The Gildan New Mexico Bowl isn’t high on the list of must-watch college football bowls, but the Dec. 17 game in Albuquerque does have a few interesting storylines.
From first-year Texas-San Antonio head coach Frank Wilson delivering the first bowl game in program history to New Mexico nabbing back-to-bowl postseason appearances just five years after three straight one-win seasons — the Roadrunners-Lobos matchup could be a fun one.
It’s also got a couple 2017 NFL Draft prospects looking to boost their stock before next April. Though the New Mexico Bowl isn’t laden with elite draft prospects, each team does have one player who could be selected or, if not, be a high-priority undrafted free agent.
|2||Teriyon Gipson||RB||New Mexico|
After a slow start, UTSA’s Jarveon Williams turned up the heat, rushing for 727 yards over their final nine games, including five games of 90 yards or more.
The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder is not averaging the six yards per tote that he did in 2015 (173 carries for 1,042 yards in 2015 to 191 carries for 775 yards in 2016) and his touches-per-touchdown number are up (22.8 in 2015 to 26.1 in 2016), but he remains a quick multi-purpose running back.
Currently ranked outside the top 25 by most scouting services — more than 25 running backs haven’t been selected since 2005 — Williams will need to impress teams during pre-draft workouts to warrant draft consideration.
Gipson, another small back at 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, led the nation in yards per rushing attempt, averaging 9.2 yards per carry, a full yard more than the next highest player.
He won’t run over everyone but rarely has to with great vision, explosiveness and ability to simply run past everyone in open space. Expected to run a sub-4.3 40-yard dash and dominate quickness drills, Gipson could interest teams as a low-risk return man or third-down back.