The 71st annual Senior Bowl is set for the last weekend of January, and area fans have multiple reasons to be interested.
Here are five things to know about the game:
1. Four Ohio State players have accepted invitations.
Jonah Jackson, K.J. Hill, Malik Harrison and DaVon Hamilton will represent the Scarlet and Gray in Mobile.
This is an interesting group because all four were productive players but not among the biggest headline-makers during their time in Columbus. They could each benefit from a chance to make stand out among other prospects, something Terry McLaurin did last year in the same spot.
2. Adam Trautman will represent the Dayton Flyers.
Dayton’s all-time leading receiver, team MVP and the first tight end to be named Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year has been on the NFL’s radar all year, and he will get to compete against players from across the country in Mobile.
According to UD, Trautman will be the first Flyer to play in the Senior Bowl since 1972. The five Flyers who have played in the game are: tight end Fred Dugan (1958); linebacker Email Karas (1959); center Bob DeMarco (1961); center Leo Dillon (1971); and running back Gary Kosins (1972).
3. Trautman is one of eight tight ends.
This is an interesting group that also includes players from the SEC, Big Ten and AAC: Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt), Brycen Hopkins (Purdue), Sean McKeon (Michigan), Stephen Sullivan (LSU), Harrison Bryant (Florida Atlantic) and Josiah Deguara (Cincinnati).
Charlie Taumoepeau of Portland State makes a pair of FCS players in the group as well.
4. The Bengals’ staff will coach one of the teams.
After going 2-14 and earning the No. 1 pick in the draft, Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor and his staff will get an up-close look at the talent in Mobile.
“Coaching in the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for us to learn about these players,” Taylor said in a statement. “You get a chance to spend a full week with the players and really learn what they’re about. We will be looking for leadership, character and talent. To get a chance to coach them up close and in person is a great opportunity for our staff.”
They aren’t likely to use the first pick on anyone they see there, but they will get a broad look at players who could help at a variety of positions, including offensive line, linebacker and safety.
The other NFL staff coaching in the game this year will be the Lions.
5. The game is set for Jan. 25.
The NFL Network will broadcast the game at game at 2:30 p.m.
The league’s network will also air practices in the week leading up to the game.
After the Senior Bowl, the next big date on the draft calendar is Feb. 24, the start of the annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
The draft is scheduled for April 23-25 in Las Vegas.
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