Military Bowl Presented by Northup Grumman 1 PM ESPN
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (home of the Naval Academy)
- Beamerball goes up against a familiar face to SEC fans, Tommy Tuberville. Virginia Tech is best known for being the millstone around Ohio State's neck that allegedly would have kept them out of the playoff. It's been a mighty struggle for the Hokies but they managed to finish strong by beating instate rival Virginia. The Bearcats had 9-3 record and tied for the AAC title. Interesting note: VA Tech QB Michael Brewer was at Texas Tech while Tuberville was there. Can the Hokies lift up Bonzos' spirits or will they make him drink some spirits?
Cincinnati prospect to watch
1. Jeff Luc 6'1 256 ILB RS Senior
- Luc was a transfer from Florida State (due to playing time). He's a classic inside linebacker in every sense of the word. Only a two down linebacker at the next level due to his inability to cover the pass because of less than ideal agility and speed. He did make a nice career of himself after transferring, though.
Virginia Tech prospects to watch
1. Luther Maddy DT 6'0 295
- A poor man's Jurrell Casey if you will. He's a traditional pass rushing defensive tackle with a decent amount of agility. His strong base and subsequent pass rush moves/run defense compare favorably to DaQuan Jones. I like him as a third round prospect.
2. David Wang C/G 6'2 298
- Wang isn't the greatest athlete playing on the line out there but possesses great intelligence and is very consistent. Converted from defensive tackle his freshman season. A strong work ethic as he is working on a third degree after already graduating with degrees in marketing and management. Brother Ed was a former Hokie and played in the NFL, most recently with the Eagles in 2013.
Hyundai Sun Bowl 2 PM CBS
(21) Arizona State vs. Duke
Location: Sun Bowl Stadium (home of UTEP)
- The pass happy Sun Devils do battle against the stingy Blue Devils defense in El Paso. Duke is in its third straight bowl game but seeking its first victory in one since the 1960s. David Cutcliffe should get looks by bigger programs because what he has done at Duke is quite remarkable.
Arizona State prospects to watch:
1. Jaelen Strong WR 6'3 212 Junior
- Strong is a big and physical receiver in the mold of a taller Anquan Boldin. He will catch anything and everything near him. Not the fastest guy in the world but has enough speed to get by. Would I take him on the Titans? Yes and please. Strong has already declared for the draft.
2. DJ Foster RB 5'11 208 Junior
- Foster is a dynamic athlete that can catch out of the backfield well. He's this year's version of Bishop Sankey and has second round potential if things break for him right.
Duck Commander Independence Bowl 3:30 PM ABC
Miami (FL) vs. South Carolina
Location: Independence Stadium (Shreveport, Louisiana)
- Miami gets to have a reunion of sorts with South Carolina's Steve Spurrier. Both squads finished with 6-6 records. Interesting fact: Miami QB Brad Kaaya's mother is none other than Felicia from the movie Friday.
Miami prospects to watch:
1. Denzel Perryman ILB 5'11 242
- Perryman is one of the best inside linebackers in this class. He's a big hitter with a nose for the football. A good athlete that can cover fleet footed slot receivers and is almost impossible to block due to his instincts and strength. He also has the talent to play outside 'backer as well but is better suited inside. Would I take him on the Titans? Yes. He can pair with AJ Williamson inside and move Wesley Woodyard outside where his freelancing might be better utilized.
2. Anthony Chickillo DE 6'4 277
- Chickillo is a bigger body defensive end that the 3-4 defense usually looks for. He started as a freshman and hasn't looked back. Possesses a high motor, a strong base, good run defense instincts, and some pass rush moves. The biggest knock is that he needs to work on his counter moves once the tackle mirrors his initial pass rush. Would I take him on the Titans? Yes if he was available in the fourth round or later.
3. Duke Johnson RB 5'9 206
- Johnson is the east coast version of current Titan Bishop Sankey. Both are/were undersized, has good enough athleticism to make you miss, and was the focal point of the offense. However, Duke has a scary injury history and a monster workload that led to missing time. He broke his ankle against FSU in 2013 after getting over 100 carries the three games prior. Had the potential to be Todd Gurley lite but the Canes are down and his injury red flags.
South Carolina prospects to watch:
1. Pharaoh Cooper WR 5'11 200 Sophomore (2016)
- Cooper has been a mini Brad Smith (yes I'm old) for the Gamecocks. He's their leading receiver while being the second leading passer.
2. Mike Davis RB 5'9 228 Junior
- Davis was the heir apparent to Marcus Lattimore and was pretty good in his own right. He has declared for the draft.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl 4:30 PM ESPN
Boston College vs. Penn State
Location: Yankee Stadium (home of the 28 time World Series champion New York Yankees)
- If you're into a good old fashioned defensive slobberknocker, this game is for you. Both teams pride themselves on a physical brand of smashmouth football. Penn State's head coach James Franklin should be a familiar face to SEC fans and some MCM users as well. BC is led by Steve Addazio (the much maligned OC at Florida during the ending of Urban Meyer's regime). He's a very good coach and has put BC back on the map. Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg has regressed severely under Franklin. He has the tools to be a NFL QB but needs better coaching. A transfer may be necessary to get that coaching.
National University Holiday Bowl 8 PM ESPN
Nebraska vs. (24) USC
- A battle between former powerhouse teams looking to recapture the days of glory. Nebraska recently fired Bo Pelini and hired Oregon State's Mike Riley (who seemingly had a lifetime contract at OSU). USC once again has a boatload of NFL ready stars.
Nebraska prospects to watch:
1. Ameer Abdullah RB 5'9 195 Senior
2. Randy Gregory DE 6'6 240 Junior
USC prospects to watch:
1. Leonard Williams DT 6'5 300 Junior
2. J.R. Tavai LB 6'2 250 Senior
3. Nelson Agholor WR 6'1 190 Junior
4. Hayes Pullard LB 6'1 235 Senior