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             === NFL hopefuls go for broke in 65th Senior Bowl ===
 
 Mobile, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - The 65th Senior Bowl will take place at Ladd-
 Peebles Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as some of the nation's top college
 talent get a chance to make one more impression in the hopes of improving
 their NFL Draft stock.
 
 Considering these teams are hand-picked, the final result is very often
 forgotten. Last season, the South squad claimed a 21-16 victory over the
 North, with E.J. Manuel earning MVP honors. The South leads by a 29-26-3
 margin all-time in the event.
 
 Two NFL head coaches will take on the coaching duties in this contest, as is
 tradition. Taking the reins for the North will be the Atlanta Falcon's Mike
 Smith. Under Smith's leadership the Falcons took a giant step back from their
 13-3 2012-13 campaign this season, marking their first losing season in six
 years under Smith.
 
 Smith will get to work with a venerable who's who of ACC quarterbacks, with
 Tahj Boyd of Clemson, Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech and Stephen Morris of
 Miami-Florida all on the roster. Boyd is the best of the three, as he threw
 for 34 touchdowns and 3,851 yards on 68.5 percent passing this season, while
 adding 10 rushing scores, landing on a number semifinalist lists for major
 awards.Morris (198-of-344, 3,028 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs) and Thomas (227-
 of-402, 2,907 yards, 16 TDs, 13 INTs) were solid, but have a bit more to
 prove.
 
 The two top running backs for the North are Wisconsin's James White and West
 Virginia's Charles Sims. White rushed for 1,444 yards and 13 touchdowns on 221
 carries this season for the Badgers, en route to a second-team All-Big Ten
 selection. Sims, who transferred to West Virginia after a successful stretch
 at Houston, enjoyed a strong campaign during his only year in Morgantown,
 piling up 1,095 yards to become the first 1,000-yard rusher at West Virginia
 since 2009.
 
 Oregon's Josh Huff is the premier receiving prospect for the North Side. The
 5-foot-11 speedster was an all-Pac-12 honorable mention this season and
 tallied 57 catches for 1,036 yards, including five 100-yard single game
 efforts. Wake Forest's Michale Campanaro will also line up on the outside,
 after finishing with 67 receptions for 803 yards and six scores. Shaquelle
 Evans (47 receptions, 709 yards, nine TDS) of UCLA and Kain Colter, who is
 playing as a receiver after serving as a quarterback at Northwestern, are
 other pass-catchers to watch, while Jacob Pedersen (Wisconsin) and C.J.
 Fiedorowicz (Iowa) are top prospects at tight end.
 
 The North will have no trouble rushing the passer, with some of the most top
 defensive linemen in the country. Highlighting the group are Nagurski Award
 winner Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh) and consensus All-American and national
 sacks leader Trent Murphy (Stanford). Linebackers Marcus Smith (Louisville),
 who can also line up with his hand in the dirt and Jordan Zumwalt (UCLA) make
 the front seven even more formidable. The secondary will be anchored by Deone
 Bucannon (Washington State) and Isaiah Lewis (Michigan State), who were each
 named to their respective all-conference first teams.
 
 Gus Bradley, the first-year coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, will be on the
 opposing sideline coaching the South. The Jaguars finished 4-12 this past
 season, although they did win four of their last eight games. Bradley, who
 coached in the 2006 Senior Bowl while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, spent the
 previous four campaigns, before he took over in Jacksonville, with the Seattle
 Seahawks.
 
 The players slotted at quarterback for the South come from the more minor
 conferences, although their talent cannot be questioned. Derek Carr (Fresno
 State) is looking to follow in his brother's footsteps, at least in terms of
 an elevated pick in the draft, after throwing for 5,082 yards and 50
 touchdowns this season. He is only the fourth player to ever accomplish that
 feat. David Fales (San Jose State) was another prolific passer in the Mountain
 West Conference, and is one of only two quarterbacks, Carr being the other, to
 have thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the last two years. Keep an eye
 on Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), who won the Walter Payton Award, while
 dominating in the FCS.
 
 The backfield is not as deep for the South, with Antonio Andrews (Western
 Kentucky) one of only three running backs on the roster. Andrews can carry the
 load by himself, as he proved throughout his college career, especially the
 last two seasons when he led the nation in all-purpose yardage. Two standouts
 from the FCS ranks will also get a chance to shine with Lorenzo Taliaferro
 (Coastal Carolina) and Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern) also accepting
 invitations.
 
 First-team All-American Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt) is perhaps the most
 coveted receiving prospect in this exhibition. Matthews finished his career
 with records for receptions (262) and receiving yards (3,759) in the SEC after
 totaling 1,477 yards on a SEC record 112 receptions. Filling in around
 Matthews will be talented receivers from across the country such as Kevin
 Norwood (Alabama), Ryan Grant (Tulane) and Cody Hoffman (BYU). Arthur Lynch
 (Georgia) is the only tight end on the squad.
 
 On defense the South has some players with a great deal of exposure as
 defensive end Dee Ford (Auburn) and linebacker Christian Jones (Florida State)
 were just matched up as foes in the BCS National Title Game. Jones was an All-
 ACC second team member and Ford was named to the first-team SEC. Will Sutton
 (Arizona State), who won consecutive Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
 awards, will line up at defensive tackle and talented linebackers Kyle Van Noy
 (BYU) and Jeremiah Attaochu (Georgia Tech) shore up the middle.
 
 
 
 01/22 10:17:57 ET

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