Teams: Southern Mississippi vs Louisville
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Telecast: Tuesday December 21, 8:00 PM, ESPN
Three straight blowouts on Saturday's opening day of the FBS bowl season launched the yearly complaints on sports talk radio about poor bowl match-ups and sparse crowds. While I am a staunch supporter of abolishing the BCS in favor of a playoff system for the top contenders, I must admit that I do enjoy watching many of the lower level bowl games. Besides having the chance to watch more football, the games give us NFL draft addicts another look at the prospects. Even if some of the competition isn't riveting to the average fan, there is always some redeeming quality for those who watch the games as a study of potential NFL talent.
Southern Mississippi Top Senior Prospects
There is no Brett Favre type of talent playing on his alma mater's team this season. There are a few players on the Golden Eagles' roster who may get a look late in the 2011 draft or a training camp invite. DT Anthony Gray is their top senior prospect. While he doesn't generate much pass rush, Gray is a wide-bodied run defender who has the build to play a 3-4 NT position. WR Johdrick Morris has good size and is a first-team Conference USA player who led the team with 46 receptions. CB Justin Wilson has 4.50 speed and 12 career interceptions with 167 total tackles.
- DT - Anthony Gray, No. 95 (6-0, 317)
- WR - Johdrick Morris, No. 83 (6-3, 214)
- CB - Justin Wilson, No. 8 (5-11, 193)
Other Southern Mississippi Senior Prospects
- OG - Alex Michael, No. 55 (6-2, 319)
- CB - C.J. Bailey, No. 2 (5-10, 185)
Louisville Top Senior Prospects
Every year, there are college players who rise up from the ashes of obscurity to become viable NFL prospects. In 2010, Louisville RB Bilal Powell was one of those players. He had been a marginal player who struggled with injuries in 2009. In the off-season, Powell lost 20 pounds and had a great spring practice. In 2010, he gained 1,300 yards with 10 TD's and should be drafted in the mid to late rounds. CB Johnny Patrick was a starter in 2009, but a fringe draft prospect. However, he also improved his draft grade with an excellent 2010 with 5 interceptions and 11 pass breakups. Patrick has 167 career tackles.
- HB- Bilal Powell, No.15 (6-0, 215)
- CB - Johnny Patrick, No. 21 (5-11, 190)
Other Louisville Senior Prospects
- QB - Adam Froman, No. 9 (6-4, 220)
- WR - Doug Beaumont, No. 27 (5-9, 183)
- TE - Cameron Graham, No. 83 (6-4, 253)
- OG - Mark Wetterer, No. 79 (6-5, 309)
- OT - Jeff Adams, No. 74 (6-8, 298)
- DE - Rodney Gnat, No. 58 (6-3, 253)