Army head coach Jeff Monken led the Black Knights to its third Armed Forces Bowl victory in last-minute fashion. The Black Knights were led by a rambunctious running game that featured running back Jakobi Buchanan. After an injury to starting quarterback Christian Anderson, the team turned to two different quarterbacks, Tyhier Tyler and Jabari Laws, to lead the team down the stretch.
Senior linebacker and team captain Arik Smith garnered Armed Forces Bowl Game MVP honors after posting 12 tackles, two quarerback sacks and two-and-a half tackles for losses in the team’s victory. Junior placekicker Cole Talley banged home the game-winning field goal with no time remaining on the clock to secure the team’s 24-22 victory.
The 2021 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl was the first of two bowl games in three days to take place at Toyota Stadium, the home of the FC Dallas Burn. The game pitted two teams that entered the game with a combined total of 23 victories. In a contest that largely lived up to the billing, the Brady Hoke-led Aztecs (12-2) took over the contest in the second half to win 38-24. It was just the second loss for the 24th-ranked Roadrunners (12-2), who have turned into one of the nation’s up-and-coming programs under Texas high school coaching legend and 2021 C-USA Coach of the Year Jeff Traylor.
Chavous discusses who won the highly-anticipated battle between UTSA offensive tackle Spencer Burford and SDSU defensive end Cameron Thomas. In addition, he goes inside the bowl game MVP performances from wide receiver Jesse Matthews and safety CJ Baskerville.
The Blazers were led by running back DeWayne McBride (5’11, 215, SOPH), who rushed for 183 yards on 28 carries behind an offensive line featuring LT Kadeem Telfort (6’8, 335, R-JR) and RT Colby Ragland (6’5, 315, R-SR). Chavous breaks down both in the video, along with their star deep threats in tight end Gerrit Prince (6’5, 240, R-SR) and junior wide receiver Trea Shropshire (6’3 195, JR).
On the other side, BYU had a stalwart of its own in star running back Tyler Allgeier (5’11, 220, R-SOPH). Allgeier finished with 192 tough yards and averaged 7.1 yards per carry. Playing without injured quarterback Jaren Hall (6’1, 205, SOPH), the team turned to the Romneys, Baylor (6’2, 195, SOPH) and Gunner (6’2, 195, JR) to get it done in support. But it was one of BYU’s freshman defenders who stood out. Find out who it was in Corey Chavous’ video in-game report.
There were several players who stood out during Day 1 of the American team practices at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. We go inside a few plays and give some of the notes from our film review in our photo gallery breakdown.
Richie Grant S-UCF 2021 Senior Bowl
Former UCF safety Richie Grant (No. 27 pictured) is known for his ball skills, but he couldn't snag this interception in the rain during the last team period on Day 1 of the American practice. During the week, he took very good angles out of centerfield and covered slot wideouts effectively. He was not as effective in coverage versus tight ends.
Jamie Newman throws the ball in the rain 2021 Senior Bowl
Former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman (No. 7 pictured) earned a reputation in school for coming through in the clutch. During the rainy conditions on Day 1 of American practices, Newman displayed his skill throwing on the move.
13 Shi Smith and Kadarius Toney run crossing routes in the 2021 Senior Bowl
As former Central Arkansas cornerback Robert Rochell clues the quarterback, South Carolina's Shi Smith (No. 13 pictured) and Florida's Kadarius Toney (No. 1 pictured) run mirrored crossing routes. Both receivers left balls on the ground during the week but were generally effective working the middle of the field and beyond.
Larry Rountree III running in the 2021 Senior Bowl (Day 1)
Grambling State's OG David Moore and ECU OL D'Ante Smith seal Northwestern LB Paddy Fisher and Baylor DE William Bradley-King as Missouri's Larry Rountree III finds the cutback lane. SMU H-back Kylen Granson (No. 83 pictured) contributed with a kick-out block. Rountree III had a strong 9-on-7 Red Zone period on Day 1.
American offensive line making their fits on Day 1 of 2021 Senior Bowl practices
The American offensive line fits its blocks up perfectly on this play. Tennessee's Trey Smith (No. 73 pictured) fits Auburn LB KJ Britt (No. 33 pictured) and No. 83 Kylen Granson set up his block versus FSU safety Hamsah Nasirildeen. Alabama offensive guard Deonte Brown (No. 65 pictured) is measuring his trek to LSU LB Jabril Cox (No. 19 pictured).
Grambling State OL David Moore battles Iowa DT Chauncey Golston
Grambling State OG David Moore (No. 60 pictured) inside used his mammoth size to frustrate Iowa DL Chauncey Golston. Golston's ability to play inside or outside, however, stood out during the week. FSU defensive end Janarius Robinson's width (pictured vs. SMU's Kylen Granson) allows him to compete well versus tight ends on the edge.
Amercian Day 1 Notes, Part 3 DraftNasty film review
We included one snippet of our four-part film study from Day 1 of the American practices. To view our full breakdown from the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl practices, please check out Corey Chavous' 2021 NFL Draft Guide.
The Texas A&M Aggies finished off a 9-1 campaign with a fourth quarter flurry of scores versus a game North Carolina Tar Heels team that played without a plethora of its offensive firepower. We go inside the action with a photo gallery that describes some of the best action in the Aggies 41-27 victory over the Tar Heels. The game’s ebbs and flows were befitting of a New Year’s Six bowl.
2021 Capital One Orange Bowl halftime show
Hard Rock Stadium was the host for the 2021 Capital One Orange Bowl and the fireworks display at halftime was befitting of a new year.
Isaiah Spiller RB Texas A&M
First-team All-SEC RB Isaiah Spiller scored the first touchdown of the game behind Texas A&M TE Ryan Renick. Spiller went over the 1,000-yard mark (1,036) with 11 carries for 50 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
DeMarvin Leal makes the tackle
Leal (No. 8 seen tackling UNC RB Josh Henderson) started the game strong and was active throughout the contest. The former U.S. Army All-American finished 2020 with 2.5 QB sacks and seven tackles for losses. He also had a fumble recovery, interception and three pass breakups on the year.
Bobby Brown III vs. Brian Anderson
On the last play of the first half, Texas A&M first-team All-SEC defensive tackle Bobby Brown III beat the block by UNC center Brian Anderson and put his 325 pounds on Tar Heels RB British Brooks.
Dazz Newsome TD catch
Despite excellent coverage by Texas A&M freshman DB Antonio Johnson (No. 27 pictured), UNC WR Dazz Newsome was able to catch the tipped pass for a 28-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Texas A&M WR Chase Lane athletic grab
Texas A&M freshman WR Chase Lane (No. 2 pictured) had a productive season capped off by this twisting 27-yard grab in second quarter of the 2021 Orange Bowl. He finished with 29 receptions for 409 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games.
Fox vs. Hocker
UNC DT Tomari Fox (No. 56 pictured) -the younger brother of UNC OLB Tomon- fights off Aggies RG Jared Hocker (No. 73 pictured) despite giving up nearly 45 pounds.
Fox vs. Moore
Fox (No. 12 pictured) drew this third quarter holding call versus Aggies second-team All-SEC offensive tackle Dan Moore (No. 65 pictured). Fox -who finished the year with seven QB sacks and 10.5 TFLs- made the first two tackles of the game.
Kellen Mond and Isaiah Spiller
Spiller (No. 28 pictured) works downfield to get a block for quarterback Kellen Mond (No. 11 pictured) on this 24-yard run in the third quarter. The play was called back due to a holding call.
Tony Grimes QB sack
On a key third down in the third quarter, UNC freshman CB Tony Grimes chased down Texas A&M's Kellen Mond for a quarterback sack. Grimes finished the contest with three tackles, a quarterback sack and two pass breakups.
Tony Grimes covering Hezekiah Jones
Grimes was also competitive in coverage through the fourth quarter versus the Aggies wide receivers.
Texas A&M P Nik Constantinou
Texas A&M freshman punter Nik Constantinou kicks this ball off the side of his foot in the fourth quarter. Despite the shank to his left, Constantinou averaged 42 yards per punt, landed two punts inside the 20-yard line and posted one punt of 50-plus yards in the Orange Bowl.
Sam Howell QB-UNC
UNC QB Sam Howell was a dual-threat in the 2021 Orange Bowl. Not only did he complete 18-of-31 passes for 234 yards (3 TDs, INT), the sophomore signal-caller rushed for some key first downs. The yardage totals are misleading, due to the fact that he was sacked four times by the Aggies. The team gave up 34 sacks in 2020, which ranked 13th in the ACC.
Devon Achane RB-Texas A&M
Texas A&M freshman RB Devon Achane has the hand-eye coordination to get more involved in the Aggies passing game moving forward.
Eugene Asante squaring up the running back
Having the unenviable task of replacing first-team All-ACC LB Chazz Surratt (opted out of the game) proved to be no problem for UNC sophomore LB Eugene Asante (No. 7 pictured). He was a consistent presence from the onset and finished the game with 10 tackles.
2021 Capital One Orange Bowl MVP Devon Achane
At the end of the game, 2021 Capital One Orange Bowl MVP Devon Achane (pictured on the podium) was throwing oranges to his teammates. Achane -the 2020 Gatorade Texas Boys Track & FIeld Athlete of the Year- finished with 140 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. He also had two receptions for 24 yards.
2021 NFL Draft prospect Zach Wilson’s 425-yard, five-touchdown performance (3 PASS, 2 RUSH) led the day -and rightfully so- and now we take a look at some of the other pro prospects from BYU’s 49-23 victory over the UCF Knights in the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl.
95 Khyris Tonga 6’4 321 DT-Senior BYU
Tonga’s stat line will never jump off the screen. In today’s NFL, the splash interior defensive line prospects typically are able to work to half a man for quick penetration. This is not Tonga’s game. Where he does flash in the passing game revolves around his timing to cloud passing lanes.
He posted a pass breakup in this contest and recorded three in the team’s final four games of 2020. He finished his career with 12 pass deflections. The former rugby star is strong, runs well in a straight line and projects as a zero-technique in three-man fronts.
5 Dax Milne 6’0 189 WR-Junior BYU
Milne has been a model of consistency all season for the Cougars and this game was no different. There were several games this season where he flashed down the field capability in terms of high-pointing the football (see Houston ’20). The former walk-on uses deception and a quick-footed style to fool defensive backs. It is a big reason he was the team’s second-leading receiver on third downs. One of his better patterns is the stutter-and-go comeback route (see Western Kentucky ’20), but there have been occasions where he’s made deft one-hand grabs from his quarterback down the field in contested situations (TD vs. Sails, USF ’19). Milne recently declared for the 2021 NFL Draft and he could be the program’s first receiver picked since Austin Collie in 2008 (Indianapolis Colts, 4th Round, 127th overall).
67 Brady Christensen 6’6 300 LT-Junior BYU
For the most part, Christensen has been steady. There are some occasions where players get the best of him due to a questionable anchor (see Boyles, USF ’19; Wiley, UTSA ’20). In those instances, he has even been knocked to the ground. Mobility and foot quickness, however, make him a viable option to hear his name called this spring after recently declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. In this contest, he was adept at baiting the opponent up the field, particularly on QB Zach Wilson’s quarterback draw for a touchdown in the first quarter. Christiensen is also agile as a pulling option on the perimeter (1st QTR/0:25, Boca Raton ’20). Can he long-arm the opponent when quick-setting (2nd QTR/5:11, Boca Raton ’20)?
2 Otis Anderson 5’11 174 RB-Ret-Senior UCF
After not playing against USF, Anderson was solid in what may have been his last collegiate game (16 carries, 73 yards). He does have the option of returning for one more season. The former wide receiver finishes with over 90 career receptions and a healthy six yards per carry average.
An adept punt returner who could carve out a niche in that role, he has more than one tool in his skill-set. His foot speed will likely determine whether he can sneak into an NFL training camp.
83 Isaac Rex 6’6 247 TE-Redshirt Freshman BYU
As the season has gone on, Rex continued to work the seams both in the field and the Red Zone. He scored two or more touchdowns in five of the team’s final seven contests. The team will line him up one-on-one for back-shoulder fades (Western Kentucky ’20, 2nd QTR/0:21). And just think what this offense would have looked like had NFL prospect Matt Bushman been available all season. Versus UCF, Rex led the team with five receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns. One of his touchdowns came on a flea-flicker where he was left wide open down the right sidelines.
The former San Clemente High School (Calif.) product was a basketball recruit and part of the 2017 recruiting class. He has already served a mission in Samoa for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Is the future now?
The Mountaineers rolled the Mean Green in the inaugural 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl by a score of 56-28. We take a look at several prospects that we’ve had our eye on this season.
Appalachian State Mountaineers
6 Camerun Peoples 6’2 202 RB-Sophomore
For Peoples it was all about getting downhill over the course of the last year. In 2019, he missed most of the season with a knee injury. How would he return in 2020? The results were a bit up-and-down, as he put the ball on the turf four times (fumbles). In the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl, the game MVP displayed a build speed stride that often outpaced the angles of North Texas’ defense. His upright running style is offset by his quick one-cut ability. He scored on an outside zone late in the second quarter, displaying very good straight-line speed. Continued flexibility gains are in order for the redshirt sophomore.
12 Zac Thomas 6’1 210 QB-Senior
Thomas came into the season as perhaps the Sun Belt’s most ballyhooed quarterback, but his final stanza ended on a bit of a sour note. He struggled with decision-making in the Coastal Carolina contest and -despite a bounce back performance against Troy- ended the final month with the ball largely out of his hands. His impact as a running threat gradually faded over the final month of the year.
70 Cooper Hodges 6’4 295 RT-Sophomore
Hodges works his hands on the outside lanes. On Peoples’ 64-yard touchdown run near the end of the second quarter the sophomore finished a knockdown block by simply running his feet through the long arm of the defensive end. His hinge blocks on the backside of run away are technique-sound. He is a player to keep an eye on moving forward.
51 John “Baer” Hunter 6’3 295 RG-Senior
Hunter’s name is appropriate because he runs down the opposition. Hunter won to the spot versus North Texas DT Dion Novil on a reach block and then he flipped his hips to cut him off on the team’s outside zone run schemes (on more than one occasion). The former defensive lineman displays good hip torque on contact. He possesses good vision to pick up linebackers running through his gap control on run action away. The questions on Hunter revolve around length and whether he can transition into the center spot.
9 Demetrius Taylor 6’1 295 DL-Senior
Taylor posted one quarterback hurry and just two tackles in this contest. Taylor’s impact can largely go unnoticed until it doesn’t. He plays bully ball on the edge and has been one of the stronger players in the conference dating back to 2017. He finished his career with 35.5 tackles for losses and at least part of his emergence began with current Kentucky defensive line coach and former CFL standout Anwar Stewart (https://journalnow.com/sports/college/asu/app-states-demetrius-taylor-has-the-talent-to-make-a-big-impact-his-position-coach/article_7bdadc68-9943-5133-bc25-f7bfcb73f097.html).
North Texas Mean Green
97 Dion Novil 6’4 330 NT-Senior
This was a game that Novil needed to put a stamp on what had been a productive senior campaign, but he was reached and scooped by Appalachian State RG John “Bear” Hunter on Peoples’ long touchdown run near the end of the second quarter. His inactivity in this game was evidenced by a final line that included zero tackles. He was moved off of the ball versus double teams due to a tendency of playing on his toes (3rd QTR/0:21). Perhaps more disconcerting was the fact that he was unable to adjust his game versus the Mountaineers angle blocking schemes.
Washington State emerged victorious in a back-and-forth thriller against Iowa State. The Cougars defeated the Cyclones 28-26 to win the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:
16 Gardner Minshew (6’2 220) Washington State QB-Senior
The East Carolina transfer put together a season that ended with him winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, which is given to the nation’s top senior quarterback. Minshew impressed in the Valero Alamo Bowl with his short compact delivery and his elusiveness in the pocket. Iowa State opted to rush just three defensive linemen for the better part of the game and he took his time with patient reads. When he is at his best, Minshew can power off his back foot and drive the ball in the short and intermediate passing game. At the next level, the Cougars quarterback will have to answer questions about his deep ball accuracy and ability to run a less quarterback-friendly offense than head coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense. The former ECU Pirate finished his senior season with 4,779 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
4 Marcus Strong (5’9 185) Washington State CB-Junior
Marcus Strong showed his anticipation and ball skills when he jumped a slant in the first quarter and ran the interception in for a touchdown. The junior cornerback, however, was called for a taunting penalty and had his touchdown negated. For the game, Strong finished with seven tackles, one sack and one interception. He impressed this season -and against Iowa State- with his ability to compete and play through the whistle. Despite giving up nine inches against Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler, Strong got physical and made life hard on the taller opponent. The lack of size will concern scouts, but the Cougars cornerback has the right mentality to play on the outside in the NFL.
18 Hakeem Butler (6’6 225) Iowa State WR-Junior
Butler is physical and not afraid to put his hands on the opposing cornerback to create room in his routes. He also showed the skills to seal the edge during running plays. Despite his height, Butler can still get low and get in-and-out of his breaks (see his comeback routes during the first half). The junior had a productive season, posting 60 catches for 1,318 yards and nine touchdowns. Against Washington State, he caught nine passes for 192 yards. This included an acrobatic one-handed catch over the middle of the field.
32 David Montgomery (5’11 216) Iowa State RB-Junior
David Montgomery has the tools to be an every down back at the next level. He showed soft hands in the receiving game in the Valero Alamo Bowl (4 catches for 55 yards). And like he did all season long, he refused to go down on first contact. Against Washington State, he ran for 124 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. On the season, the Cincinnati native rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns.
A dominant second half by the Blue Devils was enough to help them cruise to an Independence Bowl victory. Duke scored 35 unanswered points to defeat Temple, 56-27.DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:
17 Daniel Jones (6’5 220) Duke QB-Junior
With Oregon’s Justin Herbert returning to Oregon for another season, Duke’s Daniel Jones should get some attention earlier in next year’s draft. That is if the redshirt junior decides to declare early. The Blue Devil signal-caller finished with one rushing touchdown, five passing touchdowns and two interceptions against Temple. A throw that stood out to me was his pump-and-go pass for a touchdown to T.J. Rahming, the slight pump was enough to get the defensive backs attention and clear the way for Rahming. Jones not only sold the pump with his legs, head and arm moving in sync but he threw a good pass as well. The game was a microcosm of his season: a mixed bag of good and bad. Scouts will question his pocket awareness. Against Temple, he was sacked three times and for his career, he’s been sacked 82 times. I would like to see the internal clock in his head operate a little quicker and if plays aren’t developing, see him throw the ball away. The positives for Jones is that he has good size, great athleticism for his stature, can throw on the run and has worked with David Cutcliffe, who has enjoyed a myriad of success with young quarterbacks.
3 T.J. Rahming (5’10 170) Duke WR-Senior
You can’t help but think of former Duke wide receiver and Redskins current slot receiver, Jamison Crowder, when you see T.J. Rahming. The two have identical builds and are used in similar situations. Rahming is used on jet sweeps as a motion man and works mostly in the slot. Rahming might be a little faster straight-line than Crowder but he doesn’t have the same agility as his elder. Like Crowder, Rahming also can help out in the punt return game (5.9 yards per punt career average). Against Temple, Rahming caught 12 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
9 Michael Dogbe (6’3 280) Temple DL-Senior
Dogbe is a little light for a defensive tackle but his activity and constant movement is never lacking. In a time where defense is more about reacting than dictating, Dogbe is a throwback see ball/ get ball type of player. In the Independence Bowl, Dogbe impressed with his ability to attract double teams and follow and stick with the play from behind. He projects best as a 4-3 defensive tackle or a 3-4 defensive end at the next level. At Temple, single digit numbers are reserved for tough and hardworking players and Dogbe has earned his stripes. For the season, Dogbe finished with 12.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three forced fumbles.
The Oklahoma Sooners were able to get revenge for a loss against Texas earlier in the season by defeating their Red River foe in the Big 12 Championship Game. Oklahoma used an efficient offense and an opportunistic defense to win 39-27 and clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff in the process. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:
33 Gary Johnson (6’0 230) Texas LB-Senior
Johnson literally jumps out of nowhere to make plays. The senior linebacker is able to contort his body, get really low and explode past offensive linemen to make plays in the backfield. Johnson had a third and goal tackle for loss on the Sooners first possession after he blew past the Sooners linemen to stuff the play in the backfield. Johnson also impressed with his hustle to the football. After Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb caught a curl route and took it 50 yards downfield, Johnson snuck up behind him and poked the ball loose, turning what would’ve been a massive play for Oklahoma into a turnover for Texas. Johnson’s pursuit to the football will catch the eyes of scouts, but he will have to work on shedding blocks once he is engaged.
2 Kris Boyd (6’0 195) Texas CB-Senior
Boyd is a technician at cornerback. His ability to mirror receivers and play off of their motions is NFL-quality. The senior cornerback has had a pass deflection in all but two games this season. Boyd had another pass deflection when he mirrored Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown on a fade route and then brought his hands through Brown’s hands to knock the ball away at the last second. Boyd is also a willing tackler on the outside. Look for a team, who is looking for man-to-man corners to target Boyd in this year’s draft.
2 CeeDee Lamb (6’2 189) Oklahoma WR-Sophomore
The Sooners star receiver is a fluid route runner, who also has excellent hands in traffic. Regardless of his slight build, Lamb has shown the willingness to extend his body and leave himself susceptible to shots to his ribs. The sophomore receiver can make big plays as a receiving option on screens or he can make plays for others as a lead blocker on bubble screens to other receivers like he did in the first half against Texas. Lamb caught a touchdown over the middle to bring the Sooners within one point of the Longhorns in the second quarter. Despite his fumble, Lamb was productive, finishing with six catches for 167 yards and a touchdown.