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Mason's Prospect Guide: Players to watch in this week's bowls







Akron (7-6) vs. Florida Atlantic (10-3)

Time:5 p.m. MST
Site:FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida

Akron WR Austin Wolf:The Zips are heavy underdogs against the Owls in part because of their youth; virtually all of their pro prospects will be back with them next year. Wolf is one exception; although he isn't targeted often, he makes the most of his chances with a 15.0-yards-per-catch average and five touchdowns.

Florida Atlantic C Antonyo Woods:An All-Conference USA first-team selection, the versatile Woods started at right tackle, left tackle and right guard in his junior season before settling in at center this season. He was's top-graded center in FBS this year and didn't allow a sack.

Florida Atlantic WR Kalib Woods:The MVP of the Conference USA title game after racking up 208 yards on six catches, Woods was selected to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl despite missing nearly half of the season because of a suspension because of an off-field fight that cost him his scholarship and forced him to play his senior season as a walk-on. In his final four games, Woods averaged 4.5 receptions, 126 yards and one touchdown per game.




Louisiana Tech (6-6) vs. SMU (7-5)

Time:6 p.m. MST
Site:Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas

Louisiana Tech S Secdrick Cooper:A first-team All-Conference USA selection, the versatile 6-foot, 211-pound Cooper can go into the box and make plays on running backs in the backfield (2.5 tackles for loss this year), can be used in the pass rush (three quarterback hurries) and he also blocked a kick this year.

SMU DE Justin Lawler:He will play in the East-West Shrine Game after notching 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in his senior season. He tends to get his sacks in clusters; 7.5 of his 15.5 sacks the last two seasons came in two games -- a 2016 game against North Texas (3.5) and a 2017 game against Connecticut (4.0).

Louisiana Tech RB Boston Scott:The 5-foot-6, 203-pound back is 63 yards from a 1,000-yard season despite splitting time with Jarred Craft. The elusive Scott has battled injuries, including a toe problem this season and cramp-fasciculation syndrome -- a rare muscle condition -- as a sophomore to average 6.5 yards per carry during his college career.

SMU WR Courtland Sutton:As one of just three SMU receivers to post 3,000 career receiving yards (one of the others is Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders), the long, 6-3, 218-pounder is a virtual lock to go in the first round of next year's draft. Sutton uses his size to maximum effectiveness, gets separation but can also make catches in tight coverage and can quickly reach fifth gear to maximize his yardage after the reception.




Temple (6-6) vs. Florida International (8-4)

Time:6 p.m. MST
Site:Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Temple DB Sean Chandler:The versatile defender could develop into a safety who works as an extra cornerback in sub packages because of his ability in coverage and his quickness on the ball; he forced a fumble and intercepted two passes this year. He has gradually bulked up from 180 pounds to 195 during his college career and could play at around 200 pounds at the next level.

Temple WR Keith Kirkwood:The steady receiver caught 81 passes for 1,223 yards and 11 touchdowns the last two seasons, including 575 yards and seven touchdowns on 39 catches this year. He will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl next month.

FIU QB Alex McGough:His coach, Butch Davis, had lofty praise for him. This week, the former Browns head coach told the Philadelphia Daily News, "I had three quarterbacks play for me both at North Carolina and Miami who made the NFL and I think he is better than all of them. I think he is better than the two I had in the pros," referring to Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb. McGough had his most efficient season this fall, posting career highs in average per attempt (7.88 yards) and completion percentage (65.3).




UAB (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)

Time:10:30 a.m. MST
Site:Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas

UAB CB Darious Williams:One of the nation's best ballhawks, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder plays bigger than his size. The first-team All-Conference USA selection ranks second in the country in passes defensed this season (20) and posted a conference-leading five interceptions this season. He was one of the Blazers' players who opted to stay with the program during the two years it lay dormant (2015-16) after it was dropped and then restarted.

Ohio LB Quentin Poling:A strong all-around linebacker, Poling is effective against the run, in coverage and as a pass rusher, and he posted more than 100 tackles in consecutive seasons, including double-digit tackles-for-loss tallies in those years. At 6-foot-0 and 235 pounds, NFL questions will likely revolve on whether he has enough open-field speed at his size, but he seems to often be around the ball.



Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Wyoming (7-5)

Time:2 p.m. MST
Site:Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho

Wyoming QB Josh Allen:The Senior Bowl is a possibility for Allen, who graduated last weekend, so this might not be his last shot at game-speed action before the NFL Draft. However, his status for this week's bowl game remains up in the air as he recovers from a sprained right shoulder that he suffered last month in a win at Air Force. Allen's measurables, arm strength, tools and tutelage under coach Craig Bohl, who guided Carson Wentz at North Dakota State, are all attributes that have placed the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder in the first-round conversation.

Central Michigan TE Tyler Conklin:The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder will play in the Senior Bowl after a 28-catch, 406-yard, five-touchdown senior season in which he overcame a foot injury that cost him the first five games of the campaign. A former high-school basketball standout, Conklin didn't settle in at tight end until his sophomore season (2015), and he didn't break through as a starter until 2016, when he caught 42 passes for 560 yards and six scores.

Central Michigan DE Joe Ostman: A 6-foot-3, 259-pound defensive end, Ostman is Shrine Game-bound after posting career highs in sacks (12) and tackles for loss (18.5) this season. One of the nation's most consistent pass rushers, Ostman was's No. 7 graded edge rusher this year, and while he is mostly a pass-rush specialist, he is an effective and persistent run defender.

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