Lead Draft Writer
The 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl took place on Saturday at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The National Team emerged victorious, defeating the American Team with a score of 16-7. This annual all-star contest served as a job interview for over 100 of the top senior prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, as well as select underclassmen.
Here are five key takeaways from the 75th edition of the Senior Bowl:
1) Rattler shines at QB.
South Carolina's Spencer Rattler stole the spotlight early in the game, throwing a beautiful 29-yard touchdown pass to Georgia WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. Rattler completed all four of his passes for 65 yards and the touchdown, earning him the game's MVP award. His performance throughout the week was consistently impressive, making him one of the standout quarterbacks.
Oregon's Bo Nix also had a notable game, leading the National Team to a touchdown with a tight-window pass to Minnesota TE Brevyn Spann-Ford. While Notre Dame's Sam Hartman struggled, completing only 7-of-25 passes and throwing an interception, Tennessee's Joe Milton III had moments of brilliance mixed with mistakes.
2) Defensive backs make big plays.
The game showcased two incredible diving interceptions by safeties. Oregon safety Evan Williams made a spectacular catch in the second quarter, securing the interception in the end zone. Washington State's Chau Smith-Wade had an even more impressive play, intercepting a pass and returning it 83 yards, narrowly missing a pick-six.
Louisville's Jarvis Brownlee Jr. also had an interception, continuing his strong week. Georgia's Tykee Smith displayed great all-around skills, making several key plays including pass breakups and tackles.
3) Fiske stands out on the defensive line.
Florida State's Braden Fiske, who was traded to the National Team prior to the game, made a significant impact on the field. Fiske stood out during practice all week and continued to impress in the game, recording four tackles, a sack, and a pressure. His tenacious effort and quickness off the ball were evident throughout the contest.
4) Undersized running backs shine.
Although it wasn't a standout week for Emani Bailey and Cody Schrader, both American Team running backs showcased their skills during the game. Bailey, standing at 5-foot-7 and 208 pounds, displayed power and agility, rushing for 53 yards and making four receptions. Schrader, at 5-foot-8 and 207 pounds, showed his contact balance and effectiveness as a receiver.
The National Team's running backs also had their moments, with South Dakota State's Isaiah Davis and Troy's Kimani Vidal making impressive runs.
5) Standouts from all three phases.
In addition to the highlighted positions, several players from all three phases of the game made noteworthy contributions. Rice WR Luke McCaffrey, brother of NFL player Christian McCaffrey, had two impressive catches and a 20-yard punt return. Offensive linemen Tanor Bortolini from Wisconsin and Christian Haynes from Connecticut showcased their blocking skills.
On the defensive side, North Carolina LB Cedric Gray and Kentucky LB Trevin Wallace stood out with their tackles and pass breakups. Iowa P Tory Taylor had a good day punting, and Stanford K Joshua Karty made three of his four field-goal attempts.
Overall, the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl provided a platform for many talented prospects to showcase their skills and make an impression before the upcoming NFL Draft. These players demonstrated their abilities in various positions, leaving an exciting buzz as the draft approaches.
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