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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: AFR Celebration Bowl

As the NFL season winds down, RealSport continue our pre-draft coverage with previews of EVERY NCAA Bowl game, highlighting which potenti


As the NFL season winds down, RealSport continue our pre-draft coverage with previews of EVERY NCAA Bowl game, highlighting which potential draft prospects you should be keeping your eye on!   Here were are guys, the start of the College Bowl season, and first up is an FCS Battle between the back to back SWAC champs, Alcorn State Braves and the MEAC champs, North Carolina A&T Aggies. Alcorn State have had quite the season. After a 6 year stretch between 2007-2012, Alcorn State’s best record was a meagre 5-6, now, they have won 2 straight Southwestern Athletic Conference – the first school to do so since Grambling won 3 straight from 2000-’02. They managed this with the 3rd best total defense in the FCS, allowing just 273.9 yards per game (YPG), and the 3rd best rushing offense in the FCS, gaining 309 YPG. They boast the 11th best total offense in the FCS (472.3 YPG) and the 6th best scoring offense (40.1 points per game (PPG)). All of this without their starting QB, John Gibbs Jr., who is also their best NFL Draft prospect. John Gibbs Jr. is likely someone no-one has heard of in NFL conversations and unfortunately, due to his injury that has kept him out for 6 weeks, it may stay that way as he may not even play in this game as backup Lenorris Footman has filled in very well. Playing in a system that doesn’t ask much in the way of passing doesn’t help either. Though he is intriguing. He is 6’6”, 220lbs, fast and has a big arm. He’s not on the same level, but he may draw Colin Kaepernick comparisons thanks to his measurables. He’ll likely be seen as a developmental prospect, with a backup type ceiling. North Carolina A&T’s season hasn’t been too shabby either. They finished the season at 9-2, good enough for a three way share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship. They made this Bowl game by virtue of a higher Sagarin rating. Like Alcorn State, the Aggies boast a very good defense, the 2nd best defense in total defense in the FCS, allowing just 268.2 YPG. They are also the 5th defence in PPP, allowing just 15.6. However, their offense is not quite as prolific as the Braves’. Though they have Tarik Cohen – whom you may remember for this crazy catch – who had his 3rd straight 1000 yard rushing season and collected his second straight MEAC Offensive Player of the Year Award, the Aggies manage just 305.6 YPG, good enough for 100th in the FCS. The Aggies best prospect comes in the form of Tony McRae, a 5’9” corner back and kick returner. Due to his size, he is unlikely to be seen as a cornerback prospect, he will instead be seen as a kick returner, an area in which he has excelled in his time as an Aggie. He averages 24.9 yards per return and has taken 4 back for a touchdown, including 2 this year. Unlike some of the other bowl, this game isn’t littered with prospects, but it is definitely worth a watch. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other bowl games, the complete bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: AFR Celebration Bowl

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