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2023 Tropical Bowl Preview

Take a look at the MWC players participating this weekend.

NCAA Football: LA Bowl-Oregon State vs Utah State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 college football season is over, but post-season bowls will be occurring over the next few weeks. Mountain West alums are taking part in the Hula Bow, the Tropical Bowl, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game, and the Senior Bowl. This post will focus on the Tropical Bowl.

These events are used primarily as camps with a game at the end. Invited players get officially measured and weighed upon checking in. Then, there are a few days of practice with NFL coaches. The practice time for players is really at the heart of these events.

This is due to the time players and coaches can spend together honing their craft collaboratively. It gives the players a chance to be looked at by coaches who know the NFL game. What better way to understand where and how to improve than to hear it from the source? Receiving this feedback can give the players an edge as they head into their training for the NFL Combine or their respective Pro-day.

Finally, this gives players a chance to stand out. If a player was overshadowed on his team by other talented individuals, wasn’t featured in his offense, or in the case of those in this article, played in a Group of 5 conference, they have the opportunity to open the eyes of the coaches with their play and jump onto the radar before draft time. While the combine and pro-days are also good opportunities for this, the more chances of coaches seeing one play and compete, the better position they put themselves in.

This year, three players from the Mountain West are participating in the Tropical Bowl. Below we will provide a brief description of each player and illustrate what kind of showing they need to improve their draft stock. Also, if you want to learn more about the purpose and history of the Tropical Bowl, as well as the person behind it all, check out our interview with Michael Quartey from a few years ago.

Tropical Bowl Schedule:

January 17, 2023

9am Report All Scrimmage Players Check for Jersey pick up

10:15am Lunch

10:30am All Players Report to for meetings

11:15AM Player Measurements

2PM-4pm Training Camp Practice 1

January 18, 2023

9AM Tropical Training Camp Practice

11AM - 2PM Tropical Scrimmage (Simulated Game)

January 18, 2023 (Wednesday)

Tropical Bowl Game Players arrive and check into their hotel rooms

January 19, 2023 (Thursday) OFFICIAL REPORT DAY- REQUIRED

8:00am – 9:00am American Team (White) Picks Up Shipped Equipment

9:00am – 10:00am National Team (Black) Picks Up Shipped Equipment

9:00am -11:00am American Team (White) Player Report & Registration & Team Meeting

10:00am – 12:00pm National Team (Black) Player Report & Registration & Team Meeting

12:00pm-1:00pm American Team (White) Player Measurements

1:00pm-2:00pm National Team (Black) Player Measurements

2:30pm-4:30pm American Team (White) Practice

4:30pm-6:30pm National Team (Black) Practice

8:00pm-10:30pm Dinner

January 20, 2023 (Friday)

10:00am-12:30pm American Team (White) Practice

12:00am-2:00pm National Team (Black) Practice

January 21, 2023 (Saturday) (GAMEDAY)

11:00am Gates Open to the Public at Camping World Stadium

3:00pm – 4:00pm Pre Game Warm Up/ Walk Thru

4:00pm Game Time. 2023 TRILLION TROPICAL BOWL Game Kickoff at Camping World Stadium

  • Official Live Stream Link to be provided at kickoff ($19.99 pay per view)

The Players:

Note: The roster, released on Monday, indicates a much larger MWC cohort than what is detailed here. We were not able to cover them all here, but will attempt to include more in the stock report. Traditionally, we go off of what players, teams, or the bowl itself announce on twitter. Also, it is unknown which players are practice-only and which are competing in the games.

OL Isaac Cochran (Air Force)

Provided by NittanyFalcon

Isaac Cochran is the latest in a stream of Falcon offensive linemen that entered the Academy with very little fanfare and came to be highly regarded potential NFL players. Cochran’s story is even more remarkable than his predecessors in that he started as a walk-on and became an All-American. When the tough yards were needed, the Falcons would run the ball behind Cochran or use him as the pulling guard to open the hole on the opposite side of the line. At 6’5” and 325 pounds, he has the frame to move defenders out of the way. As with all the linemen from Air Force, in order to convince the scouts of his ability to play in the NFL, he will have to show his ability to pass block in an offense that throws the ball a lot more than the Falcons.

TE Jordan Murray (Hawaii)

Provided by Jeremy

Murray came to Hawaii from Missouri State, where he put up 99 receptions for 1,196 yards and 11 touchdowns over the course of his career there. Murray’s hype picked up over the summer of 2022 and into fall camp, appearing to be a key cog for the Warriors. The Warriors’ offense struggles kept Murray from having the statistical season he hoped for, only catching 10 passes for 70 yards. At 6’5” 240 lbs, Murray has the ideal size for a pass-catching tight end. He can help his draft stock at the Tropical Bowl by proving to be sure-handed when the ball comes his way.

QB Logan Bonner (Utah State)

Provided by Graham

Logan Bonner suffered an unfortunate ankle injury this past season, and before suffering the injury, Bonner threw for 753 yards and six touchdowns against eight interceptions on 62 of 110 passing (56.4%). Bonner had a quarterback rating of 117.3 this season and played in four total games throwing an abysmal five interceptions against UNLV. In his junior season in 2021, his first at Utah State after following head coach Blake Anderson from Arkansas State, Bonner threw for 3,628 yards and 36 touchdowns against 12 interceptions to finish with a quarterback rating of 154.1. Bonner will be looking to impress in order to make up for lost time due to the injury.

Note: The weaknesses or questions describing each player below aren’t necessarily the views of the contributors or site, but rather what could be questions or concerns NFL scouts or talent-elevators or the media have about them, which are still worth discussing as they can have ramifications.