Only a few weeks removed from the Holiday Bowl, a slew of Washington State seniors are returning to the field to participate in various postseason all-star games with the hopes of boosting their stock in front of pro evaluators before the NFL Draft April 26-28.
Of the eight Cougars who accepted invitations, seven intend to participate in the postseason bowls, which are scattered throughout the month of January. WSU running back Jamal Morrow injured himself in the first half of the Holiday Bowl against Michigan State and told The Seattle Times’ Stefanie Loh he’s withdrawn from the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which will take place Jan. 20 at the Rose Bowl.
Morrow, who finishes his WSU career with 4,219 all-purpose yards – third all-time at the school – told the Times he broke a bone in his left foot, but hopes to recover in time to participate in the Cougars’ Pro Day on March 8 in Pullman.
It also isn’t clear whether quarterback Luke Falk will be healed in time to play in the Jan. 27 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Falk had surgery on his left, non-throwing wrist following the Apple Cup and didn’t dress for the Holiday Bowl, giving backup Tyler Hilinski his first career start.
Nonetheless, the Cougars will still send players to both of the aforementioned games. Kicker Erik Powell, a Lou Groza Award semifinalist who finished his WSU career third in made field goals (51), should have prime kicking conditions when he plays in the Pasadena-based Collegiate Bowl. Frankie Luvu, who had a breakout season at the Rush linebacker position, will also play in the game.
If Falk does play in the Senior Bowl, the Pac-12’s career passing leader could have a familiar face blocking for him. WSU’s ironman right tackle, Cole Madison, is headed to Mobile for the game and the Cougar teammates will know on Jan. 17 if they’ll be Senior Bowl teammates.
Unanimous All-American left guard Cody O’Connell will be the lone WSU representative in the East-West Shrine Game, played on Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Cornerback Marcellus Pippins, who’s been training at Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue, will have a chance to showcase his skills in front of scouts at the Jan. 14 FBS Sprial Tropical Bowl in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Nose tackle Daniel Ekaule had the least amount of time off and has spent the past five days in Addison, Texas, training at the College Gridiron Showcase. The week-long event doesn’t culminate with a nationyally-televised game, like the other postseason bowls, but instead follows an “OTA format,” showcasing the players through practices, individual drills and controlled scrimmages.