If the Senior Bowl is for college prospects fighting for position in the first round of the April draft, then the Texas vs. the Nation game (Sat. at 2 p.m. on CSTV) is for players fighting to be merely drafted at all. It features guys from schools like Stillman College(?), Lindenwood University (??) and Dixie State College of Utah (???!!!), players whom scouts may not have seen during the year but who have enough buzz about them to be considered with a late-round pick or maybe an invitation to training camp.
The name of the game also says more about Texas’ self image than the composition of the squads. For while the Texas team features players from Rice, Texas, UTEP and other Texas schools, it also has players from beyond the Lone Star State, including four from San Jose State. (QB Adam Trafralis, LB Matt Costelo, LB Demetrius Jones and guard John Booker)
The 49ers were kind enough to forward the names of six guys that we’ll call “players of interest” in Saturday’s game. They are:
Mackenzy Bernadeau – OL – Bentley
Chris Brown – FB – Tennessee
Travis Brown – WR – New Mexico
Brandon Keith – OL – Northern Iowa
Eric Scott- OL – Kentucky
Jack Williams – CB – Kent State
Jeff Matracia, better known to the cyber world as draftnik MadDog49er, also added some names and his comments:
RB Xavier Omon of NW Missouri State could be a late round back. Great size at 5-11, 220, and very productive in college. He's a combine invitee, and a Little All-American.
RB Tim Hightower of Richmond is even bigger than Omon, at 6', 220. Named to the 2007 Walter Camp All-American Team. Rushed for almost 2000 yards this season.
WR- Pierre Garcon from tiny Mount Union has good size and speed- 6-1, 210 pounds, and runs a sub 4.50. He's going to get drafted, or a strong look somewhere as a free agent. (Barrows’ note: Garcon means ‘boy.’)
OT Demetrius Bell- Northwestern State (Louisiana)- Tall and athletic at 6-5, 305. Big hands and nice mobility for a tall guy. Could be a late rounder if he shows well here and the combine.
Hybrid 3-4 DE-DL Marcus Dixon of Hampton- 6-4, 285. Should be a late round fence sitter. Has excellent size for the 3-4 DE spot, and good mobility.
Hybrid 3-4 OLB Wharton DE Andy Studebaker- 6-3, 255- Very quick for his size. I see him as a late rounder, or a priority undrafted free agent. Very curious to see how he looks in LB drills, and if he has speed and strength to get around the corner.
If you have any inside info on any of these guys, (for example, if you’ve seen a Dixie State College of Utah game) speak up … Also, does anyone have any idea what channel carries CSTV?
The 49ers signed a new player -- and guess what? -- he's a former Raven. Well, sort of. Baltimore originially signed DT Walter Curry (Albany State) as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He spent the entire 2007 season on Jacksonville's practice squad, where he was also a member for six weeks in 2006 and 10 weeks in 2005. Curry also played for 49ers DL coach Jim Tomsula in 2006 when Tomsula coached the Rhein Fire of NFL Europa.
-- Matt Barrows