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Friday bowl games feature impact defensive players

Keeping an eye on college football.

NCAA Football: Temple at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With five bowl games and three ranked teams playing today, there is bound to be some star power on display. Some defensive stars who will be making noise on Sundays will be seeing a lot of action today. Here are the best prospects on each team.

Military Bowl, 12 PM ET on ESPN

Chazz Surratt, Linebacker, UNC: A former quarterback, Chazz Surratt is a smart, athletic linebacker who can cover, blitz and rush the passer.

Quincy Roche, EDGE, Temple: One of the most productive pass rushers in the country, Quincy Roche is a disruptive presence on the Temple front. The undersized defender has 13.5 sacks this season and will no doubt make a huge impact on this game.

Pinstripe Bowl, 3:20 PM on ESPN

Kenny Willekes, Edge, Michigan State: Michigan State hasn’t been their regular selves this season but Kenny Willekes has been a star. The senior defender is a monstrous pass rusher and run defender whip will be a big factor today.

Sage Surratt, Wide Receiver, Wake Forest: Sage Surratt explodes onto the scene this year. The big bodied wide receiver can score from anywhere on the field. A redshirt sophomore, Surratt has said he intends to return in 2020. Still a worthwhile prospect to watch for the future.

Texas Bowl, 6:45 PM on ESPN

Amen Ogbongbemiga, Linebacker, Oklahoma State: With Tylan Wallace out, Amen Ogbongbemiga becomes the most interesting prospect in this bowl game. The Calgary native is the Pokes’ leader on defense and in what should be a high scoring game, his play will make a difference.

Justin Madubuike, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M: Justin Madubuike is the top defender on the Aggies. He is an impact pass rusher and run defender who will need to bring his A-Game against an explosive OSU offense.

Holiday Bowl, 8 PM ET on FS1

AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa: If not for Chase Young’s greatness, AJ Epenesa would be considered the best defensive prospect in the draft. The freakish pass rusher has a sky high ceiling and will be highly coveted after (probably) dismantling USC today.

Michael Pittman Jr., Wide Receiver, USC: It’s hard to stand out this year as a wide receiver, but USC’s senior playmaker has caught 95 passes and scored 11 times. He is a solid, sure handed player who will be depended on against Iowa’s stingy defense.

Cheez-It Bowl, 10:15 PM ET on ESPN

Marcus Strong, Cornerback, Washington State: Wazzu isn’t exactly known for their defense, but Marcus Strong is one of the few senior leaders on that side of the ball. Strong is a physical corner who isn’t afraid to come up against the run. He will be tested against the Air Force offense today in his last collegiate game.

Benjamin Waters, Wide Receiver, Air Force: Air Force is known for an offense that hinges on pounding the rock and chucking it deep. Benjamin Waters has been a beneficiary of their big play offense, catching only 20 passes this year but at a rate of over THIRTY TWO yards per catch. Waters is a threat to score every time the ball goes his way. Even if he gets targeted only a few times today, it will be for big gains.