Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: Idaho Potato Bowl

Joe Malfa with a preview for the Idaho Potato Bowl…

‘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.

Idaho Potato Bowl

Matchup: BYU vs. Western Michigan

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Network: ESPN

BYU’s prospect:

LB Sione Takitaki (6-foot-2, 230 pounds)

2018 Stats: 12 games, 99 tackles, 2 sacks, FF

There is no way of sugar coating it — this game lacks NFL talent. The silver lining is the fact that we will get a chess match between the top prospect on each team — Takitaki and Western Michigan’s center John Keenoy. Takitaki was a terror in some of BYU’s biggest games against its toughest opponents this season. He notched 12 tackles in the upset on the road against then #6 Wisconsin, and finished the season with double-digit tackles in four of the last five games. His name is fun to say, and it is said a lot on a given broadcast. He is all over the field and while he does not project as a top prospect, he has been nothing but productive and will carve out a role as a backup and a special teams ace.

Projection: 6th round pick-undrafted free agent

Other names to watch: DE Corbin Kaufusi (6th round pick/undrafted free agent)

Western Michigan’s prospect:

C John Keenoy (6-foot-3, 300 pounds)

Notable stats: 1st team All-MAC as junior, 2nd team as sophomore and senior

Keenoy is a bit undersized but he has a lot of experience as a four-year starter who has played at a very high level. Western Michigan’s offensive line was among the best in the country two years ago, and Keenoy’s play in the middle was a big factor. He is among the most efficient pass-blocking interior linemen in the nation. He has what it takes to be plugged into an offensive line and have success right away as a late round pick.

Projection: 6th round pick-undrafted free agent

Other names to watch: RB LeVante Bellamy (6th round pick/undrafted free agent)