Raycom All-Star Classic 2013: Roster, Top Prospects for College All-Star Game
While most of the postseason college All-Star game hype is saved for the Senior Bowl, those playing in Saturday's Raycom All-Star Classic will walk into the Cramton Bowl with plenty of motivation.
Meant to be a showcase for outgoing seniors that won't be playing in the Senior Bowl, the Raycom Classic has a similar structure. There are NFL-style practices led all week that are open to scouts, and the players will be led by former professional coaches Dan Reeves and Jim Bates.
Painting with a broad brush, very few of these players in the Raycom Classic will wind up playing on Sundays. It's a contest mostly filled with guys who played relatively minor roles at major programs and others who played major roles, only at small schools.
Nevertheless, there will be NFL scouts in attendance for Saturday's game, hoping to find their latest diamond in the rough.
Who might those diamonds in the rough be? Here is a complete breakdown of the rosters for the inaugural Raycom All-Star Classic and a look at a few guys worth keeping an eye on come Saturday.
When: Saturday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.
Watch: CBS Sports Network
All roster and game-time information is courtesy of the Raycom All-Star Classic's official website.
Stars Team Roster: Offense
QB: Casey Brockman (Murray State)
QB: Zach Maynard (Cal)
QB: Tino Sunseri (Pittsburgh)
RB: Washaun Ealey (Jacksonville State)
RB: Onterio McCalebb (Auburn)
RB: Derrick Washington (Tuskegee)
FB: Ben Bartholomew (Tennessee)
WR: Russell Shepard (LSU)
WR: Alan Bonner (Jacksonville State)
WR: Quentin Sims (Tennessee Martin)
WR: Jaron Brown (Clemson)
WR: Robby Toma (Notre Dame)
WR: Zach Rogers (Tennessee)
TE: Brandon Ford (Clemson)
TE: BJ Stewart (Cumberland)
OL: Roderick Tomlin (Murray State)
OL: Michael Bowie (Northeastern State)
OL: Josh Dworaczyk (LSU)
OL: Mike Golic, Jr. (Notre Dame)
OL: Terren Jones (Alabama State)
OL: John Sullen (Auburn)
OL: Kyle Winborn (Troy)
OL: John Wetzel (Boston College)
OL: Trent Dupy (Tulsa)
OL: Emmett Cleary (Boston College)
LS: Dax Dellenbach (Florida State)
K: Casey Barth (North Carolina)
Stars Offensive Player to Watch: Onterio McCalebb (RB, Auburn)
Auburn may have had one of the most disappointing seasons in school history in 2012, but the team's running game was at no fault. The Tigers averaged 4.1 yards per carry as a whole, but that number was buoyed by the scintillating duo of Onterio McCalebb and Tre Mason out of the backfield.
A four-year contributor at Auburn, McCalebb rushed for 570 yards and six touchdowns on only 94 carries in 2012, as Mason took over the top billing. Still, it was the fourth consecutive season that McCalebb had rushed for over 500 yards and the second time he had gone over six yards per carry.
With an opportunity to be Saturday's breakout star, it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff uses McCalebb. Of any player on his team, the Tigers running back definitely has the biggest potential to raise his draft stock.
McCalebb obviously isn't without his problems. At 5'11" and 173 pounds, he's extremely undersized and it's almost unfathomable to see him transitioning to an every-down role in the pros.
That being said, McCalebb does have an interesting skill set that could make him an interesting late-round flier. He's lightning fast with a great first step, giving him the ability to blow right into the secondary without the slightest touch at times. That could make him an interesting option as a return man as a rookie and would certainly give him a place on some NFL rosters.
What's more, McCalebb is adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. His quarterback situation didn't exactly help this past season, but he did grab 32 passes in 2011 and has shown an interesting versatility in the past.
With teams across the NFL looking to find more versatility in the backfield, I have a hard time seeing McCalebb going undrafted. He won't hear his name called until Saturday, but a sixth- or seventh-round pick is definitely worth spending on McCalebb.
Stars Team Roster: Defense
DL: Brad Davis (Elizabeth City)
DL: TJ Barnes (Georgia Tech)
DL: Chancey Aghayere (LSU)
DL: Josh Downs (LSU)
DL: Montori Hughes (Tennessee Martin)
DL: Ridge Wilson (West Alabama)
DL: Omar Hunter (Florida)
DL: Gilbert Pena (Ole Miss)
LB: Daren Bates (Auburn)
LB: Alex Means (Air Force)
LB: Kenny Tate (Maryland)
LB: Marvin Burdette (UAB)
LB: Jeremy Kimbrough (Appalachian State)
LB: Shaq Wilson (South Carolina)
DB: Saeed Lee (Alabama State)
DB: Charles James (Charleston Southern)
DB: William Buford (Tuskegee)
DB: Prentiss Waggner (Tennessee)
DB: Vernon Kearney (Lane College)
DB: Ray Polk (Colorado)
DB: Jonathan Meeks (Clemson)
DB: Steven Terrell (Texas A&M)
P: Ian Campbell (UTEP)
Stars Defensive Player to Watch: Kenny Tate (LB, Maryland)
Collegiate All-Star games (or any football-related All-Star game for that matter) inherently de-emphasize the defensive side of the ball. There are too many rules in place to protect quarterbacks and other players from getting injured for a player to truly stand out most of the time.
However, Kenny Tate is the type of player who could wind up making some plays on Saturday. Considered the 2013 draft's 156th-best player, according to ESPN's Scouts Inc., Tate is actually one of the more highly touted prospects in the Raycom Classic.
That doesn't mean he's without baggage.
Tate's question marks are plentiful, but they obviously start with injury concerns. He missed all but four games and was given a medical redshirt in 2011 due to a knee injury and sat out Maryland's first three contests this past season with more knee problems.
The injuries stripped away Tate's ability to live up to his preseason hype, and he wound up turning in a rather mediocre senior campaign. Tate finished with only four sacks, three of which came in the same game, and had more than five tackles only three times all season.
Outside of injury concerns, it's hard to tell where Tate will play on Sundays. He's probably best served as an outside linebacker, but played safety for most of his career with the Terrapins, and that oftentimes shows. Tate's wrap-up tackling definitely needs marked improvement and his 220-pound frame is nowhere near strong enough to shed blocks at the next level.
On the other hand, his time at safety also gives him great instincts in the passing game and range to cover the field. If Tate puts on weight without losing a few steps, he could be a three-down linebacker or at the very least a solid career backup.
Those prospects aren't going to get Tate's name called anytime within the first few rounds. But he's a solid player with enough versatility that he should get drafted almost regardless of how Saturday's game turns out.
Stripes Team Roster: Offense
QB: Jon Richt (Mars Hill)
QB: James Vandenberg (Iowa)
QB: Robert Marve (Purdue)
RB: Perry Jones (Virginia)
RB: Gee Gee Greene (Navy)
RB: Michael Hill (Missouri Western)
FB: Eric Brietenstein (Wofford)
WR: Travis Harvey (Florida A&M)
WR: Jerry Johnson (UCLA)
WR: Tyron Laughinghouse (Saint Augustine)
WR: Josh Jarboe (Arkansas State)
WR: Roy Roundtree (Michigan)
WR: Chip Reeves (Troy)
TE: Kelly Johnson (Alabama)
TE: Ryan Griffin (UConn)
OL: Tevita Stevens (Utah)
OL: Matt Tobin (Iowa)
OL: Will Matte (Indiana)
OL: Jamaal Johnson-Webb (Alabama A&M)
OL: Steve Dieckhaus (Washburn)
OL: Jonathan Rush (Oklahoma State)
OL: Martin Wallace (Temple)
OL: Chris Hubbard (UAB)
OL: Edmund Kugbila (Valdosta State)
OL: Ryan Schraeder (Valdosta State)
LS: Carson Tinker (Alabama)
K: Jeremy Shelley (Alabama)
K: Drew Alleman (LSU)
Stripes Offensive Player to Watch: Roy Roundtree (WR, Michigan)
Roy Roundtree may have worn No. 21 to honor Desmond Howard in 2012, but the senior receiver didn't exactly live up to the billing. He finished his senior season with only 31 receptions for 580 yards, putting him well behind Jeremy Gallon for top honors among Wolverines pass-catchers.
It was a frustrating end to a long road for Roundtree, who looked like he was going to be a superstar in 2010. As a sophomore, Roundtree caught 72 passes for 935 yards and seven touchdowns, which nearly accounted for a third of Michigan's total receptions that season.
The two years of the Brady Hoke era haven't been nearly as kind to Roundtree. He fell behind other targets in the Wolverines passing attack and finished with only 50 receptions in his last two seasons in Ann Arbor.
He did average 18.7 yards per reception over those past two years, but one has to wonder whether the spark he showed as a sophomore will ever return.
One thing is for certain: Roundtree has a ton to prove if he hopes to hear his name called in April. A guy who is good at plenty of things but great at none, he is exactly the type of player who falls on draft day. He has solid enough top-end speed with a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, but stands only 6'0" tall and isn't the type of athlete who can overcome his relative lack of height.
Roundtree also isn't the most exceptional route-runner in the world. He's adept, but sometimes gets pushed around by bigger cornerbacks and that throws off his timing with quarterbacks.
Nevertheless, he is the type of player who is consistently undervalued on draft day. He's probably not worth anything except seventh-round consideration, but the Stripes seem to be less talented offensively than the Stars.
Roundtree is a guy who has shown a capability of breaking out, and if he can connect with one of his teammates for a big game, it could lock up him at least getting drafted.
Stripes Team Roster: Defense
DL: Brent Russell (Georgia Southern)
DL: Isaac Remington (Oregon)
DL: Nigel Nicholas (Oklahoma State)
DL: Quinton Dial (Alabama)
DL: Michael Brooks (East Carolina)
DL: Jamarkus McFarland (Oklahoma)
DL: Willie Jefferson (Stephen F. Austin)
DL: Damion Square (Alabama)
LB: Jory Johnson (UConn)
LB: Cameron Lawrence (Mississippi State)
LB: Michael Gilliard (Georgia)
LB: Kanorris Davis (Troy)
LB: Christian Robinson (Georgia)
LB: Brandon Hepburn (Florida A&M)
DB: Seth Thomas (McNeese State)
DB: Jumal Rolle (Catawba)
DB: Camerron Cheatham (Cincinnati)
DB: Justin Green (Illinois)
DB: Greg Castillo (Iowa)
DB: Cannon Smith (Memphis)
DB: Isiah Wiley (Belhaven)
DB: Jeremy Reeves (Iowa State)
P: Spencer Benton (Clemson)
Stripes Defensive Player to Watch: Christian Robinson (LB, Georgia)
Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree are the Georgia Bulldogs linebackers on everyone's mind heading into April—and deservedly so. They're likely first-round picks and both possess skill sets that translate well to the next level.
Still, look for some scouts' eyes to venture toward Christian Robinson on Saturday. He's a smart, hard-working kid who took on a role as a situational linebacker this past season and embraced it well.
As a senior, Robinson finished the 2012 season with 47 tackles and recorded his only sack in the Bulldogs' Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska. When asked to step up, Robinson also did so in spades. He came through with 13 tackles in Georgia's 42-10 thrashing of Georgia Tech and had four games with five or more tackles.
For teams at the next level, Robinson's senior campaign pretty much gives them a good view of who he could be at the next level. There aren't many circumstances where he'll transition to a starter on Sundays barring injuries, but he's an adept wrap-up tackler who rarely makes mental errors.
In other words, he's a perfect fit for teams looking to bolster their special teams. Oftentimes you see collegiate inside linebackers transition perfectly to punt and kick coverage because they can bring guys down in the open field and know how to lead a unit.
Does that make him draft-worthy? That's questionable. But there aren't a great deal of guys who will stick on Sundays on either side, so it will be interesting to see whether Robinson is able to stand out.
If he does, it's possible that he'll wind up being taken in the seventh round. If the opposite is true, he'll likely go undrafted and have to work his way onto a team or practice squad somewhere.