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SMU, Louisiana Tech draft prospects to watch in the 2017 Frisco Bowl

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We highlight and profile the 2018 NFL draft-eligible prospects for Wednesday’s Frisco Bowl.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Southern Methodist Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Today we shift our focus to the Frisco Bowl in the Lone Star State. Unlike yesterday’s Boca Raton Bowl, where the “home” team Florida Atlantic cruised to a convincing victory, this bowl matchup should be a much closer contest. This game features the SMU Mustangs of the American Athletic Conference against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs of Conference USA.

Why YOU Should Watch?

Courtland Sutton! Potential future number one receiver in the NFL. Pay close attention whenever No. 16 is on the field, Faithful!

How They Got Here

Both teams had mediocre, inconsistent seasons at best. Louisiana Tech (6-6) met the bare minimum at becoming bowl eligible. After an up and down season for SMU (7-5) they will be playing under new head coach and former Cal and Louisiana Tech coach, Sonny Dykes. He takes over for Chad Morris who departed after accepting the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas of the SEC.

NCAA Football: California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Interesting Fact

Skip Holtz, son of famed college coach Lou Holtz took over the Louisiana Tech program after Sonny Dykes departed for CAL. Now, both coaches will face off to conclude the 2017 football season.

The Pick

This should be a close game throughout. Inconsistency plagued both teams throughout the course of the season. It comes down to who protects the football more. Both teams should score plenty of points. Tough call, but I am going to side with Sonny Dykes and the SMU Mustangs escaping with a Bowl victory, and send Courtland Sutton (More on him in a bit.) to the NFL on a high note.

Pick: SMU

Frisco Bowl

Teams: Louisiana Tech (6-6) vs. SMU (7-5)
Location: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Date/Time: December 20, 5:00 p.m. PT
Channel: ESPN
Odds: SMU -5, 70

Top 5 Players To Watch

Courtland Sutton - WR - SMU - 6’4” - 215 lbs. (1st Round)
Justin Lawler - EDGE - SMU - 6’4” - 240 lbs. (7th-UDFA)
Trey Quinn - WR - SMU - 6’0” - 202 lbs. (6th-7th)
Jaylon Ferguson - DE - Louisiana Tech - 6’5” - 255 lbs. (4th-5th)
Boston Scott - RB - Louisiana Tech - 5’6” - 203 lbs. (7th-FA)

Player Spotlight

Courtland Sutton - WR - SMU

Sutton will be one of the most talked about wide receivers during the 2018 NFL Draft process. The 49ers have long been seeking a true number one receiver. Sutton checks all the boxes offering speed, height, physicality, strong reliable hands, and the instincts that teams seek in a first round receiver.

This season Sutton had 62 receptions, for 1,017 yards, and 12 touchdowns. His average yards per catch was 16.5 yards. The redshirt junior is a big, reliable target, who can move the chains and become a red zone threat inside the twenty. He reminds me of Mike Williams, the former Clemson standout, and the Los Angeles Chargers’ first round selection last year. The difference though, is that unlike Williams, Sutton has remained healthy, avoiding major injuries. Sutton has big-play ability, and if you are a 49ers fan hoping to land a potential number one receiver, Sutton alone is worth tuning into this game!

Jaylon Ferguson - DE - Lousiana Tech

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

In 2017 Ferguson recored 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, and six sacks. He didn’t quite live up to his sophomore season where he recored 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two passes broken up, 16 tackles for a loss, and 49 total tackles. Still though, watching film, the production is there. Ferguson does a great job of creating disruption along the line of scrimmage. He was voted first-team all Conference USA for a second straight season. Has strong leadership, and is the hands-down focal point of the Bulldogs defense. Should the junior declare, he has value in the later rounds on day three.