Prospect watch: Aloha

John Murphy
Yahoo! Sports

Hawaii senior quarterback Colt Brennan was held out of last week's game against Charleston Southern and he continues to recover from a sprained right ankle he suffered two weeks ago.

Brennan is not expected to miss any more time with the injury, but was kept out of practice last week.

Meanwhile, senior wide receiver Jason Rivers, who has become Brennan's go-to guy, also missed the game because of a lower back strain Rivers has good size at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and looks more quick than fast on game tape. He has very steady hands and finds the open spot against opposing defenses.

While Brennan is positioning himself to be a possible high first-round choice, Rivers will be more of a mid-to-late-round prospect unless his 40-time improves in the postseason.


Nebraska senior cornerback Zackary Bowman, who has already dealt with a pair of serious knee injuries, is now sidelined with a left hamstring injury suffered in his team’s loss to USC.

He sat out last week against Ball State, but hopes to return against Iowa State. He has nine tackles and one interception. But his durability is becoming a question mark.

If you are looking for a shining star on the Cornhuskers defense it is senior linebacker Steve Octavien (26 tackles, 6.5 for loss and five QB hurries). He is right at-or-around 6-foot, 240 pounds and shows good instincts and terrific speed to the ball. As a first-year starter at weak-side linebacker, he has drawn praise from scouts thanks to his toughness, speed and big-play potential.


Auburn senior defensive end Quentin Groves has proven time and time again that he has first-round athleticism and potential as a pass rusher.

But several scouts are wondering if he will do that from his current defensive end spot or if he can convert back to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

Several scouts from NFL clubs who currently employ a four-linebacker defensive set have been on the scene at Tigers games. Scouts will evaluate his footwork in transition, from dropping back into pass coverage to then attacking the line of scrimmage when he is lined up off the ball as oppose to being on the ball.


Vanderbilt senior offensive tackle Chris Williams is moving up the board as a possible high first-day choice thanks to his size, strength, footwork and a strong work ethic that has impressed his coaching staff from day one.

Williams has gained more than 60 pounds since arriving on campus, exhibiting a rare combination of field smarts, positioning and natural athleticism. He is now viewed as a potential left tackle prospect for the next level.

Williams' continued advancement could see him increase his value as high as a late second- to third-round choice.


LSU senior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey rose to the occasion in the Tigers' matchup against South Carolina. He dominated the line of scrimmage thanks to his quickness off the ball and ability to diagnose the play as the snap occurred.

The Gamecocks' efforts to double-team him failed and Dorsey made several tackles downfield against running back Cory Boyd. The only concern with Dorsey is that he needs to keep his weight under control so it does hamper him in the second half of games.


South Carolina senior linebacker Jasper Brinkley is out for the season after an MRI revealed damage to his right knee. He is expected to have surgery once the swelling goes down. He could pass on next year's NFL Draft and instead petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt.


Texas Tech redshirt freshman wide receiver Michael Crabtree is making waves as one of the best at his position. He leads the nation with 52 catches for 775 yards and 11 touchdowns in just four games. The 6-3, 222-pound native of Dallas has used his long arms, leaping ability and 4.5 range speed to burn each team he has faced. Crabtree is averaging 13 catches per game and has gained an unbelievable 481 yards in just the past two weeks.


Here are the dates to remember, as each of the current college all-star games have announced their game-week schedules.

It all kicks off with the East Coast Bowl, which is hosted by Jeremy and Larry Toombs in Petersburg, Va., Nov. 20-24. This small-school game has started to attract more attention from both NFL scouts and legitimate prospects.

Players in the Hula Bowl will arrive Jan. 5 and the game will kick off Jan. 12. It will be difficult for prospects from BCS Bowl games to participate in this game, but as always it's not a bad vacation spot if your team missed a bowl game.

The East-West Shrine Game will be hosted at the Houston Texans' facility with players arriving Jan. 12 and the game being played Jan. 19 at Roberson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.

Senior Bowl players will arrive in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 20 and kick off Jan. 26.

The second annual Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge will begin with players landing in El Paso on Jan, 26-27. The game will be played Feb. 2. The NFL Combine follows at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis on Feb. 20-26.


• Clark-Atlanta (Ga.) senior defensive end Curtis Johnson has impressed area scouts with his potential to rush the passer off the edge and ability on special teams. He is a well-built, 6-3, 245, but has the frame to bulk up to the 250-255 pound range. He has amassed 48 tackles, 13.5 for loss and seven sacks. Against West Georgia, he had 16 tackles, 6.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. Johnson had 77 tackles, 18 for loss, five sacks, nine forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one blocked kick as a junior. Scouts will likely ask him to perform drills as both an edge rusher and outside linebacker. He could be very attractive to 3-4 based defensive teams.

• Bentley (Mass.) senior offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau should again be named a Division II All-American. He has good size for both his position and level of competition. At 6-4, 310, he can pancake opponents and shows adequate footwork. Most East Coast scouts believe he will be converted inside to offensive guard at the pro level. His conditioning is average and he tends to get high at times on pass blocking assignments and tips his hand to the play call when that occurs. He is not on par with Allen Barbre, who was taken by the Green Bay Packers in last year's draft, but very likely could earn a place in next year's NFL Combine and a late-round grade with improved technique and workout results.

• Norfolk State senior fullback Daryl Jones was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week following another 100-plus yard performance against Bethune-Cookman. He rushed for 118 yards on 21 carries and four touchdowns, including the game winner with just over 30 seconds remaining. The 5-10, 245-pounder has taken over as the team's primary ball carrier after sharing the workload in past seasons. He is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and has lost just two yards on 57 attempts.

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