The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: MAC Connections and Notes

The NFLPA Collegiate All-Star game took place this afternoon in Los Angeles from the Home Depot Center. Dick Vermeil's National team cruised to a 34-0 victory over Herm Edward's American team thanks to 5 American turnovers.

No Bulls played, however there were a few New Yorkers on the field. Ryan Higgins from Fordham went 4-for-11 for 42 yards for the National team and Stony Brook's Kevin Norrell caught two passes for 11 yards.

Other connections:

MAC Punter Scott Kovanda, best known for being a Ray Guy Finalist and one of the top 3 punters in the nation, yet not deemed one of the top 3 punters in the MAC, had a solid day, 2 punts with a 42.5 yard average. His second punt was a beauty, it was caught at the 15 after 46 yards in the air, and he gave it great hangtime allowing the coverage team to stop the returner for no gain.

The game MVP was Kansas QB Dayne Crist who arrived at Kansas with Charlie Weis after former UB head coach Turner Gill was fired. Crist threw for 61 yards and added a rushing touchdown.

National Running Back Michael Zordich of Penn State, brother of UB Quarterback Alex Zordich, showed his route running ability and provided a big target near the goal line. He proved to be an effective decoy, Zordich drew in the linebacker, and Rice Tight End Luke Wilson was left wide open for a 7-yard touchdown reception.

Other Notes:

Jordan Rodgers despite being on the wrong side of a 34-0 loss was one of the most popular players with the fans. He showcased his running ability today, but seemed unwilling to take a chance throwing the ball downfield.

I was impressed by the run blocking of Tight End Ben Cotton from Nebraska, if he can improve his hands and his pass blocking, he could be a great #2 TE on Sundays for a run focused team.

DJ Monroe (9 for 24) and Orwin Smith (8 for 39) both dazzled with their speed. They both also returned kicks. Both backs have to improve their all around games, Smith was especially concerned with adjusting from Georgia Tech's triple option scheme to pro-style running, but both backs seem to have the speed to play at the next level.

Non-FBS:

From the school that brought us Tarvaris Jackson and housed Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State, we got QB Greg Jenkins. The Transfer from Troy had little protection and less pocket presence in the first half, but really shined at the WR position. Jenkins took a short hitch turned it upfield and gained 25 yards. He will be a good pick up for a team that runs the short passing game, which is all NFL teams these days, and his QB experience will help with any trick plays.

New Mexico Highlands had a great day with both CB Abdul Kanneh (transfered from Kent State) and LB Jordan Campbell (Transfered from USC) delivering heavy blows during the game. Finally, Appalachian State join FBS already! This year the Mountaineers were represented well by Demetrius McCray who sealed the shutout for the National Team with an interception in the final minute of the game.

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