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First round prospects and college football semifinals highlight Saturday bowl games

What to watch for.

Oklahoma v Texas Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Peach Bowl: 12 PM on ESPN

  • Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan: With Devin Bush and Rashan Gary sitting out, Chase Winovich is the best prospect in maize and blue today. He’s a high motor player who gets after it against the run. He will need a big game to help an undermanned defense against Florida.
  • Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida: Florida’s breakout player and top prospect this year, Polite is a fantastic athlete who can district passing and running plays. With one of the higher ceilings in the 2019 class, Polite will be a fun watch against a hard-running Michigan offense.

Bell Bowl: 12 PM on ABC

  • Bryan Edwards, Wide Receiver, South Carolina: With Deebo Samuel out, Bryan Edwards is the Gamecock’s top target on offense today. The 6’3” junior has complemented Samuels throughout his career but is still a playmaking threat. He will need a big game against a talented UVA secondary.
  • Bryce Hall, Cornerback, UVA: One piece of the Cavaliers secondary is Bryce Hall. The 6’1” cornerback has great football instincts and fantastic ball skills. He’ll need it against South Carolina’s explosive passing game.
  • Juan Thornhill, Safety, UVA: Quickly climbing in the ranks, Juan Thornhill is one of college football’s leading playmakers. Not only does he have great ball skills, but he’s a big hitter in the run game.

Arizona Bowl: 1:15 PM on CBSSN

  • Ronheem Bingham, EDGE, Arkansas State: Despite lacking special tools, Bingham’s technical prowess and high motor make him a very productive defender. The 6’2” pass rusher has been a huge piece of Arkansas State’s defense and his performance will dictate today’s outcome.
  • Malik Reed, EDGE, Nevada: Despite being 6’2” and 235, there’s nothing small about Malik Reed’s impact. He’s a high speed, quick twitch player who disrupts passing and running plays. Reed has a knack for big plays and he’ll need a few today.

Cotton Bowl: 4 PM on ESPN

  • Te’von Coney, Linebacker, Notre Dame: Notre Dame’s leader on defense will have to ring the bell against a fantastic Clemson running game. Te’von Coney is an instinctive, intelligent linebacker who is incredible against the run and a dependable pass defender. He is a top linebacking prospect with a lot of challenges ahead of him in the playoffs.
  • Jerry Tillery, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame: Tillery has enjoyed a breakout season for the fighting Irish. With eight sacks, the 6’7” lineman is incredibly disruptive on passing downs. That skill set will be needed against a talented Clemson passing game.
  • Mitch Hyatt, Offensive Tackle, Clemson: Clemson’s elder statesman is their all-American, redshirt senior tackle. He’s a big, tough tackle who is a dependable pass blocker. He will need to keep Trevor Lawrence upright if Clemson wants a shot at the title.
  • Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson: With Dexter Lawrence out, Cellin Ferrell will be Clemson’s top defensive prospect in and will be counted on for a huge game. The dynamic passrusher’s impact could be the difference between a win and a loss.

Orange Bowl: 8 PM on ESPN

  • Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama: Few players are more interesting this postseason than Quinnen Williams. The redshirt sophomore dominated the regular season and will now take on the most explosive offense in college football. Between a big play running game and a Heisman winning quarterback, this will be a high effort battle by Alabama’s defense. They may need to even play in the fourth quarter.
  • Deionte Thompson, Safety, Alabama: Against Oklahoma, I am most interested to see how Alabama’s defensive prospects play. Deionte Thompson looks like one of the more exciting safety prospects in recent years and his range will be counted on against a passing game that isn’t afraid to go deep.
  • Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma: With constant questions about Oklahoma’s star wide receiver and his size, Marquise Brown has a chance to quiet a lot of criticism against a stingy Alabama defense. Brown will be needed for his big plays and no one will be breaking out a measuring stick if he’s burning the Crimson Tide all night.
  • Curtis Bolton, Linebacker, Oklahoma: The Sooners defense is not striking fear into the hearts of any offenses across the country, but they will need a big performance from their best player if they want a chance at beating Alabama. Curtis Bolton is a small but speedy linebacker who can run and chase ball carries and cover decently in space. Alabama’s run game is always a crucible for defenses to stop and Bolton will need some signature plays if Oklahoma wants a shot.

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