2020 Tropical Bowl

Football Gameplan is on the scene in Daytona Beach, Florida for the 2020 Tropical Bowl!
Here’s our Preview, Interviews and some exclusive video from all of the Tropical Bowl Practices!

As we continue to prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft, this week’s scouting trip brought me to beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida for the Tropical Bowl. I’ve attended this game for the last 3 seasons, and each year the game just gets even better. Created by East Preps, LLC, game founder Michael Quartey, ESQ. does a great job in putting together a excellent roster of pro prospects, which has become an annual stop for many NFL and CFL scouts each year. This year, 28 of 32 NFL teams and 8 of the 9 CFL teams were in attendance.

Because East Preps LLC also runs the FCS & National Bowl games in December, the Tropical Bowl event is set up the same way. Players come into town on a Friday, participate in two padded practices, before playing in a game on Sunday. This game has housed many underrated talents throughout the years. In fact, during the 2019 game, an underrated, undersized, record-breaking QB from a small FCS program in Alabama participated in the Tropical Bowl, and went on to become a starter this season in the NFL. That player: QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

It was an action-packed few days for me here, as I covered both practices, and was also the color analyst AND play-by-play guy on this broadcast. I had never done play-by-play before, so having to do both, as it was just a one-man booth, was uniquely fun to say the least.

I was also able to interview one of my favorite linebackers to watch growing up, Florida State and New York Jets legend, Marvin “Shade Tree” Jones, who was the Defensive Coordinator for the National Team:

Now it’s time to get down to business. Again, being the only person in draft media in attendance here scouting the event, I have the news, notes & prospect nuggets you’re looking for.

We’ll start with the National Team, since they won the game 35-7

National Team Offensive Standouts

QB Tom Flacco – 6’1 205, Towson

Flacco had a stellar week of work throwing the football. I came away impressed with his work in the intermediate area of the field. He was a great get for the Tropical Bowl, having began the season on the Senior Bowl Watch List. During the game he connected on a beautiful deep touchdown throw to Penn State WR Dan Chisena

Flacco ended up winning game MVP for his performance, but also definitely raised a lot of eyebrows throughout the week with his consistent play. He also has very good athleticism for the position, scoring on a rushing touchdown as well.

And yes, that is Joe Flacco’s younger brother.

QB Justin McMillian – 6’2 205, Tulane
RB Dre Brown – 5’11 210, Illinois
RB Jimmy Robinson Jr. – 5’8 175, Bethune-Cookman
TE Korab Idrizi – 6’2 248, Boston College
TE Chris Long – 6’3 245, Texas Southern
WR Amechie Walker Jr. – 5’10 180, Iowa State
WR Dan Chisena – 6’3 210, Penn State
OL Nicholas Leverett – 6’3 310, Rice
OL Kampala Seymour – 6’5 325, Rutgers
OL Jack Kramer – 6’3 305, Bowling Green
OL Erick Browne – 6’3 305, Merrimack

WR Manasseh Bailey – 6’1 195, Morgan State

Bailey was arguably the most explosive receiver out there this week. Him getting separation from the defensive back looks effortless. He’s explosive in all directions, and has very good route running skills, and the the physicality to make contested catches at all levels of the field. Bailey definitely plays at a different speed than everyone else, and had many of the scouts buzzing with his performance.

WR Kyle Anthony – 6’2 210, Howard University

Anthony was coming off of a good week of work at the FCS Bowl back in December, and was able to get the call-up to the Tropical Bowl. I had a chance to speak with the former Howard Bison star receiver.

National Team Defensive Standouts

DE Tre Hornbuckle – 6’3 255, Duke

Hornbuckle stood out from Day 1 of practice, through the actual game. Offensive linemen had problems blocking him all throughout the week. In the game, Hornbuckle had two sacks in the 1st half and a big-time TFL in the 2nd half. Throughout the week, he was able to show multiple ways of getting to the quarterback. I thought he was stellar from start to finish.

DL Tim Bonner – 6’5 245, Florida Atlantic
DL Noah Jefferson – 6’6 295, Florida Atlantic
DL Saif Khan – 6’9 270, Clarion
LB Omari Cobb – 6’3 225, Marshall
LB Chris Favoroso – 6’2 245, Duquesne
LB Terry Whittington.- 6’3 225, Southern Miss

LB Zach Hall – 6’0 235, SE Missouri State

The 2018 Buck Buchanan winner, which is the awarded to the top defensive player in the FCS, had an excellent week of work in Daytona Beach. Hall is an impactful tackler, who doesn’t give ball carriers an opportunity to break tackles. He definitely has a role at the next level.

CB – Prince Smith Jr. – 5’10 192, New Hampshire

Smith has some of the most impressive man-to-man skills at the position. He’s very patient in his technique, gives himself enough time to find the ball, and is consistently able to make the play. He’s got the ability to excel in both man or zone schemes, and was able to pick off a pass in the game.

LB Javahn Fergurson – 5’10 235, New Mexico State

Fergurson is a passionate player, who absolutely LOVES the game! He participated in the College Gridiron Showcase last week, and got down to Daytona to put himself out there more in front of NFL Scouts. I caught up with him after Day 2 of practice.

National Team Practice Highlights

Day 1:

National Team WR/DB 1-on-1s

National Team OL/DL 1-on-1s

Day 2:

National Team WR/DB 1-on-1s

National Team OL/DL 1-on-1s

American Team Offensive Standouts

WR Jamari Hester – 6’7 210, Jacksonville State

You definitely notice Hester when he’s out there on the field, standing a legit 6’7. But, he had a ton of nuance in his game that I was able to speak with him about after practice.

QB Carter Stanley – 6’2 206, Kansas
WR Mike Williams – 5’10 175, Nebraska
WR Jake Bofshever – 6’0 190, Long Island
RB Christian Gibson – 6’0 210, New Mexico State
RB Deonte Glover – 5’10 215, Shepherd
RB Darshon McCullough – 5’9 190, Eastern Illinois
OL Bryce Wilds – 6’6 310, Sam Houston State
OL Griffin Clancy – 6’6 315, Albany
OL Emanuel McGirt Jr. – 6’6 305, N.C. State

RB Walter Fletcher – 5’9 195, Ball State

This was a really impressive crop of running backs for the American Team, as all brought a wide array of skills to the table. Fletcher has tremendous burst and explosiveness that showed itself during RB/LB 1-on-1s, in how he was able to easily separate from defenders.

Day 1:

American Team WR/DB 1-on-1s

American Team OL/DL 1-on-1s

American Team Defensive Standouts

CB Tyrique McGhee – 5’11 187, Georgia

McGhee is such a fluid corner. I thought he was the only DBs who could matchup athletically with Nebraska WR Mike Williams. McGhee transitions well, doesn’t waste time getting out of his breaks or backpedal, and has a good, natural feel for playing the position.

DL Darius Slade – 6’5 258, South Florida
DL Eli Harvey 6’0 312, Northeastern State
LB Bryan Wright – 6’3 238, Cincinnati
LB Bryan London II – 6’0 232, Texas State
DL Kevin Thurmon – 6’3 305, Arkansas State
DL Aymiel Fleming – 6’2 325, Houston
LB Angelo Garrett – 6’2 232, Missouri State
DL T.J. Carter – 6’4 283, Kentucky
CB Jay Wright – 6’1 205, Seton Hill
CB Maxwell Howell – 6’1 195, Portland State
DB Carl Austin III – 6’1 200, UTSA
DB Trevor Merritt – 5’9 186, Bethune-Cookman
DL Tevaughn Grant – 6’2 250, Wagner

DL Darrius Moragne – 6’6 295, Kansas

Known as a run defender, edge setter at Kansas, Moragne was able to showcase his pass rushing ability this week at the Tropical Bowl. Virtually unblock able during 1-on-1 drills, Moragne was able to transfer that disruption to the game as well. He blew up a few run plays and also found his way to the QB as well. After Day 1 of practice, the former Kansas Jayhawk had a gaggle of NFL Scouts surrounding him, getting his information.

CB Kam Prewitt – 5’10 190, Campbell

Prewitt was a call up from the FCS/National Bowl back in December. He has strong man-to-man skills and does not lack confidence either! I was able to get him to talk some shop with me after practice.

Day 2:

American Team WR/DB 1-on-1s

American Team OL/DL 1-on-1s

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