‘Tis the season for over 40 college bowl games sponsored by some very obscure companies to celebrate the mediocrity of 6-6 teams. Surely there is an angry old man somewhere waving his fist screaming about how “everyone gets a trophy” and “the Millennials are ruining everything.” At TOJ, we love bowl season. Maybe not for the games because watching Western Kentucky against Georgia State is not very appealing, but it gives us a chance to watch some teams that we did not get a chance to watch this season and evaluate some prospects who may not have been regularly exposed to us.
New Mexico Bowl
Matchup: Marshall vs. Colorado State
Time: 4:30 p.m.
- QB Chase Litton
2017 stats: 60.6% completion percentage, 2,853 yards, 23 TDs, 12 INTs, 6.9 YPA
Career stats: 61.0% completion percentage, 8,070 yards, 70 TDs, 29 INTs, 6.9 YPA
Out of all the prospects across the five bowl games being played on Saturday, Litton is the one I am most interested in watching. I kept a close eye on him all year but have not had the chance to watch him much considering Marshall does not get many primetime slots. He has drawn some Jimmy Garoppolo comparisons due to his characteristics and the fact that he will be a mid-round sleeper who might turn some heads. He is a player to keep a close eye on throughout the draft process.
Colorado State’s prospects:
1) RB Dalyn Dawkins
2017 stats: 216 carries, 1,349 yards, 8 TDs; 23 catches, 310 yards, 1 TD
Career stats: 579 carries, 3,250 yards, 14 TDs; 76 catches, 734 yards, 2 TDs
Dawkins is a fun player to watch. I accidentally stumbled across him when I was watching Colorado State take on Josh Allen and Wyoming a couple of weeks ago in the snow. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound scatback toted the ball 29 times for 154 yards and looked electric. Donnel Pumphrey was last year’s speedy, undersized running back that caught my attention. Dawkins is not quite on that level and will probably end up in the 7th round instead of the 4th, but he is fun to watch nonetheless.
2) WR Michael Gallup
2017 stats: 94 catches, 1,345 yards, 7 TDs
Career stats: 170 catches, 2,617 yards, 21 TDs
Gallup spent his first two seasons in junior college and was sought after by SEC schools, but an ankle injury ended up leading him to Colorado State. He is a dangerous red zone target with that6-foot-1, 200-pound frame, and he has 21 touchdowns in two seasons to back that up. He can do it all — go across the middle, go deep, turn a screen up the field for a big gain — and he could shoot up draft boards with a good combine. Enjoy watching the Biletnikoff Award finalist play in his bowl game, and keep a keen eye on him come February and March. Do not forget his name, because you will probably be hearing it called early on day two of the draft.
Matchup: Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Arkansas State’s prospects: N/A
Middle Tennessee’s prospect:
- EDGE Walter Brady
2017 stats: 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks
As a freshman at Missouri in 2015, Brady led FBS freshman with seven sacks. He was kicked off the team ahead of the 2016 season and resurfaced this year at Middle Tennessee. He ended this season with pedestrian numbers — 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Red flags will always be raised when a player is kicked off a team, and Brady will have to address that issue when he meets with teams throughout the draft process. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound pass rusher has the physical traits and speed that NFL teams seek, so he could be a steal between the 5th and 7th rounds if the character concerns are straightened out.