Bowl Game Pro Prospect Watch: Military, Texas & Alamo Bowls

Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter is among the most highly rated pro prospects playing in today's bowl games.

One of the best parts of the college football bowl season is watching the guys who are going to play on Sundays in the very near future.

Here at Cheesehead TV, we're attempting to list all the senior pro prospects (even the longshots) and a couple very highly rated junior ones as well, as a de facto viewing guide.

Military Bowl–Wednesday Dec. 29, 1:30 p.m. on ESPN

Maryland

  • Running back Da'Rel Scott–Was a first-team All-ACC pick in 2008, but only had 508 yards and three touchdowns after being limited by a wrist injury this season. Has over 2,200 yards over the course of his career and 15 touchdowns. Will be playing in the East-West Shrine game this January. Should be a mid- to late-round draft choice.
  • Linebacker Alex Wujciak–Earned first-team All-ACC honors this season as an inside linebacker, the third consecutive year he's been named all conference. Very active player averaging 10.2 tackles per game over the course of his career. Actually led the Terrapins in all-purpose yardage when he returned two interceptions for 86 yards in their game against Miami this year. He's the 12th-ranked senior inside linebacker by NFL Draft Scout and could be a late-round draft choice.
  • Outside linebacker Adrian Morten–Led the Terrapins with four interceptions this season. He's the 24th-ranked outside linebacker by NFL Draft Scout. Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated has him as high as a fourth-round draft choice.
  • Tight end Will Yeatman–Pauline says Yeatman can be a fifth-round draft choice.

East Carolina

  • Wide receiver Dwayne Harris–Harris was votes as the MVP of Conference USA in 2010 and earned first-team All-CUSA honors at both wide receiver and as a punt returner. He set East Carolina single-season records for both catches and receiving yards with 93 for 1,055. Pegged as high as a third-round draft choice.
  • Tackle Willie Smith–Earned first-team All-CUSA honors after anchoring an East Carolina offensive line that helped the Pirates rank 7th in the nation in passing offense and 12th in scoring. He's ranked as the 20th ranked offensive tackle by NFL Draft Scout and has a chance to be a late-round draft choice.
  • Guard D.J. Scott–Received honorable mention All-CUSA. Ranked as the 34th-best senior guard by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Cornerback Travis Simmons–Simmons is the best player on a poor East Carolina defensive unit that ranked last in the entire nation. Tony Pauline says he could be a possible zone cover corner in the pros. He's the 37th-ranked senior corner by NFL Draft Scout and is probably hoping to be an undrafted free agent at best.
  • Running back Jonathan Williams–Had three 100-yard rushing games this season and scored 10 touchdowns. As the 43rd-ranked running back by NFL Draft Scout, he'll be hoping just to get a look from the pros.

Texas Bowl–Wednesday Dec. 29, 5:00 p.m. on ESPN

Baylor

  • Tackle Danny Watkins–Plays on the left side but expected to be a right tackle in the pros according to Pauline. He's the 8th-ranked senior right tackle by NFL Draft Scout and could go as high as the second round. Will play in the Senior Bowl.
  • Defensive tackle Phil Taylor–Will also play in the Senior Bowl with Watkins. Huge body at 6-4, 340 pounds. Had a solid senior season after not being anything special last year. There's seems to be some wildly varying views on him. He's the 4th-ranked defensive tackle by NFL Draft Scout who say he could also go as high as the second round. Pauline has him as a free agent.
  • Running back Jay Finley–Rushed for 1,155 yards this season, the second most single-season achievement in Baylor history. Ranks as the 18th-best running back in the senior class by NFL Draft Scout. Pauline writes, "Hard working, one speed ball carrier who also excels catching the ball out of the backfield."
  • Punter Derek Epperson–Ranked 19th in the nation with a 44.2-yard gross average. Can also kick. He's the 3rd-ranked senior punter by NFL Draft Scout, which makes him a possibility to get drafted late.
  • Safety Tim Atchison–Made the move from cornerback to safety this season. Ranks as the 20th-best senior safety by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Outside linebacker Antonio Johnson–Pauline writes, "Athletic linebacker who displays skill in coverage." Earned honorable mention All-BigXII and is the 42nd-ranked outside linebacker by NFL Draft Scout.

Illinois

  • Defensive end Clay Nurse–Had four sacks in one game against Minnesota last year, but has only three all season this year. He's the 27th-ranked defensive end by NFL Draft Scout. Possible outside linebacker at the pro level. Pauline has him as a sixth-round draft choice.
  • Guard Randall Hunt–Ranks as the 29th-best senior guard by NFL Draft Scout. Pauline writes, "Tough, slug it out, small area guard that shows terrific strength."
  • Outside linebacker Nate Bussey–Has a nose for the football whether its recovering fumbles, intercepting passes or blocking punts. Led the Big Ten in fumble recoveries with three this season. Ranked as the 33rd-best senior outside linebacker by NFL Draft Scout. Pauline pegs him as a 7th-rounder.
  • Wide receiver Jarred Fayson–Had 34 catches for 324 yards this year. Ranked as the 56th-best senior receiver by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Safety Travon Bellamy–Has shown a little versatility by playing both safety and corner but is only the 59th-ranked corner by NFL Draft Scout.

Alamo Bowl–Wednesday Dec. 29, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

Oklahoma State

  • Wide receiver Justin Blackmon–Only a junior but will be a first-round draft choice if he came out. On most All-American lists. "There was some concern that Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon would be hobbling, but the team doctors have taken it extra careful with his banged up ankle and he’s expected to be more than fine," writes Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com. "The Oklahoma State star was the first player in NCAA history to go over the 100-yard mark and score a touchdown in every game he played in, finishing the year with 102 catches for 1,665 yards and 18 scores."
  • Running back Kendall Hunter–Pauline has him as a second-round draft choice and writes, "Amazingly creative runner who eludes defenders and consistently makes something out of nothing. Terrific pass catcher out of the backfield and gives effort blocking. Lacks great measurables yet plays big. Rebounded well from injuries and was dominant this season." Also an All-American by many sources.
  • Defensive end Chinasa Ugo–The 14th-ranked senior defensive end by NFL Draft Scout. In the win over Texas A&M this year, he had six tackles, two sacks, another tackle for a loss and an interception. Should be a mid- to late-round draft choice.
  • Kicker Dan Bailey–Won the Lou Groza Award and was the Big XII's Special Teams Player of the Year. He's the 5th-ranked kicker in the senior class by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Fullback Bryant Ward–Was a first-team All-BigXII selection two consecutive years, but in a dying position in the NFL, he'll be lucky to find a job. He's the 9th-ranked fullback by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Inside linebacker Orie Lemon–Had six games this season in which he recorded 10 or more tackles, which earned him first-team All-BigXII. He's the 19th-ranked inside linebacker by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Defensive tackle Chris Donaldson–Pauline writes, "Fluid college tackle who plays with great quickness and explosion. Potential three technique lineman."
  • Guard Anthony Morgan–The 32nd-ranked senior guard by NFL Draft Scout.

Arizona

  • Outside linebacker Brooks Reed–Packers fans will no doubt love this comparison from Pauline: "Versatile defender who plays with an incredible motor. Being compared to Clay Matthews." Listed as a potential third-round draft choice.
  • Defensive end Ricky Elmore–Good pass rusher that finished with double-digit sacks in each of the past two seasons. He's the 13th-ranked defensive end by NFL Draft Scout and is a potential mid- to late-round draft choice.
  • Center Colin Baxter–Won't play after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee but did start a school-record 48 games over the course of his career at Arizona. The 12th-ranked senior center by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Punter Keenyn Crier–The 12th-ranked senior punter by NFL Draft Scout but has been benched this season. If you're benched in college, that can't be good for your future as a pro.
  • Running back Nic Grigsby–Suffered through shoulder and ankle injuries this season, which limited his availability. He can be effective when he's healthy, and he's had about a month to get heal. He should be motivated to end his college career on a good note. Ranked as the 23rd-best senior running back by NFL Draft Scout.
  • Tackle Adam Grant–Pauline says he's a highly considered tackle prospect in scouting circles that could go as high as the fifth round. Lauded for his job stonewalling Iowa's Adrian Clayborn earlier in the season.
  • Tight end A.J. Simmons–The 37th-ranked senior tight end by NFL Draft Scout. Also spent some time at fullback this season.
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Comments (2)

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Wiscokid's picture

December 30, 2010 at 02:46 pm

You know Brian, you really do a great job staying on top of this stuff. For that and all the other hard work you obviously are doing, thanks a lot.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

December 30, 2010 at 03:20 pm

Thank you, much appreciated.

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