Scouting the Peach Bowl

Two young but very competitive teams match-up in what is usually a very good contest and occasionally the best bowl game of the post season. Several first round prospects or potential initial frame names fill both rosters.

Fride Feeva swept College Park for another year as coach Ralph Friedgen proved 2001 was no fluke. After starting of a bit rocky the ship was righted and once again they play in a big post-season game.  The headliner from the Terps is senior middle linebacker EJ Henderson, an intimidating defender that forces the action up the field.  While we like Henderson we never bought into what many were saying aloud; he's top ten material.  Henderson has a previous back injury that must be looked into and is more of a straight-line defender with minimal range in pass defense.  He may be best in a three-four alignment where his area duties are kept to a minimal.  Defensive end Durrand Roundtree offers a solid pass rushing force while fullback Chad Killian gives an honest days effort.  The player Killian shares the position with, James Lynch, is rounding into form after a tough start to the season which saw him grappling with personal affairs.  Lynch is a very good future prospect at fullback.  Jafar Williams did not develop as many hoped at receiver or take the next step but stills displays big play ability and must be charted.  Red-shirt sophomore CJ Brooks was used at several positions on the offensive line but the athletic prospect has the makings of a very good tackle.

As is the case every year Tennessee is loaded  with pro-prospects and a lot of these players will be drafted.  On the offensive line tackle Michael Munoz has picked up where he left off prior to his knee injury in 2001 and looks like a great future prospect, Will Ofenheusle has improved his draft ranking though many are not sure he will stay at tackle and Anthony Herrera had a solid campaign.  Tight end Jason Witten will likely enter the draft and be the first player at his position selected while receiver Kelly Washington would be making a huge mistake if he leaves college after the serious injury sustained to his neck and the medical procedure that followed.  Quarterback Casey Clausen was also nicked up last year which slowed his development and halted any ideas he may have had to getting an early start in the NFL.  On defense Omari Hand looked good as a senior at end which raised his draft stock but Rashad Moore, Edward Kendrick and Demetrin Veal had lackluster campaigns. Middle linebacker Keyon Whiteside and outside linebacker Eddie Moore each stood out and improved as seniors while Julian Battle may have helped himself more that anyone on the defense.  The hard hitting safety took his game to another level and when forced to play cornerback and responded with several solid outings.  Teams must now decide whether to move him off the corner and waste the fine cover skills he displayed during the second half of the season.  A good forty time prior to the draft will push Battle into the top sixty.

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