Iowa State senior outside linebacker Alvin Bowen might not be a household name to NFL Draft fans now, but he has the size, speed and playmaking skills to skyrocket toward the top 50 once the postseason analysis begins.
At nearly 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he has been timed in the 4.6 range in the 40, packs a punch as a tackler and has shown the versatility on tape to be used in a number of roles/positions. He is not in the same athletic category as Quincy Black, but I expect to see Bowen rise up the charts in similar fashion to Black who went from late-round prospect out of New Mexico to being picked No. 68 overall in the third round of last year's draft by Tampa Bay.
Maryland senior offensive lineman Andrew Crummey who is out for the season after suffering a broken left leg, is hopeful he can get back to full-strength in time to impress scouts. There is no official timetable for his return, but there is an outside chance he could return for a bowl game. Crummey would likely pass on an all-star game in order to prepare for the NFL scouting combine. He had been highly durable before this injury with 33 career starts, including 28 out of the past 29 games. Scouts like his size, smarts and versatility as he has been evaluated as a guard/center. That could allow him to come off the board between rounds 3-4.
USF'S CARNES RISES
South Florida senior offensive tackle Jared Carnes, a former tight end at Concord U., is gaining notice. He is 6-7, 310 pounds, nearly 40 pounds heavier than when he came to USF as a walk-on transfer. Carnes is fairly athletic for a right tackle, moves well in space and has improved his strength at the point of attack. He can get too upright at times and still struggles against double moves. Keep on eye on him against Rutgers on Thursday night.
The Cactus Bowl will once again be played in Kingsville, Texas on Jan. 11, 2008 after taking off last year due to financial issues. The game is a showcase for Division II players and usually brings a solid number of NFL scouts to southern Texas. The Cactus Bowl has been known for producing big-time small school linemen such as Adam Timmerman (South Dakota State) and Chris Villarrial (Indiana, Pa).
The East Coast Bowl festivities will start Nov. 21 and conclude on Nov. 24 with the game at Cameron Field in Petersburg, Va. This game is organized and developed to help market players from the lower levels of college football to professional scouts from the NFL, CFL and AFL.
• Georgia senior running back Kregg Lumpkin, who just came back from a broken thumb, is likely out for the season after suffering an injury to his left knee and ankle. Initial reports said Lumpkin suffered a high-ankle sprain and possible ligament or cartilage damage to his left knee. Team doctors are waiting for the swelling to subside.
• Oregon State senior wide receiver/return man Sammy Stroughter will pursue a medical redshirt from the NCAA after being sidelined for the season with a bruised kidney. Stroughter entered the season as one of the Pac-10's best dual threats as a receiver/return man.
• Purdue senior defensive end/outside linebacker Cliff Avril returned to the field last week against Michigan just a week after it appeared he could be out for the season with a knee injury. The injury turned out to be a strained right knee. The athletic pass rusher earned a lot of praise from his teammates and scouts for his toughness and ability to play through pain. He recorded two tackles, recovered a fumble and had a pass breakup.
• Virginia Tech senior inside linebacker Vince Hall had surgery to repair a broken left wrist which could cost him the rest of the Hokies' regular season. Hall was among the ACC's leading tacklers (61), but several scouts had questions about his ability to make plays at the NFL level. He has average speed for his size/position. Hall had started 44 consecutive games before being injured two on Oct. 6 against Clemson.
SMALL SCHOOL PATROL
Bishop's (Canada) junior running back Jamall Lee is moving toward several single-season records, including most rushing yards. Lee, the son of former CFL running back Orville Lee, flashes open field moves and straight-line speed that would compare to any top division back in the NCAA. He gained 266 yards and four touchdowns against Acadia over the weekend, which helped him set the Quebec Conference single-season record with 1,200 yards. With two games left, Lee has gained 250 or more yards three times this season. Lee has scored 11 touchdowns and at 6-1, 215 pounds, he has ideal size to go along with his breakaway speed.