Pasadena, CA- Pre-draft season is here!
The 11th annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was a success as the American team defeated the National team 19-17 with a last second field goal.
For many of these players it is their final in-game action in front of NFL scouts. For some it could possibly be their final football game ever.
Quarterback Holton Alhers of East Carolina took full advantage of his opportunity in this game taking home the MVP award.
Alhers finished the game completing 9 of his 12 attempts for 189 yards and the game’s opening score.
“It feels great. I just wanted to come out here and show what I can do, show that I can hang, show that I deserve a spot in this league,” said Alhers.
“I did feel like I played really well. Showcased my skills all week. Not just this game, but when the scouts were out here, I felt like I performed really well all week.”
The American team controlled the game leading by 13 points in the third quarter until the National team made a strong push. Even taking the lead early in the fourth quarter, 17-16.
But it wasn’t enough.
Two big runs late by former Wyoming running back Titus Swen and a personal foul call put the American team in position to win. A 24-yard field goal by South Dakota’s Eddie Ogamba secured the win for the American team.
The American team head coach was former NFL coach, Jeff Fisher, who picked up the win over his former running back for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans, Eddie George, who coached the National team. George is the current coach for Tennessee State.
“The best part about this is these guys came out here and they had fun for the last two hours and 45 minutes playing this game,” Fisher said. “At the same time, they’ve been able to showcase their skills for the scouts in this upcoming draft.”
Players on both sides played their hearts out hoping to get their opportunity at the next level.
Some guys expect to get drafted and others hope to eventually latch onto a team as an undrafted free agent.
From here, the work continues as the NFL Draft nears.