Our editor Mike Loyko has been down in Mobile all week, taking a look at the top senior prospects that college football had to offer. During the game (4pm EST, NFL Network), he’ll be adding his thoughts and notes from the press box of Ladd-Peebles stadium.
3:00 PM – We are live in the press box at Ladd- Peebles Stadium, waiting for for kickoff. A couple roster changes before the game starts: Boise State CB Jamar Taylor is out due to sickness and Texas DE Alex Okafor is out due to a hip injury. It was a tale of two weeks for the players as Taylor performed well all week and Okafor struggled to show improvement on the things that plagued him throughout his Senior season.
3:05PM: Before the game starts here are my MVP picks. North – UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin on the offense and UCLA DE Datone Jones on the Defense. For the South Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson and Missouri’s Zavaiar Gooden on the defensive side of the ball.
3:10PM: Southeast Louisana’s Robert Alford showed some of the explosive athleticism that he showed in practice all week breaking a 90 yard kick return. Washington CB Desmond Trufant ran him down, showing some good hustle on the play. It looked like Kevin Reddick abandoned his lane responsibility and overran the returner leaving a large hole right up the middle of the field.
3:11PM: After Penn State’s Jordan Hill clogged the middle on the first down attempt, EJ Manuel pulled down the ball to run it in for a quick 7 points for the South.
3:15: Mike Glennon starts the game for the North and immediately gets the ball into Goodwin’s hands. The two just miss on a deep connection vs. Marc Anthony in coverage.
3:20: After two completions to start the drive Glennon throws three straight incompletions that forces a punt. Eric Fisher completely dominated Lavar Edwards on the drive.
3:25: Mike Gillislee breaks a long run, running behind Larry Warford who easily handled Sylvester Williams which opened a huge lane.
3:27: Alabama TE Michael Williams was huge on the drive. First catching at 19 yard pass down the seam and then beating USC S TJ McDonald over the top for a touchdown. Williams is a huge target and a dominate run blocker. He’s showing he can be more than just a blocking threat.
3:30: Robert Alford makes explosive breaks on the ball. Even though he was a second late recognizing the route combination, he was able to drive on it hard and still almost broke up the pass. Credit Markus Wheaton for catching the ball on a bang-bang play.
3:35: Tyler Wilson replaces EJ Manuel and immediately completes two passes to Duke’s Conner Vernon. vernon ran two good routes, working his way back to the ball on each pass. Vernon has just been solid all week and soes a lot of the little things right.
3:40: Robbie Rouse is tiny, but he might have the strongest lower body of any running back here.
3:41: Kyle Long just made a very atheltic maneuver to pull, avoid garbage get out on the edge and throw a cut block in space to spring Rouse. Long has as much upside as any lineman in the game.
3:45: Ryan Nassib is late to get rid of the ball down the seam to his teammate Alec Lemon and Georgia S Bacarri Rambo undercuts the route to intercept the ball.
3:50: Tyler Wilson goes downfield to teammate Cobi Hamilton and underthrows him. Jordan Poyer had a chance to intercept the ball, but let it get away. Poyer is always in position and just seems to make big plays each day. His performance down here reminds me of Casey Hayward last year.
3:55: Kyle Long has moved to LT, on the first play he is jolts back violently by Lavar Edwards. He is able to recover with much better positioning, getting his hands on Edwards the next two plays.
3:55: Ezekial Ansah didn’t flash as a pass rusher all week, but he is having a much better game. He has been very tough against the run, and is using his long arms to get extension and then shed.
4:00: Brandon Williams was lined up in a 1-shade and is just violent off the snap. He gets a great push off his powerful first step and just plays violently. He’s tough to block when he’s shaded.
4:02: Cornelius Washington destoryed Justin Pugh with an inside rip move and forces a sack/fumble. Dysert then throws a pick to Zaviar Gooden who runs like a running back, almost taking it for 6.
4:05: On back to back plays Kawann Short shows his penetration and disruption by beating the LG (Gilkey) badly. He beat him off the snap with quickness and then used his hands to disengage and get to the QB.
4:10: Landry Jones is doing what he did all throughout his career. Struggling to get his feet in good position vs. a pass rush and short arming his throws. It’s been a problem for a long time and he is just opening up that front side and praying that the pass is completed.
4:25: Penn State DT Jordan Hill is undersized but ultra-active today. He just finished off the first half with a sack and has been consistent with the penetration and disruption all game.
4:50: Johnathan Franklin showed what he has been doing all week on that drive. Very good patience to let his blocks develop and then the speed to get to the corner and cut it upfield. On the next play he lets the hole develop and showed the explosive burst getting through the first level and into the endzone.
4:58: Mike Gillislee showing his off-tackle running ability. I really like him on stretch and off tackle sweeps, because he reads his blocks well and make one decisive cut and gets going.
4:59: Kawann Short continues to be active in the middle, fighting off blocks, shedding and making tackles in tight space. He’s been under the radar this week, but is probably the best DT at the Senior Bowl.
5:01: Oregon State DB Jordan Poyer continues to make plays on the ball. Fought through the receiver to tip the pass that ends up as an INT by Will Davis.
5:05 Mike Glennon makes his best throw of the day 20 yeards downfield in between two defenders to Chris Harper. The play is called back due to a hold by Justin Pugh.
5:10: Tyler Wilson comes in at QB and has a poor series. Throws a pass into tight coverage which is knocked down by Blidi Wreh-Wilson and then is nearly sacked on a very good swim move by Kawann Short.
5:15: Denard Robinson makes his first positive play of the game on a 12 yard quick pass from Nassib. Robinson’s openfield speed evident on the play.
5:19: Ziggy Ansah is blocked at first by David Quessenberry, but continues to work hard to get free and closes quick on Nassib. Ansah is credited with a sack and fumble on the play.
5:25: I’m headed down to the field since it’s the start of the 4th quarter.