Auburn defensive end Dee Ford had been recognized by the Senior Bowl earlier in the week for his efforts in practice all week, and he capped it off by helping to lead the South defense to a 20-10 victory over the North. Ford recorded a pair of sacks and earned Senior Bowl MVP honors to continue to build momentum heading closer to the NFL Draft.
Practices leading up to the actual game tend to carry more weight in player evaluations, but here are six players who made the most of their performance in the Senior Bowl, in no particular order.
1. DE Dee Ford, Auburn
Ford was difficult to slow down in this one. Much like his impact in the BCS Championship Game, Ford brought constant pressure in the North backfield and recorded a pair of sacks and batted down a pass. If any defensive lineman helped his draft profile with this game, it was Ford. Ford was named the Senior Bowl MVP.
2. RB James White, Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s running back led all players in the game with 61 rushing yards on 11 rushing attempts. He was the lone highlight for the game for the North squad as he scored the North’s only touchdown.
3. RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina
One of the top names from the FCS ranks playing this weekend handled himself well for the South team, leading the team in rushing with 31 yards.
4. QB David Fales, San Jose State
He did throw an interception, but he also had the arm that threw two of the biggest offensive plays in the game. Fales completed six of seven passes for a game high 104 passing yards and a touchdown.
5. DB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood
One of the biggest questions about Desir was how he would perform on the field against all of those big receivers from the big time programs. He did quite well, coming down with an interception in the end zone late in the game.
6. TE Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State
Colorado State tight end Crockett Gillmore made some nice plays when on the field, including two of the better catches of the game for the South. He also led all players with 61 receiving yards and snagged a touchdown catch from Fresno State’s Derek Carr on a pass that was slightly behind him on the run.
And here are three who left something to be desired in the game.
1. QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
For all of the talk about potential for Logan Thomas, the Senior Bowl showed much of what Hokies fans have witnessed the past few years. He did complete four of five passes, but for just 18 yards. Thomas took a handful of sacks as well for a loss of 38 yards.
2. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Boyd failed to make any special plays in the game, completing a little less than half of his passes (7 for 16) for 31 yards. He was also intercepted once.
3. QB Stephen Morris, Miami
It must be an ACC thing. Morris joined his conference mates in having a rough afternoon in Mobile. Miami’s quarterback completed 9 of 16 passes for 84 yards and two interceptions in a game when no quarterback for the North team (yes, the North) struggled to move the offense against the South defense.