This will be a multi-part series looking at every bowl game and the prospect to watch on each team for their match up. Even with some players sitting out to prepare for the NFL Draft, there are still future pro players on the field worth keeping an eye on. Previously in this series: PART 1 | PART 2.
All listed times are EST
Myrtle Beach Bowl, December 20th, 2:30 PM on ESPN
Jaxon Player, Interior Defensive Lineman, Tulsa: Tulsa sent a first round pick to the NFL last year in Zaven Collins. While their defense doesn’t have any premier prospects this season, Jaxon Player is definitely getting a shot in the NFL. The senior defender has a great blend of physicality, motor and ability to time the snap. He has been a force for Tulsa, piling up 23 TFLs in the last two seasons. While he is undersized, there is nothing small about his play.
Joe Joe Headen, Safety, Old Dominion: ODU is still a new kid on the block in FBS football, but they have some future NFL players on their team. Joe Joe Headen is a veteran defensive back who successfully transitioned from cornerback to safety for his senior year. Headen is a scrappy, smart safety who plays the pass very well.
Potato Bowl, December 21st, 3:30 PM on ESPN
Chad Muma, Linebacker, Wyoming: Chad Muma has been one of the more impressive linebackers in the country this year. A former safety, Muma has great speed for the position, but also plays a very physical brand of football. Chad Muma is going to lead Wyoming’s defensive effort against a well balanced Kent State offense.
Montrell Miller, Cornerback, Kent State: Montrell Miller broke out in a big way in his fourth season with the Golden Flashes. Miller led the team in interceptions with four while also forcing a fumble. While Miller isn’t the biggest player, his instincts make him an asset in Kent State’s secondary.
Frisco Bowl, December 21st, 7:30 PM on ESPN
Clarence Hicks, Linebacker, UTSA: The Roadrunners have had an excellent season due in part to their offense, but they quietly had one of the fiercest defensive fronts in college football. Clarence Hicks is an undersized, but dominant pass rusher who wins with great speed and a high motor. SDSU will challenge UTSA’s defense, but Clarence Hicks could be up to the task to slow them down.
Matt Araiza, Punter, SDSU: Who else? Matt Araiza might be the highest drafted player listed in this article. He is a dominant punter who is a legitimate asset to defenses the way he can total flip the field. Not only that, he is an excellent place kicker. He is one of the best special teamers to come out of college football in a long time.
Armed Forces Bowl, December 22nd, 8 PM on ESPN
Tyler Badie, Running Back, Missouri: Tyler Badie is the third leading rusher in the country and the most productive running back in the SEC. The senior back ran for over 1,600 yards this season and scored 14 times on the ground. He is a do-it-all player though, as he also caught 54 passes for 330 yards and four more scores. The short, but mighty running back is quick with a low, powerful running style that makes him hard to tackle. Army’s rushing defense is one of the best in the country, so Badie has a great chance to show what he can do.
Andre Carter II, Edge, Army: Son of NFL pass rusher Andre Carter, Andre Carter II has been one of the best edge players in college football. The 6’7” defender has 14.5 sacks on the season and looks like a future NFL player the way he comes flying for the quarterback. Of course, Army has unique eligibility protocols, but Carter looks like he will be playing on Sundays eventually.