Bowl Game Preview: Fight Hunger Bowl, BYU vs Washington, 2014 NFL Draft Prospects and Players to Watch
By Corey Brewer
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
BYU Cougars (8-4) vs Washington Huskies (8-4)
9:30 pm EST on ESPN
This matchup features multiple players that could all go within the first two rounds of May’s NFL draft. Both teams run up-tempo offenses, so it will come down to whose defense can take advantage early. Washington will be transitioning into a new coaching situation, so motivation will be key. BYU has been nearly perfect in bowl games the past decade, winning six of their last seven.
Prospects to watch:
LB #3 – Kyle Van Noy – Senior
Van Noy is very versatile on defense. He is good in coverage and is very disruptive in the pass rush game. Last season he was one of the nation’s leaders in sacks, and was the biggest reason BYU was able to gain a victory in their bowl game. Look for him to make a name for himself against a good Washington offensive line.
WR #2 – Cody Hoffman – Senior
Hoffman, a four year starter for the Cougars, is an established route-runner. He has good burst out of his cuts and can create enough separation to get open downfield. He does a great job adjusting to the ball in the air and is a big enough body to fight for possession. Hoffman is a mid-round talent looking to help himself out with a good game catching the ball.
DT #55 – Eathyl Manumaleuna – Senior
2012 was supposed to be Manumaleuna’s final season at BYU, but a season ending knee injury put him on the sidelines after just three games. He was granted a medical red shirt and gained another year of eligibility. He is a piece of the very good BYU defensive line and can play nose tackle or defensive end.
TE #82 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Junior
Seferian-Jenkins is a large body with great hands and great speed. He was originally slated as the number one tight end in the draft class at the beginning of the year, but with the success of Jace Amaro and Eric Ebron, he has fallen off. Look for a big game out of a guy who wants to re-establish himself as the best tight end in the upcoming draft.
RB #25 – Bishop Sankey – Junior
Sankey is one of the nation’s best running backs and will be one of the first backs taken in the NFL draft. He is a patient runner who lets his lineman set him up for open space. He doesn’t shy away from contact and can make defenders miss one-on-one in the open field. At times, he does tend to try and bounce the run outside when it isn’t necessary and can end up losing a couple yards. Sankey has the ability to be an instant starter at the next level.
S #1 – Sean Parker – Senior
Sean Parker is the best tackler on the Huskies defense. He is a sideline to sideline player with great field quickness. Parker is a very physical football player, and packs a punch in run support. He can be a ball-hawk in the secondary and is an experienced play-maker.