Bowl Game Review: Devy Prospects on the Rise

Rob Willette

Bowl games have certainly lost some panache in recent seasons. Between opt-outs and the sheer number of bowls games that now exist, the talent pool has been a bit diluted. Only the most rabid local fans get lathered up by the Pringles Sour Cream and Onion Bowl based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

Of course, player absences lead to more opportunities for less-heralded talent. When Josh Downs opted out of the Holiday Bowl, it opened the door for redshirt freshman Kobe Paysour to step up to post 98 yards and a score as he builds momentum for the 2023 season. The purpose of this exercise is to unearth some lesser-known prospects who emerged during bowl season. While CJ Stroud was excellent in the playoff against Georgia, he is already a high-end devy talent. We want to find those whose stock is rising following the holidays.


Despite a very strong season from LSU’s Malik Nabers, he was still not getting the buzz he merited. Kayshon Boutte has long been the king in Baton Rouge and has taken the spotlight away from other receivers. Nabers, however, just continues to deliver big numbers.

Nabers put an exclamation point on his season with a 163-yard effort in LSU’s demolition of Purdue, including a long catch and run, which showcased his burst and long speed. Nabers had a notable freshman campaign and now has a 1,000 yard-season as a second-year player in the SEC. He is a fast-rising devy prospect.

Sticking in the SEC, Tennessee showcased its next generation of talent due to injury (Hendon Hooker) and opt-outs (Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman). It is easy to forget Joe Milton actually won the starting job in the fall of 2021, and he showed why in the Orange Bowl against Clemson. Milton dotted the field with big-time throws, showcasing his comically strong arm and demonstrating an improved touch. It was merely a single game, and Milton has always been toolsy yet enigmatic. However, it was a great showing for Milton and may give him a leg up on becoming the Volunteers 2023 starter. He is worth a late flier in Superflex leagues.


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Bowl Game Review: Devy Prospects on the Rise