14 QB Alex Carder-Western Michigan
I expected a big year this year from Alex Carder coming off his 2011 campaign but unfortunately due to injuries and the loss of WR Jordan White to graduation Carder had a lackluster senior year. He’s healthy now and I’d look for him to be among the most motivated QB’s in the Shrine Game.
10 QB Matt Scott-Arizona
Scott made a name for himself this year with his ability to create something out of nothing. He showed a flair for the exciting as he seemed to produce big throws, outrageous comebacks, and some of the best highlight plays of 2012. Unfortunately those moments seemed to be inconsistent and Scott’s play was plagued with inconsistent decision making and poor throws. He’ll need to put a full week together here for scouts.
33 RB Christine Michael-Texas A&M
We ranked Michael as one of the top senior backs in the country coming into this year but for whatever reason he sat in new Head Coach Kevin Sumlin’s dog house and never really got out. Michael is a nice power back who I always thought would be a better NFL RB than a college one but many will be eager to see what he can do away from Sumlin and his leash.
4 WR Dan Buckner-Arizona
There should already be plenty of mojo already working between collegiate teammates Dan Buckner and Matt Scott. They did hook up 60+ times for over 700 yards in 2012. It will be interesting to watch them in drills to see if they can’t help each other get into a rhythm and maybe shake some all-star jitters.
1 WR Chad Bumphis-Mississippi State
I’ve been higher on Bumphis than almost any analyst for a few years now. Bumphis has the quickness and speed to beat almost any defender and with more consistent QB play you could have seen him really take off. This will be a big week for Bumphis who has the ability to be a high riser from the all-star circuit.
8 WR Jasper Collins-Mt Union
Collins was the lone Division 3 All-Star invite this year and some people are already asking if he’s more Pierre Garcon or Cecil Shorts III. The truth is Collins is his own WR and he does a little of what each of those guys has already shown the ability to do. Many people will be eager to see if Collins has the speed necessary to play with the guys at this level.
12 WR Tyrone Goard-Eastern Kentucky
While Senior Bowl invite Aaron Mellette has always been considered the top small school WR in the country, early in the season it was Goard who gave him a nice run for his money. Goard had a huge 2012 for the Colonels and will look to put an exclamation point on it at the Shrine Game.
88 TE Joseph Fauria-UCLA
Earlier I spoke about how DC Jefferson could become a forgotten name but I don’t think that’s the case with Fauria who I was shocked didn’t end up in the Senior Bowl. Fauria may never been a high caliber blocker but with his size and athleticism he’s a match-up nightmare and reminds me an awful lot of a bigger Todd Heap.
44 TE Josh Hill-Idaho State
A late add to replace Nick Kasa, Josh Hill is a former Boise State Bronco who stayed in state and transferred down to the FCS level. He was a huge part of the offense this year and showed the ability to stretch the seam route and make the big catch over the middle. This is a large jump in competition for the former Bronco but he’s one to watch.
67 OT Manase Foketi-West Texas A&M
I don’t know that there was more drama and ridiculousness this past off-season than in Manhattan, KS. Manase Foketi wanted to transfer out of Kansas State but coach Bill Snyder refused to release him from his scholarship due to the fact that Foketi did not play in 2011. Because of that Foketi was forced to transfer down to the Division II level where a release is not required and now will be looking to continuing taking out his frustration on every person who dares line up across from him.
95 DE Wes Horton-USC
Horton has always been a player that much was expected from and little was truly delivered. He never had a season where he registered more than 5.5 sacks and for a kid who put up double digit sacks consistently in HS that was a surprise. He is another DE prospect who could use a very big week.
73 DT William Campbell-Michigan
Campbell is a player who I’m really curious to see some of. Honestly I did not watch him much at all this year and was a bit surprised to see him get an invitation to this game. However here he is and I hope to see him make the most of this opportunity. He has great size and could really intrigue a 34 team looking at him for a player who can maintain his gaps.
13 OLB Keith Pough-Howard
This is a name you need to get used to hearing as Keith Pough will be the guy who is making plays all over in this one. He is one of the top small school prospects in the country and his blend of size, speed, and ability will make him a standout performer this week.
31 CB Terry Hawthorne-Illinois
Before the season began a few draft analysts said that Hawthorne was a guy who they saw as a potential Top 50 or even 1st Round pick. He had a pretty solid year in 2012 and will look to continue to build on that in this one.
24 CB Nigel Malone-Kansas State
Nigel Malone must be one of the most under the radar CB’s to come out of a FBS school in recent memory. How do you explain how a former JUCO transfer who has collected 12 INT’s over the last two years has gone almost unmentioned when it came to talking about the best senior CB’s in the country.
29 SAF Shamarko Thomas-Syracuse
Shamarko Thomas is a prospect I really want to see given the fact that his college coach was hired as our new Head Coach. Scouts will want to see what Thomas can do in coverage as he collected only two career INT’s and was known more for his hitting and tackling ability than he ever was for his ability to make a play on the ball.
Be sure to check back all week as we’ll have the latest reports, with all the news, rumors, and thoughts to come out of the Shrine Game.