Three College Football Players the Eagles Should Watch During the Second Week of Bowl Games

Who should Eagles fans keep an eye on during the second week of bowl games?

Chidobe Awuzie. (USA TODAY Sports)

Chidobe Awuzie. (USA TODAY Sports)

The first week of bowl games hasn’t given us the best teams, but with the second week right around the corner, there are 20 contests to look forward to, including the first of the New Year’s Six. Here are three players Eagles fans should keep a close eye on during the second week of bowl games.

1. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Opponent: No. 12 Oklahoma State (Alamo Bowl) — December 29, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Awuzie is part of a loaded cornerback class in this year’s draft, and he’s played a huge part in Colorado’s resurgence as a top team in the nation. Awuzie has played on the outside, in the slot, and even at safety throughout his four years in Boulder. He is a very fluid defender, which makes it easy for him to flip his hips and switch directions, limiting any separation. He has very good vision, and is aware of the receiver he’s covering, as well as where the quarterback is looking. He also has short-burst speed when necessary.

With four sacks this year, the senior is also a threat on the blitz. But at 6-0, 195 pounds, he’s a little undersized and could use a little more muscle if he wants to cover some of the best receivers in the game. He’s currently projected to be a second-round pick with his size being a big factor, but he could evolve into a late first-round pick with an impressive showing at the NFL Combine.

2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Opponent: No. 6 Michigan (Orange Bowl) — December 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Cook is one of the two best running backs in this year’s Draft, along with LSU’s Leonard Fournette. Unlike Fournette, Cook is playing in his bowl game. The junior has 1,620 yards rushing to go along with 18 touchdowns on 268 attempts, and has scored four touchdowns each in games against Clemson and Syracuse this season. Cook runs with plenty of patience, which helps his blockers open up holes for him to run for big gains. He can flip his speed switch to get away from linebackers in the open field, as well. Plus, he is a great receiver in the backfield, especially on third downs.

However, Cook can sometimes give into the tackle a little too much and he’ll need to use his strength a little more in the pros than he did in college. In his first two seasons with the Seminoles, he also had some trouble handling the ball, but it looks like he may have fixed that problem this year. Cook is expected to be drafted in the middle of the first round.

3. James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Opponent: No. 10 Colorado (Alamo Bowl) — December 29, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Washington is Mason Rudolph’s top pass catcher for the Cowboys, as he has 62 receptions for a team-high 1,209 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s an aggressive receiver who won’t back down from any contact and isn’t afraid to box out his defender when needed. He also carries a high-end speed and can track the ball while running at full speed.

But concerns surrounding include his route-running and his efforts when asked to block. Oklahoma State’s offense asks their receivers to run a limited set of routes, so his transition to the NFL may be tough in that aspect. Washington is a quality receiver that should be available late in the third round or even early in the fourth. The Eagles could certainly use his skills and draft him in that range.

Bowl Game Of the Week: No. 12 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Colorado (Alamo Bowl) — December 29, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The Orange Bowl has two talented teams in Michigan and Florida State and it is a New Year’s Six bowl, but the Alamo Bowl has provided some high-quality games the past few seasons, including last year’s remarkable comeback win by TCU over Oregon. It’s also the first bowl game that pits two ranked teams against each other. As mentioned above, two probable Eagles draft picks are playing, and my guess is they’ll be facing off against each other a ton. Remember the Alamo.

Honorable Mentions: No. 24 Temple vs. Wake Forest (Military Bowl – December 27, 3:30 p.m., ESPN); Boise State vs. Baylor (Cactus Bowl – December 27, 10:15 p.m., ESPN); No. 16 West Virginia vs. Miami (Florida) (Russell Athletic Bowl – December 28, 5:30 p.m., ESPN); Nebraska vs. No. 21 Tennessee (Music City Bowl – December 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN); No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 11 Florida State (Orange Bowl – December 30, 8 p.m., ESPN)

Here’s the entire bowl schedule for the week:

Bowl GameAwayHomeDate, TimeTV
Hawai'iHawaiiMiddle Tennessee12/24, 8pmESPN
St. PetersburgMiami (Ohio)Mississippi State12/26, 11amESPN
Quick LaneMarylandBoston College12/26, 2:30pmESPN
IndependenceNC StateVanderbilt12/26, 5pmESPN2
Heart of DallasArmyNorth Texas12/27, NoonESPN
Military#24 TempleWake Forest12/27, 3:30pmESPN
HolidayMinnesotaWashington State12/27, 7pmESPN
CactusBoise StateBaylor12/27, 10:15pmESPN
Pinstripe#23 PittsburghNorthwestern12/28, 2pmESPN
Russell Athletic#16 West VirginiaMiami (Florida)12/28, 5:30pmESPN
Foster FarmsIndiana#19 Utah12/28, 8:30pmFOX
TexasTexas A&MKansas State12/28, 9pmESPN
BirminghamSouth FloridaSouth Carolina12/29, 2pmESPN
BelkArkansas#22 Virginia Tech12/29, 5:30pmESPN
Alamo#12 Oklahoma State#10 Colorado12/29, 9pmESPN
LibertyGeorgiaTCU12/30, NoonESPN
Sun#18 StanfordNorth Carolina12/30, 2pmCBS
Music CityNebraska#21 Tennessee12/30, 3:30pmESPN
ArizonaSouth AlabamaAir Force12/30,
Orange#6 Michigan#11 Florida State12/30, 8pmESPN

Here are the players we’ve previously highlighted:

December 17

Nico Siragusa, OL, San Diego State

Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

Greg Ward Jr., WR, Houston

December 3

Jahad Thomas, RB, Temple

Artavis Scott, WR, Clemson

Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State

November 26

Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

Curtis Samuel, RB, Ohio State

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

November 19

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

November 12

Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee

November 5

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Tarean Folston, RB, Notre Dame

Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

October 29

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington (Division I-AA)

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

October 22

Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma

Marquis Haynes, OLB/DE, Ole Miss

October 15

Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt

Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State

Damore’ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss

October 8

John Ross, WR, Washington

Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina

October 1

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

September 24

Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

September 17

Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma

Travis Rudolph, WR, Florida State

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

September 10

Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech

Desmond King, CB, Iowa

Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee