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'Small school' standouts highlight first acceptances

Mon, Nov 20, 2017

MOBILE, Ala. (Nov. 20) -- Twenty six seniors have accepted invitations to the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl, highlighted by a number of smaller school standouts. 
Among the first 26 acceptances, 10 play in one of the five major conferences. The other 16 play at a non-Power five school, FCS level -- where eight of the players compete -- and Division III.

"Some of these players may not be household names, yet, but they are extremely talented football players and we're as excited as they are about playing in this year's Reese's Senior Bowl ," said Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage. 

Among the Power-5 players to accept their invitation this week, Oregon running back Royce Freeman, Oregon tackle Tyrell Crosby, Florida corner Duke Dawson, Michigan linebacker Mike McCray, Iowa State receiver Allen Lazard, USC linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and Indiana tight end Ian Thomas.

The Reese's Senior Bowl will announce player acceptances each Monday for the next few weeks. The game will eventually build a two rosters, totaling 110 players. They will meet in Mobile, Ala., January 22, 2018 to participate in Reese's Senior Bowl week and practice in front of nearly 1,000 NFL personnel. ESPN and NFL Network will broadcast the practices live each day.

The 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl is January 27, 2018 at 1:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. It will be televised by NFL Network. 

Here's a brief look at the first 26 players to commit to the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl (alphabetical):

Anthony Miller is Memphis' all-time leading receiver.

Adam Breneman, TE, UMass – Penn State-transfer preseason All-American that leads all FBS tight ends with 58 receptions. Led all at his position with 70 catches in 2016.
Tanner Carew, LS, Oregon – Athletic four-year starting snapper for the Ducks. Has never recorded a bad snap. Snapped through a torn ACL in the first College Football Playoff.
Austin Corbett, OC, Nevada – Former walk-on four-year starter at left tackle for the Wolf Pack. All-Mountain West performer. Projects inside to Guard or Center.
Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon – Starter at right tackle and left tackle in his career. The only tackle to in the top-10 nationally in both pass blocking and run blocking by Pro Football Focus.
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA – All-Conference-USA pass rusher with 15.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks this year.
Duke Dawson, CB, Florida – All-SEC performer with three interceptions this year. Has started at safety, corner and nickel in his career.
Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah – UCLA-transfer and one of the best defensive ends in the Pac-12. Has 3.0 sacks in 2017 while missing time with injury.
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon – Oregon’s all-time leading rusher and leader in rushing touchdowns. All-Pac-12 with 1,353 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2017.
Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State – All-America candidate and nation’s leader with 1,345 receiving yards. FBS’ active career leader in receiving yards per game.
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State – 2016 finalist for the Walter Payton Award with single-season school record 92 receptions. In 2017, leads team with 60 receptions, 966 yards.
Danny Johnson, CB, Southern – All-SWAC defender that led the FCS with 7 interceptions in 2016. Has 3 so far in 2017.
Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque – First Team All-Iowa Conference as one of the best players in Division III. Leads the nation with 8 interceptions.
Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State – Big bodied receiver, 2016 First Team All-Big 12. Has 704 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns in 2017.
Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State – FCS All-American linebacker finished 2017 season with 114 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Mike McCray, LB, Michigan – Michigan captain. All-Big Ten linebacker with 14.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks in 2017.
Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis – A-time leading receiver in Memphis history. Former walk-on with no offers out of high school. 1,068 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017.
Siran Neal, CB, Jacksonville State – First-Team All-OVC. Former safety now playing corner. Leads team with 11 pass breakups.
Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, USC – USC captain pass rusher with innate ability to bat down pass attempts. 6.5 sacks and 13 pass breakups in 2017.
Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T – Blindside protector for MEAC Champs. First-Team All-American has not allowed a sack this season. 2017 Finalist for the Walter Payton Award.
Timon Parris, OT, Stony Brook – Four-year starter at right tackle and left tackle. FCS All-American.
Skyler Phillips, OG, Idaho State – Four-year starter on offense that set Big Sky records in 2014.
Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State – Tall 6-foot-6 receiver with 831 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2017. Had 17 catches for 323 yards in two games vs. Power Five competition this season.
Chandon Sullivan, CB, Georgia State – Athletic All-Sun-Belt defender and Georgia State record holder for career interceptions and passes defended.
Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana – Breakout player in 2017, athletic tight end averaging 15.0 yards per catch with 5 touchdowns in 2017.
Johnny Townsend, PT, Florida – All-American and second nationally with 47.9 yards per punt in 2017. Averaging 46.3 yards per punt in his career.
D’montre Wade, CB, Murray State – Former running back converted to corner. Four-year starter, All-OVC performer. 6 interceptions in 2017