2018 Bowl Previews

December 13, 2018

Louisiana-Lafayette (7-6) versus Tulane (6-6); Cure Bowl; Orlando; 1:30 PM ET; CBS Sports …  You know your bowl may not be quite ready for prime-time when it can’t even get on ESPN. The other question is why schedule two schools that are basically within a two-hour drive of each other in southern Louisiana three states over, particularly when you have a perfectly good bowl in New Orleans later that day. Not surprisingly, this game between a couple of .500 non-power programs isn’t actually rich in draft prospects. In fact, ULL likely won’t have anyone drafted this year, but does have several young players the NFL is likely keeping tabs on in All-Conference junior OG Kevon Dotson (#75, 6-3, 305), junior MLB Jacques Boudreaux (#59, 6-0, 230), along with the sophomore RB duo of Trey Ragas (#9, 5-10, 230) and Elijah Mitchell (#15, 5-10, 225) who combined for over 2,000 yards on the ground this fall.Same story for Tulane as the Green Wave’s best prospect is sophomore DE Patrick Johnson (#34, 6-2, 255) who led the conference with ten sacks. Meanwhile, pro scouts will also be checking out veteran defenders like LB Zach Harris (#40, 6-0, 225), CB Donnie Lewis (#1, 5-11, 195) and SS Rod Teamer (#2, 5-11, 205); Lewis in particular was third in the nation in pass breakups this past season.

Georgia Southern (9-3) versus Eastern Michigan (7-5); Camellia Bowl, Montgomery; 5:30 PM ET; ESPN … Couple of interesting teams in the Camellia Bowl, but lets be honest here: nobody outside southern Georgia or eastern Michigan likely could care less about this game. Pro scouts aren’t going to care much either as neither team is likely to get anywhere near the podium this coming April. In fact, the one player NFL teams might wanted a look at in this game is EMU junior DE Maxx Crosby (#92, 6-5, 250), a two-time All-MAC edge rusher; problem is Georgia Southern is a run first, second and last team that almost never throws the ball. Players to watch though include RB Wesley Field (#21, 5-11, 205) and G/T Jeremiah Culbreth (#58, 6-3, 320) of Georgia Southern and DE Jeremiah Harris (#90, 6-4, 250), WR Blake Banham (#2, 5-9, 195), LB Kyle Rachwal (#51, 6-2, 235) and OG Jimmy Leatiota (#56, 6-2, 310).

Appalachian State (10-2) versus Middle Tennessee (8-5); New Orleans Bowl; 9 PM ET; ESPN … Saturday’s opening bowl fest wraps up with a pretty good match-up in the New Orleans Bowl between 10-win Appalachian State, which won the Sun Belt title for the third straight year, and Middle Tennessee that lost by two points to UAB in the C-USA chamouinship clash. The game also features a couple of conference players of the year in redshirt sophomore QB Zac Thomas (#12, 6-0, 200) of App State and MTSU’s Brent Stockstill (#12, 6-0, 215), a half decent second-tier prospect at the position who could attract some free agent consideration, although he isn’t all that big. Stockstill completed over 70% of his pass attempts this fall when he threw for over 3,200 yards and 28 TDs.

Unfortunately, though, the only player on the NO Bowl roster currently likely to be drafted – App State RB Jalin Moore who has been invited to the Senior Bowl – has been out for awhile with a nasty ankle injury. Each team, though, has several players who could get some also get some free agent interest including DT Myquon Short (#92, 6-1, 280), RT Chandler Green (#6-4, 290), CB Tae Harris (#17, 5-9, 185) and LB Anthony Flory (#44, 6-0, 235) of Appalachian State along with OG Chandler Brewer (#73, 6-6, 320), LB Darius Harris (#30, 6-1, 240) and SS Wesley Bush (#23, 6-0, 195) of MTSU.