Half dozen bowls on Saturday sched … For those that don’t want to burn themselves for Sunday’s NFL slate of games watching the three pro games on TV on Saturday, there are a full half dozen college bowls also tomorrow. Unfortunately, as is now the custom, most of the best prospects in the non-CFP playoff games opt not play and instead get an early start on their draft prep. That is certainly the case in tomorrow’s Las Vegas Bowl (2:30 PM ET; ESPN) between Florida and Oregon State which could have had two of the most intriguing first-round prospects this year in Gators’ QB Anthony Richardson and OG O’Cyrus Torrence. However, both opted out, as did LB Ventrell Miller, although DT Gervon Dexter (#9, 6-5, 315), safety Rashad Torrence (#22, 6-0, 205), and OT Richard Gouraige (#76, 6-5, 310) will be in uniform. Meanwhile Oregon State could also have had its own pair of intriguing prospects, but neither rising TE Luke Musgrave nor CB Rejzohn Wright will play because of injuries. The Beavers, though, will have the aptly named LB Jack Colletto (#12, 6-3, 240), who came to OSU as a QB, switched to LB, and now doubles as a short yardage back and was recently named the most versatile player in college football.
Elsewhere on Saturday, pro scouts, should be treated to a pretty good QB duel in the LA Bowl (3:30 PM ET) between Cam Ward of Washington State (#1, 6-2, 220) and Fresno State’s Jake Haener (#9, 6-1, 200), two really good second-tier passing prospects for the upcoming draft. Unfortunately, though, the guy they probably would most like to see from the two programs – Washington State LB Daiyan Henley – won’t play (see above)!
At the same time, any team looking to add some LB help in the mid-to-late rounds will probably want to check out the Wasabi Fenway Bowl (11:30 AM ET; ESPN) – which really does just roll off the tongue! – matchup between Cincinnati and Louisville -. The Bearcats best player is LB Ivan Pace (#0, 6-0, 235), the AAC Defensive Player of the Year who had 119 tackles this fall including 8 sacks. The Cardinals may also have something of a sleeper at LB in Yasir Abdullah (#22, 6-1, 245), a former prep sprinter with a 100M PB of 10.5 who also posted 8 sacks this season. Pro scouts will also be checking out rising Louisville DE YaYa Diaby (#6, 6-4, 270) who had 7.5 sacks of his own this year.
Meanwhile, the guy we were most hoping to see on Saturday was SMU WR Rashee Rice who’s Mustangs play BYU in the New Mexico Bowl (7:30 PM ET; ABC). However Rice, who led the country in per-game receiving yards, won’t play because of a lingering toe injury. Rats! At least star BYU OT Blake Freeland (#71, 6-7, 310), who made several AA teams this season, will play, but Cougars’ QB Jaren Hall (#3, 6-1, 205), who is dealing with ankle injury, almost assuredly won’t.