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Top offensive linemen among 20 latest acceptances

Thu, Nov 29, 2018

Mobile, Ala. (Nov. 29) -- Eight offensive linemen are among the 20 latest players to accept invitiations the 2019 Reese's Senior Bowl. Among the eight linemen are Big-12 Co-Offensive Linemen of the Year Dru Samia (Oklahoma) and Dalton Risner (Kansas State) and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Michael Deiter (Wisconsin).

Also accepting an invitation, the fourth quarterback to commit to the game, Gardner Minshew of Washington State. The Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist has thrown for an NCAA-best 4,477 yards (70.6 completion percentage) and tossed 36 touchdowns.

Minshew joins Trace McSorley (Penn State), Clayton Thorson (Northwestern) and Ryan Finley (NC State) on the roster.

Michigan's Karan Higdon is the second running back to accept his invitation (Jalin Moore, App St.). Higdon, a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award and the Maxwell Award, has rushed for 1,220 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

The 20 accepted invitations push the total number of commits to the 2019 Reese's Senior Bowl to 49.

A look at the latest players to accept their invitations (alphabetical order):

Ben Banogu | LB | TCU – Was named 2017 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and followed that up in 2018 with 52 total tackles (17 for loss), 7.5 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Beau Benzschawel | OL | Wisconsin – Anchors offensive line that blocks for rushing offense that ranks fifth in the country (277 yards/game).

Michael Deiter | OL | Wisconsin – Named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, anchored line with Beau Benzchawel that led the Big Ten with 268 yards on the ground per game.

Andre Dillard | OL | Washington State – All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention in 2017, started all 38 games since the beginning of his sophomore and has anchored an offensive line that has conceded just 11 sacks this season (9th-best in nation).

Carl Granderson | DL | Wyoming – First team All-Mountain West selection as junior when he had 16 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks and second team as a senior (7.5 TFL, 3 sacks).

Will Harris | DB | Boston College – Third team All-ACC has 75 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 2018.

Karan Higdon | RB | Michigan – Semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back) and the Maxwell Award (top offensive player in the country). Has rushed for 1,220 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018. 

Tytus Howard | OL | Alabama State – A first-team All-SWAC selection and landed on the FCS preseason All-America watch list.

Isaiah Johnson | CB | Houston – Converted wide receiver has 66 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups this season.

Gardner Minshew | QB | Washington State – Mississippi native is a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year (along with West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, another Senior Bowl commit). Has thrown for an NCAA-best 4,477 yards while completing 70.6 percent of his pass attempts (433-for-613) and tossed 36 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

Dennis Daley | OL | South Carolina – JC transfer who jumped into lineup immediately and played left tackle spot, protecting quarterback’s blind side.

Dalton Risner | OL | Kansas State – Co-Big-12 Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2018, as selected by the coaches. All-Big-12 first team and Pro Football Focus All-American as a junior.

Dru Samia | OL | Oklahoma – Co-Big-12 Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2018, as selected by the coaches. All-Big-12 first team member.

Darnell Savage | DB | Maryland – Named second team All-Big Ten. Finished with 30 consecutive starts and was second in the Big Ten and ranks 13 nationally with four interceptions. Was second on team with 5.5 tackles for loss and fourth in total tackles (51). 

Jaylen Smith | WR | Louisville – A four-year starter for the Cardinals, the Pascagoula, Mississippi, native ranks sixth all-time in school history with 2,505 yards on 152 receptions, which is the ninth most in school history. Smith also ranks fourth with a 16.4 yards per catch average and stands ninth with 15 career touchdown receptions.

Ben Powers | OL | Oklahoma – Named first team All-Big-12.

Tommy Sweeney | TE | Boston College – All-ACC first team selection is top-10 among tight ends in school history for receptions. Has 32 receptions for 348 yards and three touchdowns in 2018.

Marvell Tell | DB | USC – All-Pac-12 first team selection as a junior in 2017, in 37 career games (29 starts) has 164 tackles, 5.5 for losses (with one sack), eight deflections, four interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Juan Thornhill | S | Virginia – All-ACC first team selection had 92 tackles (3.5 for loss) this season to go with his five interceptions and six .pass breakups

Khari Willis | DB | Michigan St. – Third team All-Big Ten selection, also took home Sportsmanship Award for conference.