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American vs. National



Saturday, January 18, 6 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

GAME NOTES: NFL Draft-eligible players will put their talents on display at the StubHub Center on Saturday afternoon in the 3rd-annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Patrolling the sideline for the American squad is Denny Green, who made his mark in the NFL as the head coach of the Vikings and the Cardinals. Returning as head coach of the National squad is the legendary Dick Vermeil, who won the Rose Bowl as coach of UCLA in 1975 before enjoying an illustrious NFL career with the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl with St. Louis. Vermeil led the National team to victories in the 2012 (20-14) and 2013 (34-0) editions of this game.

Headlining the American offense is Missouri quarterback James Franklin, who, despite missing four games in the middle of the season with a shoulder injury, finished with 2,429 yards (on 62.1 percent completions) with 19 touchdowns to just six interceptions, while adding impressive rushing totals as well (510 yards, four TDS). Kenny Guiton also has a lot to prove. The Ohio State signal caller was stuck behind Braxton Miller on the depth chart but was brilliant in limited action early in the season (.688 completions, 749 yards, 14 TDs, two INTs). Also lining up under center for American will be UNLV's Caleb Herring (2,718 passing yards, 346 rushing yards, 29 total TDs, five INTs) and Sean Schroeder from Hawaii (2,960 yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs).

American is only carrying two tailbacks -- Oklahoma's Roy Finch (347 yards) and Franklyn Quiteh (2,195 yards, 29 TDs), the Division II Player of the Year out of Bloomsburg. Fullbacks Kiero Small (Arkansas) and Chad Young (San Diego State) will also get to show their skills.

At receiver, Texas Tech's Eric Ward (83 receptions, 947 yards, eight TDs), Hawaii's Chris Gant (59 receptions, 973 yards, nine TDs) and Buffalo's Alex Neutz (61 receptions, 1,024 yards, 12 TDs) will all try to build upon impressive seasons. Small-school pass catchers Greg Hardin (North Dakota), Gerald Ford (Valdosta State), Tony Washington (Appalachian State) and Corey Washington (Newberry) will also be given a big stage to play on, while Brian Wozniak (Wisconsin) and Terrence Miller (Arizona) will represent the tight end position.

Anchoring the American defense is a pair of SEC linebackers in Kentucky's Avery Williamson (102 tackles) and Missouri's Andrew Wilson (113 tackles, 6.5 TFL). The squad also has impressive talent along the defensive line with Kasim Edebali (Boston College), Nate Askew (Texas A&M) and Seali'i Epenesa (UCLA) as well as in the defensive backfield with Ciante Evans (Nebraska) Demetrius Wright (USC) and CJ Barnett (Ohio State).

On the National side, Connor Shaw is expected to lead the charge at quarterback after posting an outstanding senior season at South Carolina, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards, rushing for 558 yards and combining for 30 touchdowns while throwing just a single interception. Cincinnati QB Brendon Kay (.663 completions, 3,302 yards, 22 TDs, 12 INTs) will also get his chance to prove himself, as will Kolton Browning (ULM) and Dustin Vaughan (West Texas A&M).

Trey Watts out of Tulsa is arguably the most talented running back in this event, having displayed excellence both as a rusher (1,329 yards, 11 TDs) and a receiver (46 receptions, 395 yards, TD). James Sims (1,110 yards, seven TDs) was one of the only weapons on a lackluster Kansas team, and Anthony Wilkerson (353 yards, two TDs) was solid in limited reps for Stanford.

Isaiah Burse (99 receptions, 1,026 yards, six TDs) benefitted greatly from his future-NFL quarterback Derek Carr at Fresno State and is out to prove he's a high-quality playmaker. On the contrary, Albert Wilson out of Georgia State had very little talent surrounding him yet still finished with 71 receptions for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns. Rounding out the receiving talent is Kadron Boone (LSU), Je'Ron Hamm (ULM), Darryl Surgent (Louisiana), Eric Thomas (Troy) and Martin Bayless Jr. (Central Methodist).

Defensively, Jimmy Legree is a high-impact defensive back out of South Carolina, as he racked up 55 tackles, 5.5 TFL and three interceptions this season. Oklahoma State linebacker Shaun Lewis (58 tackles, 7.5 TFL), Mississippi State linebacker Deonte Skinner (64 tackles), Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill (66 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks) and Southern Miss defensive lineman Khyri Thornton (39 tackles, 6.5 TFL) are expected to be standouts for the unit as well.

Whether it be a proven producer, a player with great talent but limited by injuries over his career, an overachiever from a small program, or even a guy who didn't get his fair share of playing time on a elite team, every player in this game has something to show in order to improve their stock come NFL Draft time in May. Figure on event veteran Vermeil to continue his reign with the National squad.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: National 38, American 35

01/17 13:51:52 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
Final
UGA 64
KENT 72
 
Final
NW 82
MICH 78
 
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
 
1st OT
KU 70
WVU 66
 
Final
CREI 72
VILL 76
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
Final
ARI 1
ANA 4
2nd Intermission
VAN 2
SJS 4