Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: Birmingham and Armed Forces Bowls

Joe Malfa With His Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide For Birmingham and Armed Forces Bowls

‘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 two small schools battle for an irrelevant trophy 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.

Birmingham Bowl

Matchup: Memphis vs. Wake Forest

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Network: ESPN

Memphis’s prospect:

OG/OT Trevon Tate (6-foot-4, 295 pounds)

Notable stats/accolades: All-American Conference 1st team (2017) and 2nd team (2018)

Tate has been a four year starter for the Tigers. He has the quickness and technique to be a tackle (left or right) in the NFL, but he needs to put on about 30 pounds otherwise he will slide inside to guard. There is a lot of room for growth for Tate both physically and in his play, but he is a Day 3 chance a team will take because he has upside as a potential starter a la Brandon Shell.

Projection: 6th round pick-Undrafted free agent

Other names to watch: C Drew Kyser (7th round/undrafted free agent), LB Curtis Akins (7th round/undrafted free agent)

Wake Forest’s prospect:

RB Matt Colburn (5-foot-10, 200 pounds)

2018 Stats: 145 carries, 698 yards, 5 TDs; 7 catches, 83 yards

Career: 528 carries, 2467 yards, 15 TDs; 31 catches, 293 yards

Colburn is among the candidates to be this year’s Phillip Lindsay. He is an under-the-radar prospect who I think will go on Day 3, though he could very well slip through the cracks like Lindsay did. Colburn’s best football is ahead of him with a running style that will translate well to the NFL. He has great vision, balance, patience, and when he gets going he can bounce off would-be tacklers and make defenders miss in space. Look for the senior to have a wild stat line in his fonal game for Wake Forest — this game is going to be a shootout.

Projection: 5th-7th round pick

Other names to watch: CB Essang Bassey (6th round/undrafted free agent), C Ryan Anderson (6th round/undrafted free agent), S Cameron Glenn (6th round/undrafted free agent)

Armed Forces Bowl

Matchup: Houston vs. Army

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Network: ESPN

Army’s prospects: N/A

Houston’s prospects:

1) CB Isaiah Johnson (6-foot-4, 203 pounds)

2018 Stats: 66 tackles, 5 pass breakups, 2 INTs

Ever since the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” dominated the the NFL, teams have been seeking bigger corners. Johnson fits the bill at a whopping 6-foot-4 with long arms. He has only been playing corner for two seasons after a switch from wide receiver, which makes it even more remarkable that he is projecting as a mid-round pick at the moment. He will only get better as he gains more experience and may go on to be one of the steals of the draft on Day 3.

Projection: 4th-6th round pick

Other names to watch: C Will Noble (4th-7th round pick), TE Romello Brooker (5th-7th round pick), LB Austin Robinson (6th round/undrafted free agent), LB Emeke Egbule (6th round/undrafted free agent)