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FCS seniors get shot at spotlight with Scout Bowl

by | Senior Analyst

RAMAPO, N.J. -- Dozens of prospects from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division 1-AA) are taking part in the inaugural FCS Senior Scout Bowl in two small hamlets (Ramapo and Suffern) on the border of New Jersey and New York.

Longtime high school and semi-pro football coach George St. Lawrence and his son Peter lead a team putting together this new venture, having run two successful D3 Classics in Virginia. Beyond Sports Network, founded by former Virginia Tech and Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jimmy Kibble, is also assisting "Coach Saint" to help FCS prospects register on the NFL radar.

Alabama A&M corner Morrison has a quick backpedal and the fluid hips that NFL scouts crave. (AP)  
Alabama A&M corner Morrison has a quick backpedal and the fluid hips that NFL scouts crave. (AP)  
They held a combine-style workout and are distributing information about the players to all professional football leagues -- not just the NFL. The game will be broadcast by Fox College Sports (DirecTV channel 617) on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

One player trying to take advantage of the exposure is Alabama A&M cornerback Korey Morrison. In nine games this season he intercepted three passes and broke up six others. As a junior, he was named second-team All-SWAC after picking off five passes and knocking down another 12.

In the morning workout, the 180-pound Morrison ran two low-4.5 40-yard dash times to keeps scouts interested. Then in the afternoon practice, Morrison displayed the quick backpedal and fluid hips to compete with NFL receivers at the next level. He breaks on the ball with aggression and would fit especially well in a zone system.

Other defenders impressing scouts: University of North Dakota inside linebacker Nick Cochran and defensive lineman Ty Boyle. The teammates were named second-team All-Great West for the Fighting Sioux in 2010. Cochran has an NFL build (6-feet-2, 245) and enough speed to be invited to an NFL training camp and gave full effort in drills and on the practice field. Boyle's quick feet belie his 6-4, 285-pound frame and NFL teams predominantly using the 3-4 defense will look closely at him as a potential reserve five-technique lineman.

Cornell Big Red teammates cornerback Emani Fenton and safety/linebacker Dempsey Quinn showed well. Fenton was among the smoothest-moving athletes at defensive back in drills and proved himself on the field as a senior by earning second-team All-Ivy status with five interceptions and 12 passes defended. The only knock on Fenton is his size (5-9, 170 pounds), but Quinn is 6-4, 210. He has started at safety and linebacker, but has room to add another 20-25 pounds on his frame, and could likely fill a hole as a backup and a special teams player like the Seattle Seahawks' Will Herring.

Defensive back Frantz Placide had a short drive from Staten Island's Wagner College. The 6-foot, 200-pound Miami native got on the radar by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns -- and blocked six kicks -- in 2009. But last season his kickoff-return average went from 26.8 to 19.7 yards per attempt and he managed "only" two blocked kicks.

His size stood out during workouts with defensive backs -- he stood a few inches above most. Placide lacked fluidity in his backpedal, looking more like a zone corner or safety during drills. His reputation as a hitter will be put to the test, though his physicality during seven-on-seven drills hinted that he's in no way contact-shy. And a big kickoff return here, even against players not usually specializing in coverage, would give him another way to show scouts he deserves a shot this summer.

That's all any of these players are really asking for.

The final practice report focuses on the FCS offensive prospects, including three wide receivers earning second looks from scouts in attendance.


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