North Carolina schools will be well-represented at this season’s Senior Bowl, the premier postseason all-star game for draft-eligible college football players.
No fewer than six players from state schools have already accepted invitations to the game, to be played on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala., including three from NC State.
All-purpose back Jaylen Samuels leads the delegation, along with Wolfpack defensive tackles B.J. Hill and Justin Jones. Also on the roster are North Carolina cornerback M.J. Stewart, Wake Forest defensive end Duke Ejiofor and NC A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker.
Three other players with local connections, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry, Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios and Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert have been selected to play in the 69th renewal of the game. Landry is a native of Fayetteville, Berrios is from Raleigh and Benkert started his career at East Carolina before transferring after his redshirt sophomore season.
There is a good chance other state players, including NC State’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy-winning defensive end Bradley Chubb, will be added as the game draws nearer.
A week before the Senior Bowl, the 93rd East-West Shrine Bowl will be played in Tampa with State offensive guard Tony Adams and defensive end Kentavius Street, Wake Forest tight end Cam Serigne and Appalachian State offensive guard Colby Gossett on the early list of accepted invitations.
As important as the games themselves are for the players involved, the week of practices leading up to them can be even more beneficial as an opportunity to showcase their skills for the multitude of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers that will be in attendance.