Texas vs. Nation All Star Challenge

Texas vs. nation logoThe 3rd annual Texas vs. Nation All Star Challenge was played on Saturday 31 January 2009. It was played in El Paso Texas at the Sun Bowl and the Nation team won 27-24. This is the last in a series of All Star games and this game features some lesser known talent. None the less, talent was in abundance, as it was last year as Arizona Cardinal running back Tim Hightower played in the game.

Here is a list of players that stood out in the game:

DE Zach Potter, 6’ 6” 280 lbs. Nebraska: Probably the most dominate player in the game and a prospect that is rising up the draft boards. He was a terror off the edge and recorded three tackles, one tackle for loss (TFL), one pass break up and three quarterback hurries. In 2008 for the season he recorded 47 tackles, 16 TFLs and 5.5 sacks.

LB Lee Robinson, 6’ 3” 245 lbs. Alcorn State: Robinson has been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and I can see why. He was all over the field recording five tackles and one tackle for loss (TFL). Robinson has been a consistent standout throughout his career with 334 tackles and 18.5 sacks.

LB Frantz Joseph, 6’ 2” 237 lbs. Florida Atlantic: Yes he was the defensive MVP, but his interception and fumble recovery was more of him just being in the right place at the right time. He has talent and nice size, but Joseph was not invited to the Combine this year.

WR Dobson Collins, 6’ 1” 190 lbs. Gardner-Webb: I was surprised that Collins wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. In this game he was consistently getting open and he looks very fast on the field. He made a nice catch on a tipped pass. He had trouble catching the ball in traffic, but he might be a developmental prospect in the NFL with his blazing speed.

FS Ladarius Webb, 5’ 10” 207 lbs. Nicholls State: He will be at the NFL Scouting Combine this year and deservedly so, because he is a supreme talent. He was the best looking defensive back during this game with some very nice pass break ups. He finished with four tackles and two pass break ups.

RB Bernard Scott, 5’ 11” 200 lbs. Abeline Christian: Scott is an amazing NFL Draft Prospect, he was the best running back by far in this game. Scott finished the contest with a game-high 62 rushing yards on just 12 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He was the winner of the 2008 Harlon Hill Trophy. The Harlon Hill is the NCAA Division II version of the Heisman Trophy. This past season he rushed for 2,156 yards and 28 touchdowns and caught 47 passes for 826 yards and another six touchdowns. Scott has also been invited to the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine.

WR Johnny Knox, 6’ 0” 186 lbs. Abeline Christian: Knox had three catches for 55 yards and had a 28-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter that cut the Texas deficit to 20-14 with 7:29 left in the third quarter. Both Scott and Knox will now continue their preparations for the NFL Draft Combine, which is scheduled for Feb. 18-24 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

WR/KR Jason Cherry, 6’ 0” 190 lbs. Louisiana Lafayette: Almost completely unknown before this game, Cherry opened up some eyes with a scintillating 36 yard kickoff return. Over all he returned 3 kicks for 53 yards. Cherry won’t be at the Combine, but could get a chance in the NFL as a special team’s ace and kick returner. He reportedly was the fastest player on the Nation team and last year he averaged over 21 yards per kick return.

LB/SS Stephen Hodge, 6’ 0” 230 lbs. TCU: This prospect will definitely be playing in the NFL next year, just where I don’t know, maybe strong safety or linebacker. Hodge was the best linebacker in this game. He led the game with 9 tackles. Hodge will be working out at the Combine and during the season (2008) he recorded 81 tackles, ten TFLs and one interception.

QB Jason Boltus, 6’ 3” 222 lbs. Hartwick (Division III): Speaking of Sleepers, Division III prospects never make it to the NFL do they? Well the NFL scouts have taken notice; this small school player has been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Boltus looked like one of the best quarterbacks in this game. He has a nice, powerful arm and good pocket presence. He completed 5 of 12 passes for 72 yards and a Touchdown.

SS Colt Anderson, 5’ 11” 194 lbs. Montana: He really caught my eye with the way he hustles, he was all over the field and the games’ second leading tackler with eight tackles. He had a nice strip that caused a fumble and then he hustled and almost recovered the ball.

Pierre Walters, 6’ 5” 255 lbs. Eastern Illinois: Walters is a nice looking defensive end with nice size. He stood out in this game with relentless pressure and a nice sack. He finished the game with 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 TFLs.

Here are a few other prospects that really helped their chances of being selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. (Combine) means they have been invited to participate in the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine:

CB Londen Fryar, Western Michigan
QB David Johnson, Tulsa
DT Lewis Ellis, Shaw
TE Ryan Purvis, Boston College
OT Roger Allen, Missouri Western (Combine)
DT Will Johnson, Michigan
QB Drew Willy, Buffalo (Combine)
FB Conredge Collins, Pittsburgh
CB Jamar Love, Arkansas
CB Jahi Word-Daniels, Georgia Tech (Combine)
QB Chase Holbrook, New Mexico State (Combine)
FB Frank Summers, UNLV
OT Lydon Murtha, Nebraska (Combine)
DE Derek Walker, Illinois
DE Rulon Davis, California (Combine)
CB William Middleton, Furman
DE Khalif Mitchel, East Carolina (Combine)
CB DeAngelo Willingham, Tennessee
DT Adrian Grady, Louisville (Combine)
WR Dudley Guise, Nothwestern Stat