The Senior Bowl is still 155 days away, but that didn’t prevent them from releasing their first ever official watch list which consists of 312 different players from around the nation.
“We want both college and pro football fans to enjoy tracking the players on our list as they begin their journey towards the Senior Bowl and the 2013 NFL Draft,” Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said in a release. “We have included prospects from almost every level of the college game and look forward to monitoring their progress throughout the upcoming season.”
3 of the 4 senior starters for the Texas Longhorns made the watch list; DE Alex Okafor, S Kenny Vaccaro, and WR Marquise Goodwin. TE Barrett Matthews wasn’t named.
Okafor, who has started 21 games and appeared in 39 contests for the Longhorns, is already named to several other preseason watch list as well, including the Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lomabardi Award, and CFPA Defensive Lineman of the year award. Okafor looks to be in line for another monstrous season after accounting for 7 sacks, t tkl, and 17 QB hurries in 2011. A strong senior season and Okafor will be a day one pick in the NFL draft.
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, Kenny Vaccaro, the Longhorns leading returning tackler was also named. Much like Okafor, Vaccaro was named to the Nagurski Tropy, and Bednarik Award watch list, along with being named on the Thorpe Award watch list for nations top DB. Vaccaro finished last season with 82 tackles and 2 interceptions. Vaccaro is one of the higher ranked Safeties in the nation and currently carries a solid second round grade.
Track star and Olympian Marquise Goodwin also made the list. Last season Goodwin totaled 33 catches for 421 yards and 2 TD’s while earning Academic All-Big 12 honors last season. He started 7 games and scored a TD in the Longhorns win over Cal in the Holiday Bowl. Teams will love Goodwin’s speed and play-making ability, and should be selected in the mid to late rounds.
The list will narrow down to 100 players by the time the game comes around on Januray 26th at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to earn an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
The SEC leads the way 71 invites. Alabama, Georgia, and Nebraska are the top schools represented with 9 each.
Jeremy Cabler covers the NFL Draft and College Football for Rant Sports. Check out his Scouting Reports