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Former Eastern Washington stars Bourne, Ebukam chase NFL dreams Saturday

Jan. 20, 2017 Updated Fri., Jan. 20, 2017 at 8:52 p.m.

Former Eastern Washington Eagles wide receiver Kendrick Bourne will play in Saturday’s NFLPA game. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Former Eastern Washington Eagles wide receiver Kendrick Bourne will play in Saturday’s NFLPA game. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Three former Eastern Washington football players will chase their dreams in postseason all-star games over the next two weekends.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne and defensive end Samson Ebukam will play Saturday in the National Football League Players Association Bowl in Carson, Calif.

Receiver Cooper Kupp will see action on Jan. 28 in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

All are trying to impress scouts ahead of the NFL Combine Feb. 28-March 6 and the NFL draft on April 27-29.

Kupp, who is training in Irvine, California, is projected to be drafted as high as the second round and no lower than the fourth round. Ebukam – who plans to play outside linebacker in the pros – and Bourne are considered borderline draft candidates.

That doesn’t matter this week: “Doing whatever it takes to make it,” Bourne tweeted this week from California.

Kupp is ranked in the top five among all receivers, while Bourne is rated 67th. Ebukam is ranked 26th at outside linebacker.

Kupp is represented by Ryan Tollner and REP 1 Sports. Ebukam and Bourne are represented by Cameron Foster.

More than 200 scouts, representing all 32 NFL franchises, will be on hand at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles for Saturday’s game. Former Montana quarterback Brady Gustafson also is on the team.

Their National squad is coached by former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz. Previously, Eastern’s Clay DeBord (2016), Aaron Neary (2016), Jake Rodgers (2015), T.J. Lee III (2014) and Bo Levi Mitchell (2012) have played in the game.

All four are currently playing professional football, with DeBord (Dallas), Neary (Philadephia) and Rodgers (Carolina) in the NFL. Lee (B.C. Lions) and Mitchell (Calgary Stampeders) are the Canadian Football League.

Kupp will be Eastern’s third player to play in the Senior Bowl, joining offensive linemen Trent Pollard (1994) and Michael Roos (2005).

Kupp will play on the North team, which also includes Youngstown State outside linebacker Derek Rivers. The head coach for the North is Chicago head coach John Fox.

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