Each week, the scouting department at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will examine some of the top performances in college football by potential pro prospects that we are keeping an eye on.
Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
One can only marvel with excitement after watching the performances put on by Ohio State senior running back Trey Sermon over the past three weeks, with the exclamation point coming in a Sugar Bowl win against Clemson this past weekend. Sermon was up to his usual tricks, rushing for 193 yards and catching an additional four passes for 61 yards. The previous week, he ran for a school-record 331 yards and a pair of scores in a win over Northwestern during the Big Ten Championship game. On the season, Sermon is averaging seven and a half yards per carry with 868 rushing yards, including 636 rushing yards coming in the past three games! The transfer from Oklahoma had shown flashes of his big-play burst and explosion during his time with the Sooners. Now, Sermon has done it frequently on the biggest of stages during his time in Columbus. Another sensational showing in the College Football National Championship could help cement Sermon as a solid Day Two prospect.
TREY SERMON TO THE 🏠 pic.twitter.com/9znvReZAsV
— Buckeye Videos+ (@BuckeyeVideos) January 2, 2021
Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
Credit to North Carolina senior wideout Dazz Newsome, who expressed his desire to settle unfinished business by participating in the Orange Bowl, while many of his heralded teammates sat this one out and turned their attention to the upcoming NFL Draft. Newsome delivered with another notable performance, making six receptions for 68 receiving yards and one dazzling touchdown catch. The Hampton, Virginia product has been one of the more reliable performers in the ACC over the past several seasons due to his yard-after-catch ability, as he is tough to close on in open space. Newsome projects as a slot receiver at the next level with his stature, but he plays much bigger than his size indicates and will serve as a great presence inside the facility, as he has been praised for his competitiveness and leadership. In 43 career games with the Tar Heels, Newsome finished with 3,292 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns, including an impressive 11.1 punt return average. Expect this talented playmaker to hear his name called somewhere during the middle of the draft come April.
Dazz Newsome went ALL OUT for this TD grab 😤
— ESPN (@espn) January 3, 2021
Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, WR, Northwestern
Northwestern senior wide receiver Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman began the season as barely a blip on the NFL radar, but his strong play in 2020 has caught the attention from pro scouts as he finished the year with a bang. Chiaokhiao-Bowman saved his best for last, making several clutch catches in the Citrus Bowl, including a touchdown, to help give the Wildcats a win over Auburn. He nabbed eight balls for a career-high 103 receiving yards the previous week versus Ohio State during the Big Ten Championship. The lengthy, agile pass-catcher has demonstrated great run-after-catch ability and has become one of the top red-zone weapons on the team. The Minneapolis native, who also duals as the residential “team barber” and is known to “bring the juice” according to the coaching staff, is a noted hard-worker who had a prolific high school career but emerged as a late bloomer during his time at Evanston. With his size, speed and quickness, he has now done enough to be considered a priority free agent following the draft.
Peyton Ramsey hits Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman for a 35 yard TD to give Northwestern (-4.5) a 7-0 lead
— Bet The Pigskin (@betthepigskin) January 1, 2021
Calvin Bundage, LB, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State employed one of the better defenses during the Mike Gundy era this past season. One of the key cogs has been senior linebacker Calvin Bundage, a three-year starter who bounced back from a season-ending injury a year ago and finished his career off in a big way. Bundage collected a pair of tackles and a half sack in the Cowboys’ victory in the Cheez-It Bowl. Following the game, he annonced his intent to turn pro. Bundage fits the athletic profile of a more modern-day linebacker who can do a little bit of everything. He led the team with seven sacks this season, including 3.5 over the final four games. While his snaps were a bit more reduced than he was previously accustomed to earlier in his career, Bundage made the most of his opportunities as he returned to form and put to rest any questions about his ability to play at a high level coming off injury. He stands a chance to hear his name called late in the draft; if not, he is sure to be in high demand as a priority free agent.
Oklahoma State Cowboys and Edmond native Calvin Bundage has declared for the NFL Draft. Bundage is also a former Edmond Santa Fe High standout. @CalvinBundage @SFwolvesFTBL @CowboyFB pic.twitter.com/6mjn1B2f7k
— Super Prep (@prep_super) January 3, 2021
Kyle Poland, LS, West Virginia
West Virginia has become a hotbed for long snappers of late, as senior Kyle Poland is the latest Mountaineers player at the position to garner NFL attention. At 6-2 and 240 pounds, Poland possesses the ideal size, in addition to being one of the most consistent snappers in all of college football this past season. His experience includes playing center during high school, which shows up on film as he demonstrates excellent blocking technique. Poland was named a team captain on two occasions this past year, a testament to his leadership. He credits his development to his predecessors 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl participant Rex Sunahara, currently a member of the Miami Dolphins, and Nick Meadows, who dabbled briefly with a pro career prior to Sunahara. The Morgantown, West Virginia product now looks to follow in those footsteps with an invite to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the possibility of suiting up on Sundays becoming a distinct possibility.
Had a chance to chat with @WVUfootball LS Kyle Poland (@Kpoland24), one of the top prospects at his position in the 2021 Draft. His experience playing C provides an astute skill-set as a blocker. Was named team captain twice in 2020, as he looks to join @RexSunahara in the #NFL. pic.twitter.com/nQkoLjgAuL
— Ric Serritella (@RicSerritella) January 4, 2021
*Be sure to catch NFLPA Collegiate Bowl director of college recruiting Dane Vandernat this Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. ET on ‘The State of Football’ show live on @NFLDraftBible!