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Independence Bowl & Quick Lane Bowl: Open Thread

Today we preview the Independence Bowl and Quick Lane Bowl. We also examine four 2020 NFL Draft prospects to watch on the defensive side of the football.

Eastern Michigan v Miami Ohio Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images


Greetings Faithful! After a Christmas break, college football is back! Today, we have a doubleheader for your viewing enjoyment. We kick things off in the Pelican State with the Independence Bowl between Louisiana Tech against Miami (FL). Following that, we will head north to Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl featuring Eastern Michigan and Pittsburgh. So far, we have had some exciting bowl matchups with plenty of offense, especially in the Hawai’i Bowl on Tuesday evening! Hawaii had a thrilling come-from-behind victory to defeat BYU 38-34. Let’s now jump right in and meet some prospects in today’s two bowl games!

Independence Bowl:

Independence Bowl logo Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

How to watch

Louisiana Tech (9-3) vs Miami (FL (6-6))
Date: Thursday, Dec. 26 | Time: 1 p.m. PT
Location: Independence Bowl (Shreveport, Louisiana)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Line: Miami -6.0 – O/U: 50.0

Prospect Spotlight:

Jonathan Garvin, DL, No. 97 – Miami
Height: 6’4” – Weight: 256 lbs.
2019 Stats: 37 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles.

Jonathan Garvin has had a productive season for the Hurricanes. The junior was disruptive along the line of scrimmage. Garvin offers a high motor and good initial burst off of the line of scrimmage. He has demonstrated, on multiple occasions, his abilities to beat blockers and create disruption for the passer inside the pocket. One of his best attributes is his hands, which help him win one to one battles along the line of scrimmage. Has ideal size and measurables for the position. Garvin is not a complete or polished pass rusher; however, his athleticism, football instincts, and raw talent could earn him a day two selection.

Amik Robertson, CB, No. 21 – Louisiana Tech
Height: 5’9” - Weight: 183 lbs.
2019 Stats: 60 Tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 5 interceptions, 16 passes deflected.

Right away, the biggest turn-away will be Robertson’s size. I understand he doesn’t quite meet the measurables for what the 49ers are seeking in their defensive backs, but lets at least learn more about this intriguing prospect. Size or not, the volume is still there. Robertson plays a physical brand of football and will play bigger than his size on the field. Many times, he was able to knock receivers off of their routes and put them on an island. His speed is also a major plus, and along with his physical nature, Robertson will challenge receivers at all three levels on the field. His fluid hips and initial burst will translate well at the next level. He will undoubtedly need to adjust to bigger and strong receivers at the pro level; however, his physical play will help with that learning curve.

Quick Lane Bowl:

Quick Lane Bowl - Central Michigan v Minnesota Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

How to watch

Eastern Michigan (6-6) vs Pittsburgh (7-5)
Date: Thursday, Dec. 26 | Time: 5 p.m. PT
Location: Ford Field (Detroit, Michigan)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Line: Pittsburgh -11.5 – O/U: 49.0

Prospect Spotlight:

Dane Jackson, CB, No. 11 – Pittsburgh
Height: 6’0” - Weight: 190 lbs.
2019 Stats: 40 Tackles, 0.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 12 passes deflected.

The senior out of Pittsburgh has put together a well-balanced collegiate career. His numbers and stats are not eye-popping; however, he was a strong presence in the Panther secondary. His speed, particularly his straight-line speed, ball-tracking abilities, and open-field tackling, are his best attributes. Leadership and playing by example are other strong traits of Jackson. He is a raw prospect who is far from a finished product. However, there is enough for a team looking to add defensive back depth and the willingness to develop him further. Jackson is a day three selection.

Kevin McGill, CB, No. 4 – Eastern Michigan
Height: 6’2” - Weight: 200 lbs.
2019 Stats: 29 Tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 interception, 5 passes deflected.

Now, of all the prospects to be playing today, this is the one I would keep the closest eye on for the San Francisco 49ers. Let’s start with the measurables, which are just about what the team desires. McGill is physical and big and plays even bigger within the first five yards of the line of scrimmage. Is not afraid to tangle up with receivers and bust up potential intermediate or deep routes and plays. McGill will fight for jump balls at the catch-point often and finishes his tackles cleanly in the open field. Has experience in multiple passes defending packages and has found success in one-to-one and man to man coverages outside the numbers as well. McGill is most likely a day-three prospect and someone who will not be pressured to play right away. Great for a team looking to add physical corners to the depth chart…49ers, I’m looking at you!

Who are YOU excited to see in today’s bowl games? Please share in the comments below!