This year the Fiesta Bowl has the unfortunate distinction of being the annual BCS snore-fest. A BCS game hasn’t been considered as much of a foregone conclusion since the 2006 when a heavily favored Oklahoma played Boise State, and then promptly lost. The two games are not similar; Oklahoma’s presence not withstanding and with all due respect to the Connecticut Huskies. Oklahoma was at one point ranked number 1 in the BCS poll. UConn was not ranked all season. Oklahoma went 6-2 against bowl eligible opponents while UConn went 4-3 and only played a beat a single ranked team.  So the Sooners find themselves in the unfortunate situation where they might not be able to win. Even if they do win the game.

3 Keys from the Scouts
1. Can Oklahoma’s defensive line make plays? The Sooners are 5th in the nation in tackles for loss. The Huskies allow only 5 per game on average. Forcing UConn into long down and distance situations marginalizes Jordan Todman and opens up more opportunities to sack the quarterback. If the Huskies can get into 3rd and short situations they can move the OU defense off the ball.

2. How well will Jordan Todman play? Todman is the best player on the Huskies and the second leading rusher in the nation. Oklahoma has struggled against the run all season despite only allowing two 100 yard games. Todman is a dynamic threat that can take over a game. The Huskies need to have long sustained drives to tire out OU’s defense and more importantly keeping Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles, and Demarco Murray on the sidelines.

3. Ryan Broyles must make plays. Broyles is a dynamic play maker that will be the focus of the Huskie defense. It shouldn’t matter. Broyles is that good and DeMarco Murray’s effectiveness makes it all the more difficult to double cover Broyles.

Bold Prediction: “Big Game” Bob is in a no win situation. The Sooners can’t be pumped about playing a 4 loss team in the Fiesta Bowl. UConn on the other hand is playing in the biggest football game in the University’s history. Todman is a tough player to corral but the Sooners survived Kendall Hunter, Roy Helu, and the Air Force rushing attack. I would look for OU to win this game, though probably not by as much as they would have in September. OU 38 UConn 21


Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
3rdJordan TodmanRB233JrQuick, elusive ball carrier highly considered in scouting circles. Creates his own yardage, has a burst and explodes through the small creases. Considered a better pure ball carrier than former first round draft pick Donald Brown by a number of scouts.  Very likely to enter the draft.
4thLawrence WilsonOLB85SrAthletic linebacker who blows up plays. Makes plays in every direction of the field. Small and lack of size is a limiting factor.
4-5Zach HurdG785SrBig dominant blocker that annihilates defenders once engaged in a block. Graded as early as a third round selection by some scouts.
6-7Anthony ShermanFB494SrNasty blocker with terrific vision. Also a good receiver out of the backfield.
6-7Blidi Wreh-WilsonCB53So
7-FAScott LutrusILB325SrHard charging linebacker who goes sideline to sideline. Shows a real good head for the ball yet constantly struggles with injury.
FACody EndresQB124JrPhysically gifted signal caller dismissed from the program in mid-season.
FAZach FrazerQB105SrTerrific game manager that lacks NFL physical skills.
FATwyon MartinDT44JrExplosive tackle that fires through the gapes up field to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
FAGreg LloydILB954SrTough, run defending, two down linebacker whose career has really been limited by injury.


Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
1stDeMarco MurrayRB75SrExplosive ball carrier with an array of skill. Solid receiver out of the backfield. Has an upside but more than likely a rotational running back versus a feature runner. Stayed healthy this year but has an injury history.
2ndRyan BroylesWR854JrElusive pass catcher that’s dangerous running after the reception. Not built like a number one wide out but well thought of in scouting circles.
2ndJeremy BealDE444SrFast, athletic defensive end who makes a lot of plays up the field or out to the flanks. Some project him as a 3-4 outside linebacker though we feel he’s best in a conventional system at defensive end.
3rdTravis LewisOLB284JrExplosive linebacker who flashes on the scene and has a physical presence. Plays heads-up football, always looking to hit someone and effective in space. Offers terrific upside potential.
3rdJarvis JonesT764JrNice sized blocker with a high upside developing at a fast pace.
3-4Quinton CarterSN5SrHighly considered safety that’s really taking his game to the next level. We like him best in a zone system and feel he needs a lot of work on his ball skills.
5-6Cory BrandonT705SrDeveloping blocker with potential at a number of positions on the offensive line.
6-7Adrian TaylorDT865SrHard working defensive tackle with great first step quickness. Has an upside but struggling to return from a gruesome injury suffered one year ago.
7-FABrandon CalebWR85SrConsistent possession receiver with sure hands.
FACameron KenneyWR64SrPotential fifth receiver at the next level.
FAMossis MaduRB295SrShows enough skills to get looks as a fourth ball carrier on the roster.
FAJonathan NelsonCB35Sr

Game Preview: Brent Foshee

Prospect Preview:  Tony Pauline

Tony Pauline breaks down the top NFL prospects in the Rose Bowl


Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
1stJ.J. WattDE994JrDeveloping defensive end coming off a tremendous season. Athletic, strong and very nasty. Has terrific size and lots of growth potential.  Can effectively play a variety of defensive line positions. Top 20 pick in the draft. About 90% he enters.
1-2Gabe CarimiT685SrSolid pass protecting left tackle that needs to improve his overall body strength but offers a good amount of upside. Offers starting potential on the NFL level.
2-3John MoffittG755SrStrong blocker with nice size. Has a lot of next level potential at guard or center.
3rdLance KendricksTE845SrUnderrated tight end and one of the better pass catchers at the position. Nice speed and a downfield threat.
3-4Nick ToonWR14JrReliable pass catcher with a fundamentally sound game. Not a burner but a tremendous underneath threat.
4thJohn ClayRB75SrBig, powerful ball carrier that is often injured or out of shape.
5-6Jay ValaiFS125SrUndersized yet productive safety with a solid game. Potential nickel on the NFL level.
5-6David OglsbyT674JrLarge blocker with a good degree of upside. Sets quickly in pass protection and fluid sliding off the edge. Must improve his blocking balance and strength.
7-FABill NagyG755SrTough interior blocker that gives an honest days work. Could start at the next level in the right circumstance.
FACulmer St. JeanILB155Sr
FABlake SorensonS94SrHard hitting and intimidating safety that’s a leader on the defense.
FAKevin ZeitlerG703Jr
FADevin SmithCB103Jr
FANiles BrinkleyCB295Sr
FAPatrick ButrymDT954Jr
FALouis NzegwuDE934Jr
FAScott TolzienQB165Sr
FAIsaac AndersonWR65Sr
FAZach BrownRB304Sr


Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
2-3Marcus CannonG615SrWide bodied, athletic blocker that’s highly considered in NFL scouting circles. Moves well on his feet well and strong at the point. Needs to properly condition himself 24/7. College tackle that projects to guard.
5-6Jeremy KerleyWR854SrReliable underneath receiver that also produces returning punts. Potential 4th/5th receiver on the NFL level.
7-FAWayne DanielsDE965SrSolid college pass rusher that projects as a 4-3 end or linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. May have a place at the next level as a pass rush specialist.
FAJimmy YoungWR885SrOne time highly rated prospect that has struggled the past two seasons.
FATejay JohnsonS34Sr
FACory GrantDT575Sr
FAAndy DaltonQB145Sr
FAEvan FroschTE845SrWell sized tight end who can catch the ball and also block.
FAAlex IbiloyeS95Sr

The 2010 Heartbreak kids of Michigan State were one of the best stories of the 2010 NCAA football season. The team that brought us “Little Giants,” “Mousetrap,” and this season’s only victory over Wisconsin to date was passed over by the BCS bowls for conference mates Wisconsin and Ohio State despite having the most legitimate claim to the Rose Bowl based on the overall season. The Spartans find themselves in the Capital One Bowl facing the University of Alabama, headed by former Spartan coach Nick Saban. The defending national champions had a disappointing season by Alabama standards. Ultimately falling victory to the best conference in college football Alabama finished with 3 losses and a sense of something left to accomplish.

3 Keys from the scouts

1. Michigan State must run the ball to stay in the game. Spartan running backs Edwin Baker and Le’Von Bell have combined for over 1700 yards and 21 touch downs. They have not yet faced a rushing defense as good as Alabama has, nor a defense with as much talent. Kirk Cousins has been efficient throwing the ball all year but Alabama will be harassing him all day. The only shot for the Spartans is to keep the Crimson Tide defense honest by running the ball effectively and working the play action passing game down the field.

2. Alabama’s offensive line must take control of the line of scrimmage. Spartan linebacker Greg Jones is as good as they come in college football. Alabama has two of the country’s best tailbacks and a senior quarterback that can effectively pick apart zone defenses if he’s given time. McElroy has been sacked 32 times this season and when he is pressured he is prone to making mistakes. Alabama must exert their will in this game and punish the Spartan front 7 by hammering them with Ingram and Richardson. That will open up man coverage opportunities for Julio Jones and company.

3. Does Michigan State have another special teams trump card? Alabama is susceptible to trick plays, as evidenced in the LSU game. Saban and company like to use their defensive starters on special teams and will probably do so in this game. Both teams are protective of the football and turnovers figure to come at a premium in this game. Field position will be key and the best opportunity to change field position is with trick plays on special teams.

Bold Prediction: Michigan State should have a chip on its shoulder after being snubbed by the BCS. Alabama likewise should be out to prove something after a disappointing season. As good as the Spartans are Alabama, at its best, is a much better team. Alabama not at its best is a slightly worse team. I wouldn’t bet against Nick Saban having his guys prepared. If Alabama is prepared the game won’t be close. Alabama 42 Michigan State 24


Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
1stMarcell DareusDE573JrTremendous defensive line prospect with a great amount of upside. Athletic, explosive and powerful. Can play a three technique position or be used as a two-gap end. The sky is the limit if he makes football and priority. Will enter the draft and be an early pick.
1stMark IngramRB223JrTerrific ball carrier and one of the few feature runners in next April’s draft. Has the power to pound it on the inside as well as the agility to run around tackle.
1stJulio JonesWR83JrDominant game controlling receiver that can be a one man show when focused on the task at hand. Has all the makings of a number one wide out.
3rdDon’ta HightowerOLB303SoAthletic linebacker with a nice degree of upside. Did a nice job returning form injury this season but still needs to develop to complete game. 50/50 on entering the draft at present time.
3-4James CarpenterT774SrSolid college tackle that projects to guard. Moving up draft boards.
3-4Josh ChapmanDT994Jr
3-4Courtney UpshawOLB413Jr
4thMark BarronS43JrOne time highly rated safety coming off a disappointing campaign. Looking more like a run defending/downhill safety. Would be a bad move if he enters.
5-6Marquis MazeWR44JrProductive wide out that projects as a 3rd/4th receiver for the next level. Has a solid game. Likely to enter the draft.
7-FADarius HanksWR154SrNice sized possession receiver.
7-FAGreg McElroyQB125SrNice college signal caller growing on NFL scouts. Senior Bowl is big for him.
FAWilliam VlachosC734Sr

Michigan State

Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
3rdGreg JonesILB534SrProductive middle linebacker prospect with a tremendous head for the game. Size is an issue but a three down starter at the next level.
4thChris L. RuckerCB294SrMechanically sound cornerback with good ball skills. Off the field issues will send up red flags but a potential nickel back/number two starter for the next level.
5-6Charlie GanttTE835SrComplete tight end that really stands out as a blocker and short yardage target. Definite second tight end for the next level.
6thEric GordonOLB435SrUnderrated linebacker with a nice game. Smart, tough and a better athlete than given credit for.
6thB.J. CunninghamWR34JrProductive wide out that will miss the bowl game due to injury.
7-FAMark DellWR25SrNatural receiver coming off a terrific campaign. Lays out for the tough reception and shows good eye/hand coordination. Possible number three at the next level.
FAKirk CousinsQB84JrSolid college quarterback who runs hot and cold. Marginal NFL prospect.
FADJ YoungT595SrAdequately sized tackle who runs hot and cold.
FAJoel ForemanG674Jr
FAMarcus HydeS115Sr

Game Preview: Brent Foshee

Prospect Preview:  Tony Pauline

Recent Comments