More Bowling talk-Draft Edition
Written by Curt Popejoy on 12/26/2009
WIth a belly full of Christmas leftovers and enough National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story in me to last a year, it's time to re-focus on the bowl games and the draft prospects that are going to be in them. 3 games on the slate today along with games all next week. I will give you some players to watch today, and then update for next week's games.
Little Caesars Bowl-This matchup of Marshall and Ohio should be a lot of fun to watch, especially when you consider Ohio are going for their first ten win season in over 40 years. That along makes me want to root for them. In terms of draft prospects, I don't have anyone in my top 150 from either school to watch, but it's games like that where a sleeper player could emerge. That guy might be Jr. Marshall TE Cody Slate. He's more of an oversized wr at 6-4 220lbs but surrounded by young talent he's still been able to show great production, and could be an H back kind of player in the NFL. One guy to watch for next season is Bobcat linebacker Noah Keller who's a tackling machine.
I am calling for the Bobcats to win their tenth game of the season in an upset of the Thundering Herd. And in tribute of this game, I will be having some Little Caesar's Pizza at my house. Shameless product placement.
On to some more premier teams, 17 Pittsburgh goes against North Carolina in the Meineke Bowl. In terms of the game, I think Pitt will be too much for North Carolina, but for super Freshman running RB back Dion Lewis it'll be strength on strength as North Carolina brings the heat with their defense. In terms of the current draft both teams have some draft eligible guys to watch
DE Greg Romeus JR
OT Jason Pinkston JR
TE Nate Byham SR
QB Bill Stull SR
FB Dorin Dickerson SR
DT Marvin Austin SR
LB Burce Carter JR
LB Quan Sturdivant JR
Romeus and Austin are both first round talents and if Carter should declare would challenge for a low first/early 2nd as well. the rest of the players are day two/UDFA type guys but certainly all deserve a look and will all have a serious impact on today's game. Carter and Sturdivant will have their hands full trying to contain Lewis.
Last Bowl of the day is the Emerald Bowl featuring USC and Boston College. The player of this game is oviously USC safety Taylor Mays. This is for a couple of reasons. First he's the highest rated player in the game, and even though he's overrated by most almost certainly a first round pick. 2nd, he hasn't been suspended or under investigation so for USC that's a big plus.
USC has had a pretty dreadful season, not just losing but taking some beatdowns. I think Coach Carroll will use this as motivation to go after an undermanned Boston College team. Other than Mays, the guy to watch is USC junior WR Damian Williams who declared his intent to be in the 2010 draft. He's a really nice talent, with his strenght being his route running and determination to get the football. USC QB Matt Barkley hasn't done a great job getting him the ball this year, but with so many players hurt, suspended and being investigated, Williams could be showcased. A few other guys to keep an eye on.
USC DE Everson Griffin JR
USC C Kris O'dowd JR
USC FS Josh Pinkard SR
BC C Matt Tennant SR
Obviously USC has guys like TE Anthony McCoy and RB Joe McKnight, but as of now neither are playing in the bowl game, so no reason to mention them here. Tennant is probably the best C prospect in this draft, while O'dowd is probably the most disappointing. He was my guy as the start of the year to be all word in the middle of the Trojan line but like the rest of the team he's underwhelmed. Tennant on the other hand has been stellar. Almost certainly a 2nd round pick this coming April. Griffin is only a junior but most have indicated he'll declare, but I'm not sure if he's ready. He's been very up and down this season and will need a very strong showing today. Pinkard may be the sleeper pick of the whole bunch. EXperienced ballhawk of a player who's overshadowed by Mays, but covers for his coverage issues weeke after week. Probably won't be a high pick, but could end up a solid pro.
Last Edited: 12/26/2009