Bowl Predictions 2012: Massive Clashes That Will Create NFL Studs

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 2, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Running back T.J. Yeldon #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide and offensive linesman D.J. Fluker #76 celebrate after Yeldon rushed for a thrid quarter touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs during the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on December 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NFL will have to wait at least two years, but T.J. Yeldon is going to be an elite back on the next level. I saw it back as far as the Alabama spring game, and what I've seen lately only further supports that thought.

As a freshman sharing carries with Eddie Lacy, Yeldon has rushed for 1,000 yards and 11 TDs in only 154 attempts. I said it then, and I'll say it now: Yeldon is going to be better than Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson.

Yeldon will show the nation how good he is against one of the country's best defenses in the BCS Championship. Notre Dame allows only 92.4 yards per game on the ground, but with an assist from Bama's nasty offensive line, Eddie Lacy and Yeldon will have strong days.

After this game expect to hear Yeldon's name as a frontrunner for the 2013 Heisman Trophy. Barring injury, he'll be one of the hottest names for the 2014 NFL Draft.



Another BCS Championship Star

Manti Te'o Will Solidify His Place As the Nation's Top Inside Linebacker

Te'o is already a beast, he doesn't need a strong performance in the BCS Championship to validate him. Though Yeldon and Lacy will have some success, the Irish's defense won't be embarrassed.

My prediction is an Alabama victory, but the Irish will represent themselves well. It starts with defense, as Te'o will lead his unit in what promises to be a smash-mouth special.

Look for Te'o to make plays in pass coverage as well. He is excellent at sniffing out screens and zone coverage over the middle.

Te'o will have a positive impact on this game and his draft stock.



Rose Bowl

Stepfan Taylor Will Become a Highly Touted Prospect After Rose Bowl

I've always thought Taylor was a premier back. He has already rushed for 1442 yards with 12 touchdowns this season.

Taylor is a ferocious inside runner. He has powerful legs, he runs with good pad level and he has excellent desire. During his junior season he was overshadowed by Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener. This year the Cardinal's defense gets a ton of the credit for the team's success.

In the Rose Bowl, Taylor will prove his worth on a national stage.



Orange Bowl

Jordan Lynch Will Shine On Big Stage in Orange Bowl

I'm not picking Northern Illinois to knock off Florida State in the Orange Bowl, but I'll guarantee you he opens some eyes. At only 6', he may not be a conventional quarterback prospect in the NFL, but he may be the best Wildcat prospect ever.

Lynch finishes runs like a powerful running back, but he's thrown for 2962 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior.

He has decent arm strength, but his best quality is his mobility. Lynch leads the nation in the rushing with 1,771 yards on the season. The Seminoles have a top five run defense, so Lynch's effectiveness will be especially impressive.

This will be the best group of athletes he's faced, but Lynch would be a stud against any one.

In the Huskies' only loss of the season Lynch rushed for 119 yards against Iowa in the season opener. The junior will rise to the occasion against the 'Noles to improve his draft stock and Heisman buzz for 2013.



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