.

Another name everybody will know is former UGA RB Washaun Ealey who ended up at Jacksonville State. Some might recall Jacksonville State for that thrilling OT victory over Ole Miss last season. Ealey should dominate at the FCS level and really put up some big numbers.

Another player everybody knows who transferred down is Janoris Jenkins. He didn’t transfer to the FCS though, he actually dropped down to Division II North Alabama. UNA is moving up to the FCS after this year though.


Who do you consider the Top 5 Pro Prospects playing this year at the FCS level?

1. Trumaine Johnson-CB-Montana Johnson is gifted with fantastic size (6’2, 204) and good speed, Johnson is almost impossible to overmatch with size. He is a fluid athlete who transitions from his back pedal to his sprint well and does a fantastic job of reading the QB’s eyes.

2. Renard Williams-DT-Eastern Washington A beast in the middle, Williams is at times unblockable. He has a very good first step which allows him to get into lineman quickly. He also has the strength to fight through blocks and make plays in the backfield.

3. Brian Quick-WR-Appalachian State Quick is somewhat of a miscast in the App State system, he has great size (6’5, 220 lbs) and athleticism. He doesn’t see nearly the same amount of balls that other WR’s see due to the system he plays in but when he gets the ball thrown to him he usually comes down with it.

4. BJ Coleman-QB-Chattanooga Coleman is quite possibly the best pure passer in the FCS right now and his ability to spread the ball out is something that scouts love. He has good size and arm strength for the NFL and seems to really see the field well as he’s going through his progressions.

5. Chris Summers-WR-Liberty Summers is another one big bodied WR (6’4, 210) who is dominant in the air fighting for jump balls. He doesn’t have the speed and athleticism that Quick has but he has soft reliable hands and knows how to get open. Unlike Quick he sees the ball a lot more in his offense and is known for scoring big touchdowns.


One of your features at BuffaloBillsDraft is your "Sleeping Seniors" series profiling underrated prospects in their final collegiate year. Who are some of your favorite pro prospects out of that group?

Wow…tough question, there are a number of players we really like so far, but here are out Top 5:

1. DE Louis Nzegwu-Wisconsin

2. CB Jonathan Banks-Mississippi State

3. CB D’Anton Lynn-Penn State

4. WR Justin Siller-Purdue

5. DE Kendrick Adams-LSU

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