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2024 Hula Bowl: Roster Breakdown

Hula Bowl

The 2024 Hula Bowl will take place in Orlando on Saturday on the campus of UCF. The game will kick off at Noon eastern.

This will be the 78th edition of the all-star game, making it the second oldest in existence. It boasts a historical roster with over 60 players that are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and 200 in the College Football Hall of Fame. Scouts from the NFL, CFL, and UFL (along with the WWE) will be in attendance. Both coaching staffs will be made up of former NFL coaches.

The scouting staff led by the good guys over at Draft Diamonds (including good friend of DC, Draft Guy Jimmy) did a fantastic job selecting the roster this year.

Today, I will look at the Hula Bowl roster, position by position.

2024 HULA BOWL: ROSTER BREAKDOWN

QUARTERBACKS

Jason Bean, Kansas

Jack Plummer, Louisville

Spencer Sanders, Mississippi

Davius Richard, NC Central

Ben Bryant, Northwestern

Carter Bradley, South Alabama

John Rhys Plumlee, UCF

The quarterback in 2024 isn’t deep and the level of prospects at the Hula Bowl is a direct reflection of that. The best of the bunch may be Louisville’s Jack Plummer. USA QB Carte Bradley had some preseason buzz but it fell off. I was a fan of Spencer Sanders when he was at Oklahoma State last year. However, he was a reserve this year at Ole Miss. UCF QB John Rhys Plumlee has an intriguing set of tools that an NFL team may want to further investigate.

RUNNING BACKS

Michael Wiley, Arizona

George Holani, Boise State

Blake Watson, Memphis

Deshaun Fenwick, Oregon State

Tyrone Tracy, Purdue

Austin Jones, Southern Cal

Emani Bailey, TCU

Jabari Small, Tennessee

This RB group is fun. Blake Watson, George Holani, and Michael Wiley have all been productive in college. Tennessee’s Jabari Small likely has the highest upside of the group. All told, I expect all eight of these backs to be in an NFL camp.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jalon Calhoun, Duke

Jalen Coker, Holy Cross

Hayden Hatten, Idaho

Casey Washington, Illinois

Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky

Jeshaun Jones, Maryland

Ty James, Mercer

Dayton Wade, Mississippi

Xavier Johnson, Ohio State

Ahmarean Brown, South Carolina

Tejhaun Palmer, UAB

Joshua Cephus, UTSA

Devin Carter, West Virginia

David White, Western Carolina

I expect several of the wide receivers in the Hula Bowl to get drafted. Starting with UTSA’s Joshua Cephus. Tejhuan Palmer has big play ability. A lot of people in the draft community are excited about Idaho’s Hayden Hatten. Jalen Calhoun (Duke) and Ty James (Mercer) are exciting as well. James can be an electric return man

Ahmarean Brown (South Carolina) has dynamite start-and-stop ability. He just needs to finish catches better. Draft Countdown’s Shane P Hallam is a big fan of Holy Cross WR Jalen Coker. Emory Hunt of CBS reports that Western Carolina’s David White has had a great two days of practice.

TIGHT ENDS

Messiah Swinson, Arizona State

Isaac Rex, BYU

Mason Pline, Furman

Cam Grandy, Illinois State

Brenden Bates, Kentucky

Trey Knox, South Carolina

David Martin-Robinson, Temple

Jacob Warren, Tennessee

The TE class in 2024 is one of the worst position groups for depth. However, there are a few noteworthy names. Starting with South Carolina’s Trey Knox. A former WR who is a willing blocker and a decent athlete. Isaac Rex (BYU) has some upside as well. Messiah Swinson has an intriguing size but little-to-zero production.

OFFENSIVE LINE

TACKLES

Gunner Britton, Auburn

Mike Edwards, Campbell

Michael Jerrell, Findlay

Travis Glover, Georgia State

Jeremy Flax, Kentucky

Dalton Tucker, Marshall

Lorenzo Thompson, Rhode Island

Cameron Wire, Tulane

Frank Crum, Wyoming

A lot of smaller school players make up the tackles to watch out for. Michael Jerrell of D2 Findlay has the attention of Shane P Hallam. Mike Edwards (Campbell) is another FCS monster. All of these players will need significant development.

INTERIOR OL

Brady Latham, Arkansas

Clark Barrington, Baylor

Jake Johanning, Furman

Jack Freeman, Houston

X’Zauvea Gadlin, Liberty

Bryan Hudson, Louisville

Nouredin Nouili, Nebraska

Matthew Jones, Ohio State

Nick Gargiulo, South Carolina

Jarrett Kingston, Southern Cal

Duke Clemens, UCLA

Doug Nester, West Virginia

Michael Furtney, Wisconsin

The interior linemen group has some immediate depth options for NFL teams. Michael Furtney (Wisconsin), Doug Nester (West Virginia), Bryan Hudson (Louisville), Clark Barrington (Baylor), and Brady Latham (Arkansas) all strike me as NFL-ready from day one.

EDGE RUSHERS

A.J. Simon, Albany

Taylor Upshaw, Arizona

Andre Carter, Indiana

Ovie Oghoufo, LSU

Anthony Goodlow, Oklahoma State

John McCartan, Oregon State

Solomon Byrd, Southern Cal

Tre’mon Morris-Brash, UCF

Eric Watts, UConn

Rintaro Yamada, Waseda (JPN)

Ron Stone, Washington State

I don’t think we will see one of the Hula Bowl edge rushers drafted. However, there are some solid prospects. The best and most productive may be Eric Watts of UConn. Solomon Byrd (Southern Cal) and Taylor Upshaw (Arizona) are worth keeping an eye on as well. 

DEFENSIVE LINE

Jowon Briggs, Cincinnati

Jack Daly, FIU

James Ester, Northern Illinois

Khristian Boyd, Northern Iowa

Casey Rogers, Oregon

Popo Aumavae, Oregon

Jerquavion Mahone, Temple

Judge Culpepper, Toledo

Hale Motu’apuaka, Utah State

Ulumoo Ale, Washington

Some good rotational interior defensive linemen can be had from this group. Most notable are the pair of Oregon Ducks, Pop Aumavae, and Casey Rogers. I also like Kristian Boyd from FCS Northern Iowa.

LINEBACKERS

Levelle Bailey, Fresno State

Craig Young, Kansas

Sean Rae Trotter, Kwansei (JPN)

Tyren Dupree, Liberty

Omar Speights, LSU

Eli Neal, Marshall

Richard Jibunor, Troy

Jason Johnson, UCF

Darius Muasau, UCLA

Jackson Mitchell, UConn

Winston Reid, Weber State

Maema Njongmeta, Wisconsin

The linebacker group at the Hula Bowl is dripping with productive and talented defenders. I thought UCLA’s Darius Muasau would end up at the Senior Bowl. Jackson Mitchell (UConn) has been one of the nation’s leaders in tackles over the last couple of seasons. Omar Speights (LSU) and Craig Young (Kansas) have core special teamers written all over them.

Then there is perhaps my favorite player in this entire game; Richard Jibunor of Troy. Jibunor has the length and finishing ability to play on the edge with enough athletic traits to develop into a top-end player. he could end up a steal in this class.

CORNERBACKS

Mikey Victor, Alabama State

Al Walcott, Arkansas

Joshua Heyward, Benedict

Elijah Jones, Boston College

Carlton Johnson, Fresno State

Storm Duck, Louisville

Ja’Quan Sheppard, Maryland

Jaden Davis, Miami (FL)

Zamari Walton, Mississippi

Ryan Cooper, Oregon State

AJ Woods, Pittsburgh

PJ Jules, Southern Illinois

Gabe Jeudy-Lally, Tennessee

Josh DeBerry, Texas A&M

Rayshad Williams, Texas Tech

Reddy Stewart, Troy

Decorian Patterson, UCF

There are a ton of lengthy and toolsy corners on this roster. Players like Mikey Victor (Alabama State), Ja’Quan Sheppard (Maryland), AJ Woods (Pittsburgh), and PJ Jules (Southern Illinois) stick out the most to me. A smallish corner with a nose for the football, don’t sleep on Troy’s Reddy Stewart.

SAFETIES

Jaylen Key, Alabama

Patrick McMorris, Cal

Jalyn Phillips, Clemson

Akeem Dent, Florida State

Daijahn Anthony, Mississippi

Shawn Preston Jr., Mississippi State

Thomas Harper, Notre Dame

Sanoussi Kane, Purdue

Lawrence Johnson, SE Missouri State

Isaiah Stalbird, South Dakota State

Demani Richardson, Texas A&M

Tyler Owens, Texas Tech

The safety group isn’t as eye-popping as the corners but there are a handful of potential NFL Draftees. Akeem Dent (Florida State) has been on my radar for a few seasons. As has Patrick McMorris, a San Diego State transfer who finished at Cal.

SPECIALISTS

KICKERS

Alex McNulty-Romaguera, Buffalo

Harrison Mevis, Missouri

Brayden Narveson, NC State

LONG SNAPPERS

Randen Plattner, Kansas State

Marco Ortiz, Nebraska

Peter Bowden, Wisconsin

PUNTERS

Ryan Rehkow, BYU

Ryan Sanborn, Texas

Austin McNamara, Texas Tech

The 2024 Hula Bowl will be telecast live on CBS Sports Network.

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