The Reese’s Senior Bowl unveiled the rosters for its 74th annual all-star game on Monday, and Jim Nagy, the game’s executive director, was pleased to say the change has remained positive.
Last year, the NFL partnered with the East-West Shrine Bowl to move that all-star game to Las Vegas as part of the league’s Pro Bowl weekend activities, putting the contest two days before the Senior Bowl.
This year, for the first time, Senior Bowl teams will not be led by NFL coaching staffs, but by staffs made up of NFL coaches. While the league has given the staffs of the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons to manage the East-West Shrine teams, the Senior Bowl, after 73 years of receiving that favor, will be conducted by its groups by the staff of assistant coaches to gather. half of the joint ventures.
“It’s exciting,” Nagy said of the number of NFL Draft prospects coming to Mobile next week. “They need to sell their games and sign. They’ve been aggressive, and a lot of things they’ve said to the players and coaches have come back to me and it didn’t sit well with me, so stay here the week before the game and our list as always. look, it’s going to be a lot of fun. this is a different year, for sure. this is an important year.
“It speaks to the brand of the Senior Bowl. In fact, these kids today don’t call it the Senior Bowl. They call it the Reese’s Bowl. And then it speaks to relationships. . It inspires me that relationships are important. I feel like the 32 NFL teams have our backs, I feel like the community has our backs because we’ve taken good care of them over the years. and the city of Mobile has taken care of them. They want to come here. So it’s not a choice for the 32 majors, I promise you. They feel strongly about the Senior Bowl. “
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While the transition from having both teams to move their entire football operations to Mobile for a week to bring those operations to a collaboration of assistants, Nagy said it will be possible It’s a good change for the Senior Bowl prospects.
“For our players, I think it’s great,” Nagy said. “In front of two teams to leave Mobile with the best, behind the scenes to enter our players, 16 teams, and it is the majority of the draft that has many benefits. From the point of view of our players, I think they will like it a lot. “
The Senior Bowl has produced 28 first-round picks over the past four years, and Nagy expects this year’s game to hit an average of seven.
The list is completed, with marquee status being the last to hit. The National team has Shepherd’s Tyson Bagent, Fresno State’s Jake Haener and BYU’s Jaren Hall as its quarterbacks, while TCU’s Max Duggan and Houston’s Clayton Tune are American QBs.
The Senior Bowl announced Monday that another quarterback is coming to Mobile, but Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker will be limited in meetings and interviews after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in November.
After a second straight CFP national championship, Georgia QB Stetson Bennett will be a notable addition to the 29 SEC players assembled on the American roster.
Nagy called adding Bennett to the game “a work in progress.”
“We want to get Stetson here,” Nagy said. “He’s a decent guy. He got it. For us, recruiting men is very important. Right now, I think the league is at a point where Stetson has forced himself into the fifth through seventh (rounds) of the draft, where at the beginning of the season he was a free agent for most companies. He had a great year. There’s a lot to like about Stetson the player.
The 2023 Senior Bowl is packed with state stakes.
Eight players from Alabama, two from Auburn and two from South Alabama:
· Alabama safety Jordan Battle
Alabama defensive lineman DJ Dale
· Emil Ekiyor Jr.
· Auburn defensive lineman Derick Hall
· Alabama safety DeMarcco Hellams
· Alabama tight end Cameron Latu
· Auburn linebacker Eku Leota
· South Alabama cornerback Darrell Luter Jr.
· Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Steen
· Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o
· South Alabama Jalen Wayne
· Alabama defensive end Byron Young
Linebacker Owen Pappoe was supposed to play this year, but was injured for the game.
There are two Troy players on the National team – center Jake Andrews and linebacker Carlton Martial.
Andrews prepped at Stanhope Elmore, and Martial played his high school football at McGill-Toolen in Mobile. At the Nationals, Martial will be reunited with another former Yellow Jackets, Maryland cornerback Jakorian Bennett.
The Appalachian state running back Cameroon Peoples from Central-Clay County is also a member of the National Register.
Former Alabama high school players on the All-American roster are Dale from Clay-Chalkville and Wayne from Spanish Fort.
Peoples is part of a very strong position group this year.
“It’s been a tough situation for the Senior Bowl over the years just because the running back left as a junior,” Nagy said, “and I don’t think those guys should be judged too hard. See I don’t know the NFL. You’re a young running back, you’ve got food in your body. So get guys like Kenny McIntosh of Georgia, who I think will be an NFL starter. , (Illinois’) Chase Brown, who I expect to be an NFL starter, Tyjae Spears from Tulane, who I expect to be an NFL starter — that’s a good group. That’s a very good group. from top to bottom, all those guys. I have to mention them all by name.
“They’re very good backs, and we’ve had good ones over the last four or five years. Tony Pollard made the Pro Bowl for the Cowboys this year. Rhamondre Stevenson gained a thousand yards. I was just watching Elijah Mitchell last night because the 49ers did some good things. I think we’ve gotten better at that position over the years, but I think this year’s team is the best we’ve had.
McIntosh and Spears are on the American team along with Oklahoma’s Eric Gray and Christopher Rodriguez Jr.
A name for draftniks to watch coming out of this year’s Senior Bowl, Nagy said, is Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave, who will line up for the Americans.
“Luke played two games this year at Oregon State,” Nagy said. “Pac-12, we don’t see much of that football here. But 6-6, 260. He can run 4.4’s, so I think when it’s all said and done Luke will be the man to leave Mobile, there will be a lot of confusion about him.
The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl will begin at 1:30 pm CST Feb. 4 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. The NFL Network will televise the game. Tickets can be purchased online.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.