Hawaii Bowl primer

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Nevada vs. SMU
Tonight, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN

Prospects worth watching:

Sub-package supreme

Southern Methodist wideout Emmanuel Sanders may lack the necessary size and overall girth needed to play on the outside at the next level, but the guy showcases impressive body control and good burst out of his breaks and knows how to create after the catch. Sanders currently has 91 receptions for 1,215 yards and six touchdowns while going over 850 yards in each of the last three seasons. Does he have the ability to consistently beat press coverage and mature into a starting-caliber wideout in the NFL? I don’t think so. However, he certainly is dynamic enough as a route runner to separate from the slot and make plays in the pass game. He also plays with a real toughness despite his size and knows how to secure the football over the middle of the field. Sanders is one of my favorite projected sub-package receivers in next year’s draft, and I definitely think he has the ability to make a roster and eventually produce for an NFL offense.

Sleeper alert

I got my first real look at SMU cornerback Bryan McCann last season when he did a number on former Rice standout receiver and 2009 fifth-round pick Jarett Dillard. McCann did a great job pressing Dillard off the line, making it extremely difficult for him to get into routes and create any kind of separation vs. man coverage. Now, McCann is a thin corner at only 175 pounds, but he possesses decent size (5-10) and has the length and coordination to consistently get his hands on the ball. He’s one of the most intuitive senior corners in this year’s class, and it will be interesting to see how he matches up with the Nevada receiving corps.

Trying to build some momentum

Nevada junior defensive end Kevin Basped entered the season as one of the most feared pass rushers in the nation, recording 10 sacks in 2008 to go along with his 18

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