Welcome to our second week of college football superlatives at Dave Campbell's Texas Football. We're picking the best of the state's college football standouts in Week 2.
Coverboy of the Week: RB Xavier Jones, SMU (Spring)
Description: Most outstanding player of the week.
After a season of injuries and inconsistent play in 2018, we wondered whether we would ever see Jones get back to the level that allowed him to post a 1,000-yard season in 2017. After two games, we’ll consider the answer a resounding YES. Jones posted 127 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 carries against the Mean Green. Through two games, Jones has six touchdowns. Through two games, it’s very simple: Xavier Jones is the best running back in the state of Texas. Honorable mention goes out to his teammate, Shane Buechele.
Defensive Player of the Week: S Patrick Nelson, SMU
Description: Defensive player who stood out.
Nelson’s award is partially a team defense award, but he was excellent all over the field for SMU in a dominant performance against UNT. Nelson posted seven tackles, two sacks and an interception in the 49-27 victory.
Break in Case of Emergency: QB Tom Stewart, Rice
Description: Backup who came in and starred.
Stewart arrived in Houston as a graduate transfer this summer. It took only one game for him to get an opportunity. When Wiley Green went out with an injury, Stewart threw for 185 yards and a touchdown against a Power Five defense. Rice wants Green to be the starter, but having Stewart helps stabilize the position.
Swiss Army Knife: Grayland Arnold, Baylor (Kountze)
Description: Player who stood out in multiple areas.
Arnold had a big adjustment moving from cornerback to safety, but posted three tackles for the Bears on Saturday against UTSA. He also just so happened to return a punt for a touchdown during the dominant 63-14 win. Baylor desperately needed help at safety and punt returner; can Arnold be both?
The Rookie: S Justin Prince, UTEP
Description: Standout first-year player.
Even though UTEP lost in dominant fashion to Texas Tech, Prince was excellent on the day, posting 10 tackles and a tackle for loss against a great Red Raiders offense in his first college game against an FBS opponent.
Remember the Name: QB Gresch Jensen, Texas State
Description: New face who will be a big factor heading forward.
It wasn’t always pretty, and some mistakes ended up costing Texas State the game, but Jensen proved he is clearly the quarterback. Jensen threw for 394 yards and a touchdown in a tight 23-14 loss, which was the most yardage by a Texas State QB since the 2016 season. When he cleans up mistakes, he’ll be a huge contributor.
Small College Star: WR Tren’Davian Dickson, Texas Southern (Navasota)
Description: A sub-FCS player or team that you need to know after this week.
This is the Tren’Davian Dickson we hoped to see in college. Dickson posted eight catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns in a tight loss to UIW. Texas Southern has looked much improved this year, and the DeAndre Johnson to Dickson connection has been a huge part of why.
Dave’s Pick: DC Kevin Kane, SMU
Description: Could be anything. It’s completely up to us.
SMU defensive coordinator Kevin Kane took over a defense that ranked No. 121 in total defense and No. 117 in scoring defense under Chad Morris. On Saturday, he taught a masterclass against a UNT offense that diced up SMU a year ago. Kane’s decisions helped hold Mason Fine to just 152 passing yards. The Mean Green’s potent offense averaged just five yards per play, and the Mustangs posted five sacks and two QB hurries. Take a bow, Coach Kane.