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December 29th bowl games schedule, draft prospects for 49ers fans to watch

We highlight and profile the 2018 NFL draft-eligible prospects for Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M, No. 24 NC State vs. Arizona State, Kentucky vs. No. 21 Northwestern, New Mexico State vs. Utah State, and No. 8 USC vs. No. 5 Ohio State college football bowl games on Friday, December 29th.

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Arkansas
WR Jaleel Scott - New Mexico State
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

As we wind down the final days of 2017, we continue our college football bowl coverage breakdown highlighting and profiling a few notable draft-eligible prospects you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason. In today's bowl action we take a look at Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M match-up, No. 24 NC State vs. Arizona State match-up, Kentucky vs. No. 21 Northwestern match-up, New Mexico State vs. Utah State match-up, and No. 8 USC vs. No. 5 Ohio State match-up.

For today, we specifically focus on areas of positional needs for the 49ers. Edge, wide receiver, cornerback, and the center positions are highlighted. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with today's action.

* = indicates junior status
** = indicates redshirt sophomore status

Belk Bowl

Teams: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Conference Affiliations: ACC vs. SEC
Location: Charlotte, NC | Bank of America Stadium
Game time: 10:00 AM PT
Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch.

Wake Forest's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
DE Duke Ejiofor, No. 53, 6’4” - 270 lbs., 4.53 40 - (2nd)

NCAA Football: Utah State at Wake Forest
Duke Ejiofor
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

DE Duke Ejiofor showcases great length, size, speed, athleticism, fluidity, and explosion. The former high school track star ran a 4.53 40 and had a 39-inch vertical leap in school, where he also was a high jumper in track and an honor roll student. He showcases great athleticism with good technique, excellent burst and closing speed, solid first-step explosion off the line, fair hands with decent pop at point of attack (very active hands), quick to transition into pass rush moves (nice swim and spin move), impressive change of direction, fair at stacking and shedding, and fair against the run (will need to gain functional strength at the next level). Ejiofor also possesses great balance and body control, where coming out of the arc from his bend he is able to adjust with ease and take advantage of his length. He shows sound awareness, flashes good coverage skills with sound balance and athleticism, and a solid tackler in space.

Other Demon Deacons to keep an eye on:
TE Cam Serigne, No. 85, 6’3” - 250 lbs., 4.78 40 - (5th)

Texas A&M's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*WR Christian Kirk, No. 3, 5’11” - 200 lbs., 4.39 40 - (1st)

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M
Christian Kirk
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

WR Christian Kirk is as an amazing athlete with solid precise route running skills, impressive speed, tremendous quickness, explosion, agility, strength, and top-notch athleticism with quality strong hands. He shows an explosive burst off the line and is extremely quick getting in and out of his breaks with elite suddenness erupting out of his sharp and clean cuts creating separation from defenders accelerating to top speed quickly. He displays the ability to make plays taking the short pass and burst to daylight with great lateral quickness making decisive cuts without losing speed. Kirk showcases elite short area quickness, excellent change of direction skills, sound vision, and is extremely elusive in the open field speeding by defenders with game-breaking speed. The explosive and dynamic receiver also brings superb value in the return game.

Other Aggies to keep an eye on:
DE Qualen Cunningham, No. 9, 6’3” - 240 lbs., 4.74 40 - (7th-UDFA)
DT Zaycoven Henderson, No. 92, 6’2” - 305 lbs., 5.05 40 - (4th-UDFA) Suspended indefinitely after being arrested on multiple felony assault charges on 12/10/17.
CB Priest Willis, No. 24, 6’2” - 200 lbs., 4.53 40 - (6th-7th)
CB Nick Harvey, No. 1, 5’10” - 185 lbs., - (UDFA)
FS Armani Watts, No. 23, 5’11” - 205 lbs., 4.49 40 - (2nd)
SS Donovan Wilson, No. 6, 6’1” - 200 lbs., 4.57 40 - (7th-UDFA)
P Shane Tripucka, No. 18, 6’3” - 220 lbs., 4.94 40 - (7th-UDFA)

Hyundai Sun Bowl

Teams: No. 24 NC State Wolfpack vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Conference Affiliations: ACC vs. PAC-12
Location: El Paso, TX | Sun Bowl
Game time: 12:00 PM PT
Channel: CBS
Live Stream: CBS Sports Live
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; Majestic Pro Base fleece pullover; Ogio Politan backpack; Under Armour cap; coin.

NC State’s draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
DE Bradley Chubb, No. 9, 6’4” - 275 lbs., 4.84 40 - (1st)

NCAA Football: South Carolina at North Carolina State
Bradley Chubb
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

DE Bradley Chubb is a chiseled prospect with great athleticism, strength, and length. The cousin of famed Georgia Bulldog running back Nick Chubb, Bradley is a dynamic disruptive force with a quick burst and a relentless pursuit with a motor always running hot. He shows speed off the edge, great change of direction skills, impressive bendability, and nice explosive burst flattening and closing bringing power behind his pads. Chubb displays a great ability to play front-side blocks at the point of attack with a powerful punch (strong run defender), and utilizes his athleticism to win with technique, power, and unstoppable determination that helps him defend against back-side blocks.

Other Wolfpacks to keep an eye on:
FB Jaylen Samuels, No. 1, 5’11” - 223 lbs., 4.78 40 - (4th)
OG Tony Adams, No. 50, 6’2” - 322 lbs., 5.32 40 - (6th)
DE/DT Kentavius Street, No. 35, 6’2” - 282 lbs., 4.96 40 - (4th-5th)
DT Justin Jones, No. 27, 6’2” - 312 lbs., 5.23 40 - (5th)
DT B.J. Hill, No. 98, 6’4”- 315 lbs., 4.94 40 - (3rd)

Arizona State's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
RB Kalen Ballage, No. 7, 6’3” - 230 lbs., 4.56 40 - (4th-5th)

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Utah
Kalen Ballage
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

RB Kalen Ballage is a dynamic runner with a perfect combination of size, strength, athleticism, and speed. He has a downhill (vertical) running style rumbling between-the-tackles with impressive long-speed (separation speed), vision, and agility. He showcases good suddenness in short areas and when he doesn’t dance around and flashes decisiveness, he displays a great burst behind power accelerating to daylight. Ballage also offers soft hands as a pass catcher with good body control, and boasts and intriguing prospect at the next level with terrific athleticism, speed, and lower-body strength.

Other Sun Devils to keep an eye on:
RB Demario Richard, No. 4, 5’10” - 219 lbs., 4.63 40 - (6th-7th)
DT Tashon Smallwood, No. 90, 6’0” - 279 lbs., - (UDFA)
ILB D.J. Calhoun, No. 3, 6’0” - 234 lbs., 4.62 40 - (UDFA)

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Teams: Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats
Conference Affiliations: SEC vs. Big Ten
Location: Nashville, TN | Nissan Stadium
Game time: 1:30 PM PT
Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Fossil watch.

Kentucky's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*CB Derrick Baity Jr., No. 8, 6’3” - 182 lbs., 4.52 40 - (4th)

Florida v Kentucky
Derrick Baity Jr.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

CB Derrick Baity Jr. is a very long and lean physical boundary corner with an impressive wingspan that covers a lot of the field allowing him to be disruptive in passing lanes. The 6-foot-3-inch prospect displays physicalness and patience excelling in press-man coverage riding the receiver downfield staying at the hip pocket using his length to his advantage. Baity also shows off great awareness making a lot of plays with his eyes. His fluidity and size makes him a great match-up in coverage, where he can utilize his length and aggressiveness in press showcasing physicality (heavy hands) at the line of scrimmage and excels in bail-technique, and solid instincts and awareness with a great burst in zone (great fit as a zone defender with excellent eyes reading the quarterback). Showcases excellent balls skills high pointing balls with great body control and nice hands, and is solid in run support and blitzing off the edge with a physical demeanor hitting with explosion.

Kentucky's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
WR Garrett Johnson, No. 9, 5’11” - 175 lbs., 4.53 40 - (7th)

Kentucky v Vanderbilt
Garrett Johnson
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

WR Garrett Johnson is an explosive wide receiver with good speed and is a constant threat to take the top off coverages. He has straight-line speed to gain separation and decent suddenness going in and out of breaks. Johnson does a good job tracking the ball over the shoulder with nice ball skills and solid hands. Displays the athletic ability and explosion to take a short pass and run after the catch with a big gain. Shows good effort blocking, but needs to bulk up for the next level (thin-framed prospect).

Other Wildcats to keep an eye on:
+WR Dorian Baker, No. 2, 6’3” - 208 lbs., 4.56 40 - (6th) Possible return for 2018 season with medical redshirt.
ILB Courtney Love, No. 51, 6’2” - 242 lbs., 4.86 40 - (7th-UDFA)

Northwestern's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
RB Justin Jackson, No. 21, 5’11” - 193 lbs., 4.52 40 - (5th-6th)

Iowa v Northwestern
Justin Jackson
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

RB Justin Jackson is a hard nosed playmaker with tremendous instincts, awareness, patience, and vision. A complete and natural running back, Jackson displays a solid combination of size, speed, quickness, physicality, superb balance, athleticism, and elusiveness. Although Jackson does not have elite or breakaway speed, the former high school football, basketball, and track athlete boasts a quicker than fast game making impressive quick consecutive moves in a short area. He accelerates around the edges and runs solid inside between the tackles making consecutive moves in a short area running low and through the cracks maintaining the desired low pad-level hitting and slashing the hole exploding to daylight. An ankle-breaker, Jackson’s suddenness is impressive and brings added value as an excellent pass catcher with reliable hands and nice body control, as well as being an effective factor in pass protection.

Jackson has a lot of production/mileage on his body finishing up his career at Northwestern with 1,110 rushing attempts, 5,283 rushing yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and 39 rushing touchdowns. He also has 121 receptions, 848 receiving yards, averaging 7.0 yards, and 1 receiving touchdown.

Other Wildcats to keep an eye on:
RB Justin Jackson, No. 21, 5’11” - 193 lbs., 4.52 40 - (6th)
FB Garrett Dickerson, No. 9, 6’3” - 240 lbs., 4.76 40 - (7th-UDFA)
C Brad North, No. 69, 6’2” - 290 lbs., - (UDFA)
DT Tyler Lancaster, No. 1, 6’3” - 310 lbs., 4.98 40 - (4th)
FS Godwin Igwebuike, No. 16, 6’0” - 205 lbs., 4.57 40 - (2nd)
SS Kyle Queiro, No. 21, 6’3” - 200 lbs., 4.59 40 - (7th-UDFA)

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Teams: New Mexico State Aggies vs. Utah State Aggies
Conference Affiliations: Sun Belt vs. Mountain West
Location: Tucson, AZ | Arizona Stadium
Game time: 2:30 PM PT
Channel: CBSSN
Live Stream: CBS Sports Live
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; watch; Ogio backpack; beanie.

New Mexico State's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
WR Jaleel Scott, No. 16, 6’6”- 215 lbs., 4.52 40 - (5th-6th)

WR Jaleel Scott is a huge target at 6-foot-6-inch with vines for limbs and an impressive catching radius and elite leaping ability making him an ideal threat all over the field (excels at all three levels of the field) and in the red zone. He is a fluid athlete with a solid burst off the line of scrimmage and the long stride eating up ground quickly. Scott displays impressive suddenness and smoothness for his size going in and out of his breaks creating enough separation (impressive route running) creating windows and great awareness to work his way back to the quarterback finding holes. He shows a superb ability to elevate above the rim attacking balls at its highest point (needs more consistency) with excellent body control extending his arms snatching the catch with his strong hands. Shows the physicality and toughness to win in a crowd.

Other Aggies to keep an eye on:
QB Tyler Rogers, No. 17, 6’3” - 218 lbs., - (UDFA)
RB Larry Rose III, No. 3, 5’11” - 195 lbs., 4.54 40 - (UDFA)

Utah State's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
CB Jalen Davis, No. 13, 5'10" - 185 lbs., 4.47 40 - (6th-7th)

NCAA Football: Utah State at Wake Forest
Jalen Davis
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

CB Jalen Davis has been a dynamic impactful playmaker for the Aggies and has the all around game to be a disrupter finishing off his 2017 collegiate season with 32 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 5 interceptions, 3 touchdowns, 13 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble. Davis is an explosive fantastic athlete with excellent agility, great speed, burst, and quickness. He displays amazing fluidity, light feet, impressive change of direction skills, great instincts, solid ball skills, and plays with a competitive confidence in his game.

A willing physical tackler in run support, Davis also is a threat blitzing off the edge with terrific burst and closing speed (former high school track and field star). He plays with good patience excelling in off-coverage with great awareness, aggression, and excellent ball skills with a nose for the ball (does an excellent job making plays with his eyes). Davis also shows solid hand usage and physicalness in press with fluid hips, quick feet, and stays on the hip pocket when trailing and a ball hawk when the ball is in the air. A slot corner at the next level.

Other Aggies to keep an eye on:
WR Braelon Roberts, No. 88, 6'3" - 200 lbs., - (UDFA)

Goodyear Cotton Bowl

Teams: No. 8 USC Trojans vs. No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes
Conference Affiliations: PAC-12 vs. Big Ten
Location: Arlington, TX | AT&T Stadium
Game time: 5:30 PM PT
Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Would not disclose.

USC's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on
*RB Ronald Jones II, No. 25, 6'0" - 200 lbs., 4.42 40 - (2nd)

Ronald Jones II
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

RB Ronald Jones II is a versatile explosive playmaker with tremendous quickness and speed becoming a dynamic threat in all facets of the game. The former high school track star (also ran track for USC in 2016) displays excellent instincts with sound vision and patience hitting the hole with impressive physicality (added 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason). Jones’ suddenness in traffic is mouth-watering showcasing terrific foot quickness and balance accelerating through his cuts exploding eating up ground quickly.

Jones is a complete running back and is a home run threat whenever he touches the ball displaying great speed (gets to full speed in a hurry and separates), impressive hands as a receiver, and the elusiveness and agility with the added bulk to run with power behind his pads to step-out-of and bounce through tackles consistently. He is a versatile athlete easily capable of running inside and outside succeeding in both zone and gap schemes, but would excel in Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme displaying the prototypical type of attributes thriving in a Shanahan’s system.

Other Trojans to keep an eye on:
**QB Sam Darnold, No. 14, 6'4" - 220 lbs., 4.74 40 - (1st)
*WR Deontay Burnett, No. 80, 6'0" - 170 lbs., 4.43 40 - (3rd)
WR Steven Mitchell Jr., No. 4, 5’10 - 195 lbs., 4.58 40 - (7th-UDFA)
+OG Viane Talamaivao, No. 60, 6'2" - 325 lbs., 5.47 40 - (5th-6th) out for the year torn pectoral muscle 10/4/17.
C Nico Falah, No. 74, 6'4" - 285 lbs., 4.96 40 - (7th)
*DE Rasheem Green, No. 94, 6'4" - 275 lbs., 4.93 40 - (2nd-3rd)
DT Josh Fatu, No. 98, 6'2" - 315 lbs., 5.34 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OLB Uchenna Nwosu, No. 42, 6'2" - 240 lbs., 4.77 40 - (4th)
+*OLB Porter Gustin, No. 45, 6'5" - 255 lbs., 4.80 40 - (4th) out several games with broken toe.
*CB Iman Marshall, No. 8, 6'1" - 205 lbs., 4.53 40 - (5th)
SS Chris Hawkins, No. 4, 5'11" - 190 lbs., 4.48 40 - (7th-UDFA)

Ohio State's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
C Billy Price, No. 54, 6’4” - 312 lbs., 5.19 40 - (1st)

Ohio State v Nebraska
Billy Price
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

C Billy Price is a highly technically sound center prospect that brings tremendous toughness and versatility to his game. Making the switch from guard to center, Price is a hard-nosed physical player with elite power and excellent durability (has 54 consecutive starts-school record). The former high school track and field athlete displays great power at the point of attack with quick feet and excellent body control (great knee bend), balance, and toughness finishing blocks all the way to the whistle.

Price showcases solid athletic ability in pass protection sliding laterally adjusting to movement staying square while mirroring, as well as providing excellent technique in his hands and fluid feet working in concert with his upper body driving defenders off the ball with aggression (moves well in space). He possesses superb football instincts, premier foot agility (can snap and move with fluidity left and right), and a great ability to anchor the pocket setting the base of the pocket allowing the quarterback to step up in the pocket. Has the versatility to play all interior offensive linemen positions.

Other Buckeyes to keep an eye on:
QB J.T. Barrett, No. 16, 6’2” - 220 lbs., 4.57 40 - (6th)
OT Jamarco Jones, No. 74, 6’6” - 310 lbs., 5.27 40 - (3rd)
TE Marcus Baugh No. 85, 6’5” - 250 lbs., 4.84 40 - (6th-7th)
*DE Sam Hubbard, No. 6, 6’5” - 265 lbs., 4.76 40 - (1st-2nd)
DE Tyquan Lewis, No. 59, 6’4” - 265 lbs., 4.78 40 - (2nd)
DE Jalyn Holmes, No. 11, 6’5” - 270 lbs., 4.76 40 - (2nd)
**DT Dre’Mont Jones, No. 86, 6’3” - 295 lbs., 4.96 40 - (2nd)
DT Tracy Sprinkle, No. 93, 6’3” - 293 lbs., 4.95 40 - (6th-7th)
DT Michael Hill, No. 77, 6’3” - 305 lbs., 5.15 40 - (5th)
*OLB Jerome Baker, No. 17, 6’1” - 225 lbs., 4.62 40 - (1st-2nd)
ILB Chris Worley, No. 35, 6’2” - 230 lbs., 4.67 40 - (4th-5th)
*CB Denzel Ward, No. 12, 5’11” - 191 lbs., 4.37 40 - (1st)
SS Damon Webb, No. 7, 5’11” - 195 lbs., 4.50 40 - (4th-5th)

Player measurables courtesy of team pages. 40 times projected.