Sometimes, the football's not totally over even after the champion has been declared.
For UB and its trio of senior stars, postseason All Star games can weigh heavily into their draft stock. Last year's top overall pick and #MACtion representative Eric Fisher from CMU shot up the draft board thanks to a strong performance among the larger school representatives at the Senior Bowl. These late-game opportunities, along with the NFL Combine, are often the best chance outside of an early season masterpiece against Ohio State for smaller-conference athletes to show they can hang with the bigger names.
We've already known that Khalil Mack has secured invites to both the prestigious Senior Bowl and the Medal of Honor Bowl. But what of UB's other two draftable seniors?
The Buffalo Bills announced (reported?) today that WR Alex Neutz will participate in the NFLPA Bowl next weekend at the StubHub Center, home of MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy.
Inside The Bills | UB WR Neutz to play in NFLPA bowl
UB WR Alex Neutz (6’3″ 205) has been named to the North Team roster for the 2014 NFLPA bowl as he will be one of 110 draft-eligible players will face off Saturday, January 18 at StubHub Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised live on ESPN2. ESPNU will also air live broadcasts from practices on Wednesday, January 15 (10 a.m. – noon; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET) and Thursday, January 16 (10 a.m. – noon; 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET).
Meanwhile Branden Oliver appears to still be on the outside looking in. I know very little about the timeline here, or even the whole scope of opportunities, but this tweet suggests that things are mostly done
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>A couple FBS running backs that I'm really surprised were not invited to all star games- Orleans Darkwa (Tulane) & Branden Oliver (Buffalo)</p>— Shaun (@ShaunDoesDraft) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShaunDoesDraft/statuses/421677200702992384">January 10, 2014</a></blockquote>
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On the flip side, Boston College RB Andre Williams withdrew from the Senior Bowl due to a shoulder injury that bothered him more and more for the last 4 games of the season. Perhaps this opening creates a domino effect and Oliver gets in somewhere.
Boston College Running Back Andre Williams Withdraws From Senior Bowl - BC Interruption
According to a report in AL.com, Boston College senior running back Andre Williams has withdrawn from the Senior Bowl due to an injury; presumably the same shoulder injury that forced the Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman finalist to leave the second half of the Syracuse game.
Fortunately for BO, a grand majority, if not all, of NFL teams will likely have representation at UB's pro day thanks to the first round talent on the defensive side of the ball, so he'll get at least one more chance to show his stuff, and perhaps two, Combine invite pending.