For those who are experiencing horrific withdrawal symptoms in lieu of the one week lay-off from NFL action, fear not, for the 2009 Under Armour Senior Bowl is here to save the day. Slotted conveniently on the bye-week preceding Superbowl 43, it effectively directs a ray of spotlight toward the up and coming senior prospects, while ensuring that the football faithful are not tortured through a two-week drought.
Of course, regardless of the convenient television scheduling, the far more pressing issue is the opportunity for the long list of collegiate seniors (104 to be exact) to earn the respect that they undoubtedly feel they’re due. Though tabbed as an all-star game, it is no mystery that the Senior Bowl acts much more as a showcase, giving the draft’s senior class the final say before post-season work-outs begin.
As the game itself is set to take place on Saturday evening, Senior Bowl practice has been going on all week, with a number of players already taking full advantage of their opportunity. Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji (see photo) is effectively silencing his critics by reportedly overpowering each and every offensive lineman he encounters. Other names who have caught the eyes of scouts include Ohio State wide reciever Brian Robiskie, Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, and California Bears versatile offensive lineman Alex Mack.
Given the recent surge of quality underclassmen who have declared, it will be interesting to see the fire that these seniors showcase on Saturday night. They have taken a beating from scouts and media alike, and would love nothing more than to show them the character, composure and polished athleticism that comes with a college degree.