Mel Kiper's archive: reviews, notebooks

Mel Kiper's archive: Sleepers of the Week

Mel Kiper's archive: Q&As

Thursday, November 9

Georgia QB Carter still questionable

When No. 13 Georgia goes on the road this week to face No. 23 Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Bulldogs could be without talented junior quarterback Quincy Carter.

Rudi Johnson
Running back Rudi Johnson leads Auburn's offense.

Since he sprained a ligament in his right thumb against Florida on Oct. 28, Carter has been unable to see any action in practice. He's receiving treatment two to three times a day, and early this week had the thumb immobilized with a hard cast.

Backup and former walk-on Cory Phillips, who came through with a solid effort in the Bulldogs' victory over Kentucky on Oct. 21, has been taking all the snaps in practice. With Carter's status very questionable, expect to see Phillips under center against Auburn on Saturday.

With Auburn featuring the rushing exploits of junior Rudi Johnson, the key for Georgia will be the play of its talented senior defensive-tackle tandem of Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud. If they can wreak havoc and cause a disturbance on the interior, middle linebacker Kendrell Bell will have an opportunity to be zero in on Johnson.

Georgia coach Jim Donnan will also be looking for junior cornerback Tim Wansley to continue to make his presence felt in the deep patrol. The opportunistic Wansley has come away with five interceptions in the last five games.

Peppers playing hot for Heels
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm here to tell you that the most dominating front-seven performer in college football over the last two weeks hails from an ACC program.

Guess what, I'm not talking about No. 3 Florida State but rather the Tar Heels of North Carolina. The player I'm referring to is Julius Peppers. The 280-pounder currently leads the ACC with 13 sacks while also totaling 51 stops and 20 tackles for loss.

Over the last two weeks, in road games against Virginia and Pittsburgh, the talented third-year sophomore (redshirted in 1998) recorded seven sacks (four against Virginia, three versus Pittsburgh).

As was the case last year, Peppers will join the Tar Heels basketball team after the college football season is over. Last year, Peppers proved to be a top shot blocker while also contributing an average of about five points and four rebounds per game.

Simms filling in for Applewhite
No. 19 Texas, which has won four straight games since a 63-14 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 7, travels to Kansas this week and will be led into battle by sophomore signal caller Chris Simms.

This is due to the knee injury (partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament) sustained by starter Major Applewhite last week against Texas Tech.

The hope is that Applewhite will return to action for the week of practice leading up to the game with No. 24 Texas A&M on Nov. 24.

No Heisman for McAllister, but NFL future looks bright
You really have to applaud the work ethic and overall dedication to the game that has been displayed by Ole Miss running back Deuce McAllister this season.

Even though injuries eliminated him from the Heisman race early on and have hampered him much of the way, McAllister has pressed on, doing everything in his power to contribute to the Rebels' offense.

Against Alabama, he left the game early with an ankle injury, yet returned briefly to go up and over the top for a first down. Last week against Arkansas, his 57-yard run to paydirt was a perfect illustration of his toughness and desire, not to mention his physical strength.

McAllister actually carried defenders the last 10 yards, despite holding his right leg after he sensed the hamstring was tightening up.

As far as my draft board is concerned, I still have McAllister at the top spot among seniors. Obviously, if any of the elite juniors become part of the equation in January, you could see McAllister slide down a few spots.

Either way, in my opinion, McAllister has a bright future ahead in the NFL. The 218-pounder tells me that he's capable of running a 4.30 on a fast track, with his grass time figuring to be in the 4.38 to 4.45 range. He should post a vertical leap of about 38 inches and also has a maximum bench press of 405 pounds.

But what really jumps out at you with McAllister is his lower body strength. He's also an accomplished pass-receiving option as well. In addition to his quality performance on game day, McAllister figures to be a credit to the organization off the field as well.

Copyright ©2000 ESPN Internet Ventures.
Click here for Terms of Use and Privacy Policy applicable to this site.