The NFLPA will host the Collegiate Bowl, its annual all star game, on January 23, and they are starting to publicize player invites. The game will include draft-eligible seniors, and will have practices on January 20 and 21 televised on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN. The game itself will be televised on ESPN2 and streamed via WatchESPN, kicking off at 3 p.m. PT in Carson, California.
Here is the first list of players that have committed to play in the game:
- V'Angelo Bentley, defensive back, Illinois
- Akil Blount, inside linebacker, Florida A&M
- Briean Boddy-Calhoun, cornerback, Minnesota
- Sam Carlson, offensive lineman, Colorado State
- Tekemian "Rashon" Ceaser, wide receiver, Louisiana-Monroe
- Lachlan Edwards, punter, Sam Houston State
- Josh Ferguson, running back, Illinois
- Devin Fuller, wide receiver, UCLA
- Quentin Gause, outside linebacker, Rutgers
- Darius Jackson, running back, Eastern Michigan
- Drew Kaser, punter, Texas A&M
- Ross Martin, kicker, Duke
- Max McCaffrey, wide receiver, Duke
- Jaydon Mickens, wide receiver, Washington
- Jeffrey Overbaugh, long snapper, San Diego State
- Stephen Rivers, quarterback, Northwestern State
- James Ross, linebacker, Michigan
- Darnell Sankey, linebacker, Sacramento State
- Tajae Sharpe, wide receiver, UMass Amherst
- Pearce Slater, offensive tackle, San Diego State
- Torian White, offensive lineman, Hampton
- Jordan Williams, wide receiver, Ball State
- Travis Wilson, quarterback, Utah
I spoke with Greg and Jake, our college writers, to get a few thoughts on the various prospects. Rather than go through all of them, I had them provide some thoughts on a few notable players. First up, Greg put together some thoughts on where a few of these guys might be drafted. That is followed by Greg's look at three prospects, and then Jake's look at three prospects
CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, 5'10 - 189 lbs., 4.52 40 - Minnesota (3rd-4th)
WR Tajae Sharpe, 6'3 - 200 lbs., 4.48 40 - Massachusetts (4th)
WR Jordan Williams, 6'2 - 224 lbs., 4.57 40 - Ball State (4th)
OLB James Ross III, 6'1 - 232 lbs, 4.67 40 - Michigan (6th)
RB Josh Ferguson, 5'9 - 195 lbs., 4.50 40 - Illinois (6th)
OT Pearce Slater, 6'7 - 335 lbs., 5.28 40 - San Diego State (7th)
Greg's prospects to watch
CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota
A nickel type cornerback displaying good speed, smooth hips, great athleticism, agility, nice change of direction skills, and a willing tackler in run support. Although he does not have an explosive burst, lacks ideal size (5'10 with cleats), and needs to improve his tackling, Boddy-Calhoun plays with good patience excelling in off-coverage with great awareness, aggression, and excellent ball skills with a nose for the ball. Boddy-Calhoun also shows good hand usage and physicalness in press with nice fluid hips, quick feet, and stays on the hip pocket when trailing. He tore his ACL in 2013 and had some knee issues earlier in the season; therefore, durability could be a concern.
WR Tajae Sharpe, Massachusetts
A tall lanky wide receiver boasting an excellent combination of size (6'3), length, speed, awareness, and athleticism. Sharpe plays physical with sound technique, impressive quickness, great usage of his hands to create separation, and long speed. He is an excellent crisp route runner with a smoothness and sound technique to his game. Sharpe displays good bend on breaks coming out quickly with great athleticism, excellent footwork, quickness, and decent burst. He is a natural pass catcher with very strong soft reliable hands extending arms to make the catch. Solid in intermediate routes and although he does not possess elite speed capable of taking top off coverages, he does win deep match-ups with technique, length, superb ball skills, and high pointing the catch with great athleticism. He is also displays impressive skills tracking the ball over his shoulder. Sharpe is a chain mover with excellent production.
OLB James Ross III, Michigan
A hard-nosed, very strong, athletically explosive big hitter with solid downhill speed and good instincts and awareness. He may lack the ideal height for the position (6'1"), but he plays with an aggressive physicality utilizing his stout strength to stack and shed opponents, solid explosion and burst with an intense high-motor from his hockey background, displaying nice closing speed finishing as a solid tackler. Ross is a potential candidate to move to inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
Jake's prospects to watch
RB Josh Ferguson, Illinois
The 5-foot-9, 200-pound senior has a lot to like about him. He is a guy who flies under the radar, but he shouldn't be. Ferguson posses excellent vision, decent bulk to be able to bounce off of tackles, and great hands out of the backfield or lining up at receiver. Although there are so many ups on Ferguson, he still lacks the size to be a short-yardage back.
ILB Darnell Sankey, Sacramento State
This small school athlete may have a chip on his shoulder when he fights to make it on a NFL roster. The senior possesses outstanding size at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, so stature won't be an issue. He is quick to fill the hole, and definitely is not afraid to stick his nose in there and make a tackle. I expect big things out of Sankey heading forward.
WR Jaydon Mickens, Washington
Mickens can flat out fly. He provides you with that deep threat that will keep a defense honest. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound receiver had 50 receptions for 597 yards and two scores in his senior campaign. He was starting to build chemistry with his freshman quarterback, but now he is departing and will have to start that process over.