By Eddie Brown

The San Diego Union-Tribune (TNS)

Dec. 26

INDEPENDENCE BOWL: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.)

Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami (Fla.), Sr.: Quarterman is an old-school linebacker. He’s a physical run stopper who has started all four years for the Hurricanes (collecting at least 82 tackles each season).

QUICK LANE BOWL: Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan

Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh, Sr.: Jackson is a team captain with good size (6-0, 191) and athleticism. He’s a three-year starter and has been a capable lockdown corner for the Panthers.

Dec. 27

MILITARY BOWL: North Carolina vs. Temple

Quincy Roche, Edge, Temple, Jr.: Roche features speed off the edge you can’t teach. He’s sixth in the nation with 13 sacks (10 in his last four games). He’s currently a borderline day two selection.

PINSTRIPE BOWL: Michigan State vs. Wake Forest

Carlos Basham Jr., Edge, Wake Forest, Jr.: Basham is an elite-level athlete and talented pass rusher (he has 10 sacks and three forced fumbles) who will likely be a day two selection.

TEXAS BOWL: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State, So.: The nation’s leading rusher put himself on the map with a monster sophomore season: 309 carries for 1,936 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.


Austin Jackson, OT, USC, Jr.: Jackson will answer the few criticisms of his game (and likely secure himself as a first-rounder) if he can hold his own against powerful pass rusher A.J. Epenesa.

CHEEZ-IT BOWL: Air Force vs. Washington State

Mosese Fifita, DT, Air Force, Sr.: Fifita features rare size (6-0, 330) for the Academy and will likely fill the run-stuffer role at the next level.

Dec. 28

CAMPING WORLD BOWL: Notre Dame vs. Iowa State

Tony Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame, Sr.: NFL size (5-11, 195) and coveted speed (he’s a track star who should shine at the combine) could catapult Pride into the second or third round.

COTTON BOWL CLASSIC: Penn State vs. Memphis

Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State, Jr.: Gross-Matos is a special athlete and talented pass rusher (16.5 sacks the last two seasons) who is still a long way from his potential ceiling. He’s a top-20 selection if he aces the draft process.

PEACH BOWL: LSU vs. Oklahoma

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU, Jr.: This game is littered with NFL prospects as well, but in an epic wide receiver draft class, I’m afraid Jefferson might get lost in the shuffle. It looks like DBU has gotten pretty good at churning out wide outs too. He has 88 receptions (fifth in the nation) for 1,207 yards (eighth) and 14 touchdowns (tied for third).

FIESTA BOWL: Ohio State vs. Clemson

Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State, Jr.: Everyone involved in this game is a NFL prospect, but Young will stand above them all when everything is said and done.

Dec. 30

FIRST RESPONDER BOWL: Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan

Levante Bellamy, RB, Western Michigan, Sr.: The MAC MVP and nation’s rushing touchdown leader (23) is an undersized speedster in the same vein as Phillip Lindsay and Matt Breida.

MUSIC CITY BOWL: Mississippi State vs. Louisville

Darryl Williams, C, Mississippi State, Sr.: Williams’ versatility (he excels at both guard and center) should solidify him as a second day selection.

REDBOX BOWL: California vs. Illinois

Ashtyn Davis, S, California, Sr.: The Cal safety has already accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He’s a center fielder with track speed who doesn’t shy away from contact. The speed could potentially translate at cornerback in the NFL as well.

ORANGE BOWL: Florida vs. Virginia

Lamical Perine, RB, Florida, Sr.: Perine is a tough inside runner who can make plays out of the backfield and contribute on special teams in the NFL.

Dec. 31

BELK BOWL: Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky

Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky, Sr.: Stenberg isn’t an athletic marvel, but if you’re looking for a nasty blocker to consistently dominate defenders, he gets the job done with size (6-6, 322), power and relentlessness.

SUN BOWL: Florida State vs. Arizona State

Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State, Sr.: There are durability concerns, but talent isn’t the issue for the former No. 1 cornerback in the nation and consensus five-star recruit out of high school.

LIBERTY BOWL: Navy vs. Kansas State

Scott Frantz, OT, Kansas State, Sr.: Powerful three-year starter who is equally adept as a pass protector or run blocker.

ARIZONA BOWL: Wyoming vs. Georgia State

Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming, Sr.: According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson was the only defensive player in the nation to earn elite grades against the run, in coverage and as a blitzer.

ALAMO BOWL: Utah vs. Texas

Leki Fotu, DT, Utah, Sr.: Fotu has been the massive anchor (6-5, 335) in one of college football’s elite defenses.

Jan. 1

CITRUS BOWL: Michigan vs. Alabama

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan, Jr.: If the very talented receiver (and former five-star recruit) has a big game against the Crimson Tide, I’d be shocked if he decides to return for another year in Ann Arbor.

OUTBACK BOWL: Minnesota vs. Auburn

Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn, Sr.: I’m surprised this potential top-five pick is actually playing in a bowl game. Oh well, it’s our gain and the Gophers’ problem.

ROSE BOWL: Oregon vs. Wisconsin

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon, Sr.: Herbert is in desperate need of a positive performance headed into the draft process. As of now, he could go anywhere from the top 10 or the second round.

SUGAR BOWL: Georgia vs. Baylor

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor, Sr.: His elite athleticism, dynamic speed and incredible catch radius more than makes up for his lack of technical skill as a route runner.

Jan. 2

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: Boston College vs. Cincinnati

Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati, Sr.: The potential mid-round pick is a mismatch for most linebackers and can produce inline, from the slot or split out wide.

GATOR BOWL: Indiana vs. Tennessee

Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee, Jr.: Positive medical checks will make the difference in his draft stock – he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs during his sophomore season. He’s been healthy and one of the most dominant lineman in college football ever since.

Jan. 3


Nathan Rourke, QB, Ohio, Sr.: “Air Canada” is one of the purest playmakers you will ever find at the position, but will his size (6-1, 210) hinder him as a pro prospect? He’s compiled 7,310 passing yards, 60 touchdown passes (only 20 interceptions), 2,552 rushing yards and 48 rushing touchdowns with two receiving touchdowns in three seasons for the Bobcats.

Jan. 4

ARMED FORCES BOWL: Southern Mississippi vs. Tulane

Thakarius Keyes, CB, Tulane, Sr.: Keyes’ size (6-1, 195) and ball skills has caught the attention of NFL scouts.

Jan. 6

LENDINGTREE BOWL: Louisiana vs. Miami (Ohio)

Raymond Calais, RB, Louisiana, Sr.: This all-purpose back is a big play waiting to happen. His elusiveness and superior vision make him a nightmare for defenders in the open field. Worst case scenario is he’s a dynamic kick returner in the NFL.

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