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FBS College Football
      === NFLPA Collegiate Bowl showcases some of nation's top talent ===
 Carson, CA ( - NFL Draft-eligible players will put their
 talents on display at the StubHub Center on Saturday afternoon in the 3rd-
 annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
 Patrolling the sideline for the American squad is Denny Green, who made his
 mark in the NFL as the head coach of the Vikings and the Cardinals. Returning
 as head coach of the National squad is the legendary Dick Vermeil, who won the
 Rose Bowl as coach of UCLA in 1975 before enjoying an illustrious NFL career
 with the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl with St. Louis. Vermeil
 led the National team to victories in the 2012 (20-14) and 2013 (34-0)
 editions of this game.
 Headlining the American offense is Missouri quarterback James Franklin, who,
 despite missing four games in the middle of the season with a shoulder injury,
 finished with 2,429 yards (on 62.1 percent completions) with 19 touchdowns to
 just six interceptions, while adding impressive rushing totals as well (510
 yards, four TDS). Kenny Guiton also has a lot to prove. The Ohio State signal
 caller was stuck behind Braxton Miller on the depth chart but was brilliant in
 limited action early in the season (.688 completions, 749 yards, 14 TDs, two
 INTs). Also lining up under center for American will be UNLV's Caleb Herring
 (2,718 passing yards, 346 rushing yards, 29 total TDs, five INTs) and Sean
 Schroeder from Hawaii (2,960 yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs).
 American is only carrying two tailbacks -- Oklahoma's Roy Finch (347 yards)
 and Franklyn Quiteh (2,195 yards, 29 TDs), the Division II Player of the Year
 out of Bloomsburg. Fullbacks Kiero Small (Arkansas) and Chad Young (San Diego
 State) will also get to show their skills.
 At receiver, Texas Tech's Eric Ward (83 receptions, 947 yards, eight TDs),
 Hawaii's Chris Gant (59 receptions, 973 yards, nine TDs) and Buffalo's Alex
 Neutz (61 receptions, 1,024 yards, 12 TDs) will all try to build upon
 impressive seasons. Small-school pass catchers Greg Hardin (North Dakota),
 Gerald Ford (Valdosta State), Tony Washington (Appalachian State) and Corey
 Washington (Newberry) will also be given a big stage to play on, while Brian
 Wozniak (Wisconsin) and Terrence Miller (Arizona) will represent the tight end
 Anchoring the American defense is a pair of SEC linebackers in Kentucky's
 Avery Williamson (102 tackles) and Missouri's Andrew Wilson (113 tackles, 6.5
 TFL). The squad also has impressive talent along the defensive line with Kasim
 Edebali (Boston College), Nate Askew (Texas A&M) and Seali'i Epenesa (UCLA) as
 well as in the defensive backfield with Ciante Evans (Nebraska) Demetrius
 Wright (USC) and CJ Barnett (Ohio State).
 On the National side, Connor Shaw is expected to lead the charge at
 quarterback after posting an outstanding senior season at South Carolina,
 completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards, rushing for 558 yards
 and combining for 30 touchdowns while throwing just a single interception.
 Cincinnati QB Brendon Kay (.663 completions, 3,302 yards, 22 TDs, 12 INTs)
 will also get his chance to prove himself, as will Kolton Browning (ULM) and
 Dustin Vaughan (West Texas A&M).
 Trey Watts out of Tulsa is arguably the most talented running back in this
 event, having displayed excellence both as a rusher (1,329 yards, 11 TDs) and
 a receiver (46 receptions, 395 yards, TD). James Sims (1,110 yards, seven TDs)
 was one of the only weapons on a lackluster Kansas team, and Anthony Wilkerson
 (353 yards, two TDs) was solid in limited reps for Stanford.
 Isaiah Burse (99 receptions, 1,026 yards, six TDs) benefitted greatly from his
 future-NFL quarterback Derek Carr at Fresno State and is out to prove he's a
 high-quality playmaker. On the contrary, Albert Wilson out of Georgia State
 had very little talent surrounding him yet still finished with 71 receptions
 for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns. Rounding out the receiving talent is
 Kadron Boone (LSU), Je'Ron Hamm (ULM), Darryl Surgent (Louisiana), Eric Thomas
 (Troy) and Martin Bayless Jr. (Central Methodist).
 Defensively, Jimmy Legree is a high-impact defensive back out of South
 Carolina, as he racked up 55 tackles, 5.5 TFL and three interceptions this
 season. Oklahoma State linebacker Shaun Lewis (58 tackles, 7.5 TFL),
 Mississippi State linebacker Deonte Skinner (64 tackles), Syracuse linebacker
 Marquis Spruill (66 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks) and Southern Miss defensive
 lineman Khyri Thornton (39 tackles, 6.5 TFL) are expected to be standouts for
 the unit as well.
 01/17 13:51:14 ET

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