Dec 2, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Braden Fiske (55) reacts after a tackle on Louisville Cardinals running back Jawhar Jordan (25) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State DT Braden Fiske swaps sides at Senior Bowl

Florida State defensive tackle Braden Fiske became the first player in Senior Bowl history to switch teams on game day Saturday.

Because of roster attrition at his position on the National team, Fiske moved over from the American roster for the pre-draft showcase in Mobile, Ala.

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy announced the first such “trade” in the 75-year history of the event on social media.

“Fiske … was already one of the week’s biggest risers,” Nagy posted on X. “This type of selfless, ‘I just wanna play’ attitude will help him immensely in the eyes of NFL decision-makers.”

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Fiske has been projected as a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft by Field Level Media.

He transferred to Florida State after four seasons at Western Michigan (2019-22) and delivered six sacks and nine tackles for loss in 13 games for the 2023 ACC champion Seminoles (13-1).

–Field Level Media

Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National running back Rasheen Ali of Marshall (22) runs the ball during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Marshall RB Rasheen Ali (biceps) pulls out of Senior Bowl

Marshall running back Rasheen Ali has pulled out of the Senior Bowl after rupturing a biceps tendon in practice, NFL Network reported Thursday.

The two-time 1,000-yard rusher for the Thundering Herd faces a recovery time of four to six months following surgery, according to the report.

The timeline means Ali will miss the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 29-March 3 in Indianapolis.

He had been projected as a mid- to late-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft scheduled for April 25-27 in Detroit.

The Senior Bowl takes place Saturday in Mobile, Ala.

Ali rushed for 2,831 yards and 39 touchdowns and caught 75 passes for 557 yards and three scores over his four seasons at Marshall. He rushed for 1,401 yards and 23 TDs in 2021 and for 1,135 yards and 15 scores in 2023.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jets’ Jeff Ulbrich, Titans’ Terrell Williams named Senior Bowl coaches

New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and Tennessee Titans assistant head coach/defensive line coach Terrell Williams will serve as head coaches for the Senior Bowl on Feb. 3 in Mobile, Ala.

Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Richard Hightower and New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka were named head coaches for the East-West Shrine Game on Feb. 1 in Frisco, Texas.

Ulbrich, 46, joined the Jets’ staff when head coach Robert Saleh was hired in 2021. Ulbrich began his coaching career with the Seattle Seahawks (2010-11) and spent six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (2015-20).

Williams, 49, who has been on the Titans’ coaching staff since 2018, began coaching in 1998 at the collegiate level. His first NFL coaching job came with the then-Oakland Raiders (2012-14), followed by a stint with the Miami Dolphins (2015-17).

“This is an opportunity for two excellent coaches, Jeff Ulbrich of the Jets and Terrell Williams of the Titans, to take the reins as head coaches in leading their staffs and top football athletes in the Senior Bowl’s week-long evaluation of NFL prospects,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent Sr. said.

The 43-year-old Hightower is in his second stint with the Bears, rejoining the team in 2022 after spending the 2016 season on the staff. He’s also coached for Houston (2006-08), Washington (2010-13), Cleveland (2014) and San Francisco (2015, 2017-21).

Kafka, 36, has been the Giants’ offensive coordinator for the last two seasons after five seasons on the Kansas City Chiefs’ coaching staff.

“Coaches Hightower and Kafka have the opportunity to not only evaluate top athlete prospects, but also to showcase their skills in leading players and coaching staffs in this high-profile game,” Vincent said.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2022; Lake Forest, IL, USA;  Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy talks with the media during training camp at PNC Center at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Bears OC, Raiders DC named Senior Bowl head coaches

Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham were selected as head coaches for the 2023 Senior Bowl.

The Senior Bowl is comprised of a week of practices culminating with the Feb. 4 game matching two teams of NFL draft prospects selected by invitation based on evaluation of their pro potential.

Senior Bowl practices are well-attended by NFL position coaches, scouts and head coaches.

In 2023, practices are scheduled Jan. 31-Feb. 2 followed by a full-length game between the two rosters at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.

Getsy was named coach of the American team; Graham is head coach of the National team.

The Bears hold the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the Raiders own the No. 7 selection.

–Field Level Media

Feb 5, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA;  American squad quarterback Bailey Zappe of Western Kentucky (17) throws a pass in the second half against the National squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Ridder helps National top American in Senior Bowl

Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes to lead the National team to a 20-10 victory over the American team Saturday in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, a Heisman Trophy finalist this season, completed 6-of-6 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown despite playing only the first quarter. Ridder was 4 of 6 for 68 yards. Neither quarterback threw an interception.

Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson, Baylor’s Abram Smith and Colorado State’s Trey McBride had TD receptions for the National team, which took a 13-0 lead into halftime.

The American team, which scored all of its points in the third quarter, was led by Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe, who completed 8-of-13 passes for 103 yards.

–Field Level Media

Jan 28, 2021; American quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama (10) looks for a pass opportunity during American practice at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, USA;  Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Lions, Jets staffs to coach Senior Bowl teams

Coaching staffs for the Detroit Lions and New York Jets accepted the 2022 Senior Bowl coaching assignment on Tuesday.

Practices for the two all-star teams are scheduled to begin Feb. 1, with the nationally televised game to cap the week on Feb. 5.

The Lions own the No. 2 pick in the draft, in addition to a first-round selection from the Los Angeles Rams acquired in the Matthew Stafford trade.

The Jets picked second in 2021 and drafted BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. New York holds five of the top 69 selections in the 2022 draft, and the Jets have a pair of top-10 picks. The fourth pick is the team’s original selection and they added Seattle’s first-round pick — No. 10 — in exchange for sending Jamal Adams to the Seahawks.

The 2022 draft is scheduled to be held April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

–Field Level Media

Aug 17, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans offensive tackle Tytus Howard (71) walks off the field during the game against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

NFL, Senior Bowl partner for inaugural HBCU combine

The NFL is partnering with the Senior Bowl to hold a pre-draft combine for top prospects from Historically Black Colleges and Universities next January.

The inaugural HBCU combine, scheduled for Jan. 28-29 in 2022 in Mobile, Ala., will be similar to the NFL combine and include interviews as well as on-field and medical evaluations. Select players from four HBCU conferences — Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) — and other HBCU institutions will be invited to participate.

“Throughout NFL history, HBCU athletes have exemplified a standard of excellence both on and off the field,” Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement. “The HBCU Combine is part of honoring that legacy and making every effort to accelerate exposure of HBCU draft prospects to all NFL clubs. The game is better when all have the opportunity to compete.”

The combine, originally scheduled for March 27-29, 2020, in Miami and postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held at the University of South Alabama, home of the Senior Bowl game set for Feb. 5, 2022. The release noted that a key objective of the timing and location is to ensure maximum opportunity for HBCU players to interact with NFL representatives as nearly all 32 NFL teams generally attend the Senior Bowl.

“Over the years, the Senior Bowl has served as a showcase for some of the top Black college football players in America, including seven of our game’s 56 future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and this event will help many more HBCU players secure further attention and exposure from all 32 teams,” said Jim Nagy, Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director, in the statement.

An HBCU scouting committee, comprised of current and former league executives, will evaluate and select the participants. The Senior Bowl will provide medical and football personnel to capture pre-draft information.

No HBCU players were drafted in 2021, and just one player was picked in the seventh round in 2020. In 2019, Alabama State offensive lineman Tytus Howard was a first-round pick by the Houston Texans after playing in the Senior Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Jan 30, 2021; Mobile, AL, USA; National tight end John Bates of Boise State  (87) and National offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes of Nebraska (67) and American linebacker Janarius Robinson of Florida State (96) in the first half of the 2021 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Senior Bowl shifts to February in 2022

The Senior Bowl is moving to February, a result of the addition of a 17th game to the NFL regular season.

The game, held annually in Mobile, Ala., is shifting from its traditional January date on the schedule and will be played Feb. 5, 2022.

By changing the date, the pro prospect showcase for NFL teams will continue to be played during the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. The next Super Bowl is set for Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

The first Senior Bowl was played in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1950, and moved to moved to Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile the in 1951. In 2021, the game moved to new Hancock Whitney Stadium at the University of South Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Jan 30, 2021; Mobile, AL, USA; National quarterback Feleipe Franks of Arkansas (8) throws in the first half of the 2021 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Feleipe Franks helps National team win Senior Bowl

Feleipe Franks of Arkansas passed for 122 yards and a touchdown Saturday to help the National team beat the American squad 27-24 in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Franks’ 21-yard touchdown pass to Ole Miss tight end Kenny Yeboah gave the National team a 27-16 lead with 11:57 left in the game. Franks completed 9 of 16 passes.

American quarterback Kellen Mond of Texas A&M completed 13 of 25 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns and was named MVP of the contest that featured NFL draft prospects. Mond received increased playing time since Alabama’s Mac Jones was unavailable due to an ankle injury sustained in Thursday’s practice.

Jamie Newman, who played for Wake Forest before transferring to Georgia and then opting out of the 2020 season, was 10-of-14 passing for 118 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the American squad.

Two other quarterbacks saw action for the National team: Ian Book (Notre Dame) was 5-of-11 passing for 48 yards and one interception, and Sam Ehlinger (Texas) completed 4 of 10 passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.

The National’s Michael Carter (North Carolina) had a game-high 60 rushing yards and one touchdown on eight carries. Dez Fitzpatrick (Louisville) caught six passes for 90 yards for the National team and was named Offensive Player of the Game.

Tulane defensive end Cameron Sample (American) was named Defensive Player of the Game after he recorded seven tackles and a half-sack.

The National squad led 13-0 at halftime before Mond guided two third-quarter touchdown drives as the American team took a 16-13 lead. But then, with 44 seconds left in the quarter, Carter scored on a 12-yard run to put the National team ahead to stay.

The National team was coached by Brian Flores and the rest of the Miami Dolphins’ staff. Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers’ staff coached the American squad.

–Field Level Media

Jan 27, 2021; American quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama (10) throws during American practice at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, USA;  Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QB Mac Jones could miss Senior Bowl with injury

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is in danger of missing Saturday’s Senior Bowl after injuring his left ankle during Thursday’s practice at Mobile, Ala.

Jones, a Heisman Trophy finalist, said he wasn’t sure he would be able to play in the contest.

“I’m not going to go out there if I’m not 100 percent,” Jones said after the practice. “It’s not fair to my teammates to not be 100 percent and try and play and not play well. I’m going to make the decision, but hopefully I can get treatment and see how it feels.”

Jones is still nursing a right leg injury from the College Football Playoff title game victory over Ohio State earlier this month. He immediately knew there was an issue with his left leg when he sustained the injury.

“I kind of rolled my ankle a little bit. I was more worried about my right leg, but now my left leg is a little hurt,” Jones said. “I didn’t get to finish (practice), but I don’t want to risk it at this point. Get treatment and figure out how I feel.”

Jones is on the American Team. The other quarterbacks on the squad are Kellen Mond of Texas A&M and Jamie Newman, who played for Wake Forest before transferring to Georgia and then opting out of the 2020 season.

The team is being coach by the Carolina Panthers’ staff. Head coach Matt Rhule said Jones was having a highly productive practice prior to the injury.

“He went for a while there, started limping at the end, so I just said, ‘Hey, why don’t you go see the trainer?’” Rhule said. “Last thing I want to do is see the kid get banged up. He was having a hard time. I thought he had a good day, just had to get it himself healed up.”

Jones passed for an Alabama single-season record 4,500 yards and threw 41 touchdown passes this season, He finished third in Heisman Trophy balloting behind winner and teammate DeVonta Smith, and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.

–Field Level Media