For the sixth time in as many years, the National Team prevailed over the American Team, 27-7, in the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Though the result remained the same, this year’s game provided a new batch of budding talent on both sides of the ball.
Taquan Mizzell (Virginia) rushed for a game-record 93 yards to go with one touchdown on just 10 carries to lead the offensive charge for the National Team, coached by Mike Martz. Mizzell teamed with T.J. Logan (North Carolina), who had 63 yards rushing, to bolster the ground attack and open things up through the air.
National Team quarterback Philip Nelson (East Carolina) threw for 102 yards on 11-for-18 passing and also plowed ahead for the game’s first touchdown – a 1-yard run – in the first quarter. Nelson’s performance especially impressed Martz, who said after the game that he saw the former Pirates star as surefire NFL quarterback.
The National Team also got points from Miles Bergner (South Dakota), who connected on 27- and 45-yard field goals and off of a 15-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Isaiah Irving (San Jose State).
In the end, however, the American Team boasted one of the game’s brightest spots in former St. Francis (Pa.) defensive back Lorenzo Jerome. The ballhawking senior snagged two interceptions to earn game MVP honors and bolster his draft stock.
For more game details, please view the box score here.