Today is the first Saturday of Bowl season and there are quite a few very good teams to watch all afternoon. Despite some players sitting out and getting an early start on NFL Draft preparation, there is still plenty of future pro-talent out on every field. Here are some names to Watch
Fenway Bowl: 11 AM on ESPN
- Ivan Pace Jr, Linebacker, Cincinnati: Ivan Pace was a do-it-all defender at Miami (OH) for three years before transferring to play for the Bearcats. In his one year starting for Cincinnati, Pace posted a 119 tackle, eight sack season where he also forced a fumble. Pace became the first unanimous All-American in Cincinnati history which is pretty incredible when you even consider the players that have starred there recently. Pace is an instinctive linebacker with great speed and fearlessness on the field. The Bearcats deployed him in a variety of ways and will do so again in their match-up against Louisville. Pace has a great shot to end his college career with a statement game.
- Tyler Hudson, Wide Receiver, Louisville: Tyler Hudson was off dominating at Central Arkansas for three years before he made the FBS jump to Louisville. In his only season with the Cardinals, Hudson excelled as the top receiver on the team. Hudson’s speed and ball skills made him an asset all over the field. Expect him to see the ball often against a talented Cincinnati defense.
Las Vegas Bowl: 2:30 PM on ESPN
- Rejzohn Wright, Cornerback, Oregon State: Oregon State has been a nice surprise this year and their defense is a big reason why. Rejzohn Wright is the leader in the Beaver backfield, using his size and physicality to match up well with receivers. Wright has been a solid, dependable cornerback all season and the Las Vegas Bowl against Florida will be a good test. While the Gators have many of their starters opting out, they still have SEC speed at the skill positions, giving Wright a nice showcase for his talents.
LA Bowl: 3:30 PM on ABC
- Jake Haener, Quarterback, Fresno State: Jake Haener’s final season in Fresno didn’t start the way he wanted. The talented signal caller dealt with injuries early in the year which hampered what should’ve been a big-time last hurrah for the signal caller. Despite a slow start, Haener has played well of late and has the Bulldogs on the cusp of a 10 win season. Washington State is a formidable opponent, and Haener could put a great punctuation on his college career with a strong game.
- Jalen Moreno-Cropper, Wide Receiver, Fresno State: Jalen Moren-Cropper has been Jake Haener’s favorite target the last two years and today should be no different. Expect the senior receiver to see many targets.
- David Perales, Edge, Fresno State: David Perales is one of the better defenders to play at Fresno State in a long time. The senior pass rusher is relentless going after the quarterback and his motor powered him to a 10.5 sack season. Perales has NFL talent and will get to show off his ability against an explosive WSU offense.
- Cameron Ward, Quarterback, Washington State: Cameron Ward was balling out at Incarnate Word for two years before taking his talents to Pullman. The 6’2”, 220 pound passer has a great arm, mature pocket presence, and accuracy to hit anywhere on the field. Ward will likely stay at Washington State for another season, but it is not completely clear yet. Either way, he is appointment viewing for those who have not been able to stay up for Pac-12 games this season.
- Derrick Langford Jr, Cornerback, Washington State: Derrick Langford Junior is a talented cornerback with great physical tools. At 6’3”, Langford’s combination of size and speed will have NFL teams interested. A strong showing against Fresno State’s passing game should help his stock.