Bowl Game Week One saw me watch five games full of 2023 NFL Draft prospects.
Each week, I will look back at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.
BOWL GAME WEEK ONE PROSPECT REWIND
FENWAY BOWL: CINCINNATI VS. LOUISVILLE
No Malik Cunningham no problem for Louisville in the Fenway Bowl. The Cardinals snuffed out the Bearcats with the pass-rushing combo of Yasir Abdullah and YaYa Diaby. The two combined for three sacks. Abdullah is scheduled to suit up next in the Hula Bowl. Diaby will try to elevate his draft status at the Senior Bowl.
TEs Josh Whyle and Leonard Taylor opted out of the bowl game for Cincinnati. The best UC prospect that played was LB Ivan Pace Jr. Pace continued his tremendous season with another 16 tackles (sevens solos) and one sack. He is slated to play next in the Shrine Bowl.
CELEBRATION BOWL: JACKSON STATE VS. NC CENTRAL
For the second straight season, the Deion Sanders-led Jackson State Tigers lost the Celebration Bowl. Coach Prime now heads to Boulder to lead Colorado.
The best prospect for JSU for me is LB Aubrey Miller Jr. The 6’2” 225-pound defender has shown his range and finishing ability in the games I have seen this year. Against NCC, Miller recorded 11 tackles (five solos) and a forced fumble. He will play in the Senior Bowl in early February.
LA BOWL: FRESNO STATE VS. WASHINGTON STATE
I fully expected QB Jake Haener to opt out of Fresno State’s bowl game. Haener diced up the Wazzu defense for 280 yards and two scores. He doesn’t have the biggest arm but he has moxie. We will see Haener next at the Senior Bowl.
Heading to the Shrine Bowl is Bulldogs running back Jordan Mims. Mims broke off several big runs against the Cougars on his way to 209 yards on the ground. He also scored twice.
LENDING TREE BOWL: RICE VS. SOUTHERN MISS
Read my full recap of this game from Saturday night HERE.
NEW MEXICO BOWL: BYU VS. SMU
Jarren Hall (QB/BYU) didn’t suit up on Saturday for the Cougars. The 5th-year passer has an outstanding invite for the Senior Bowl.
The best performance for BYU in the New Mexico Bowl may have been their punter, Ryan Rehkow. The 3rd-year player is unlikely to be in this class, however. Against SMU, Rehkow averaged 58.8 yards per punt. He also dropped 3 of his 4 punts inside the 20.
Check back next week for my prospect rewind on the next week’s bowl games.