More “mid-major” type schools competing in bowls over the weekend leading up to Christmas Day, but the prospects in action include a supposed first round QB prospect, a big play receiver from the Big 12, and the top senior running back in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Here’s a look...
We’ll start with a look at the Friday Bowl Games, and have a Saturday and Sunday’s ready for you tomorrow.
Bahamas Bowl - Friday 12:30 PM ET Alabama-Birmingham vs Ohio
#32 Quentin Poling LB Ohio 6’ 232
Season States: 102 TKL (47 solo) 12.5 TFL 5.5 SCK 3 FF 4 PBU
Friday’s early game is light on 2018 prospects, but Poling is a fifth-year senior defensive captain who led the team in tackles during his freshman and sophomore seasons, and who is coming off back-to back 100+ tackle seasons. Poling played defensive back in high school, and participated in track and wrestling in addition to playing football. He will likely get a look as a depth linebacker and special teams player in an NFL rookie camp next spring.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Friday 4:00 PM Central Michigan vs Wyoming
#45 Joe Ostman DE CMU 6’3” 259
Season Stats: 63 TKL (36 solo) 18.5 TFL 12 SCK 4 FF
Ostman is a late bloomer who amassed only five sacks in his first 28 college games, but has led the team each of the last two seasons. As a senior, Ostman finished third in the MAC with 12 sacks, despite missing two games with an injury. He’s healthy now, and will have touted quarterback prospect Josh Allen in his sights on Friday afternoon.
#83 Tyler Conklin TE CMU 6’4” 240
Season Stats: 28 REC 406 YDS 14.5 AVG 5 TD
Conklin had a breakout 2016 with 42 catches for 560 yards and six touchdowns, but he missed his first five games this season with a broken bone in his foot. Upon returning, the senior tight end immediately posted 10 catches for 136 yards and two scores in a win over Ohio. Conklin is a smallish, flex/H-back type of prospect, so he won’t be every NFL team’s cup of tea, but he will have his chance to impress scouts and personnel execs from every organization next month at the Senior Bowl.
#17 Josh Allen QB Wyoming 6’5” 240
Season Stats: 141/251 (56.2%) 1658 YDS 6.6 YPA 13 TD 6 INT 5 rush TD
Despite another uneven season, Big Media draft analysts continue to project Allen as a first round pick next spring. So it strikes me as an odd decision for Allen to play in his game, coming off a shoulder injury that kept him on the sidelines for Wyoming’s final two regular season contests. The fourth-year junior passer seemingly doesn’t need this game, but on the other hand, skipping the bowl would no doubt raise (unfair) questions about Allen’s willingness to compete. Speaking of competition, Allen just earned his diploma a week or so ago, which means he’s now eligible for a Senior Bowl invitation. I expect that to be arriving in the mail shortly, if he hasn’t already received one.