Belk Bowl

Tuesday, December 27, 7 p.m. CST, ESPN

Bank of America Stadium/Charlotte, North Carolina


North Carolina State (7-5)

#42 LB Audie Cole, Redshirt Senior – 6-4 ¼, 239 pounds, 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash – He’s played outside, inside and middle linebacker for NC State and has handled both positions well over his three seasons of starting. He’s appeared in 50 games and has 266 career tackles, 27 TFLs, 12 sacks, 8 QB hits, 1 INT, 7 FF, 2 recovered fumbles and 9 passes broken up. Cole does not appear to have the speed and moves to play outside linebacker in the NFL, so he’s likely an inside type. He’s considered a third-fourth round potential, who could contribute immediately on special teams.

#84 TE George Bryan, Redshirt Senior – 6-5, 265 pounds, 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash – In each of the last three seasons Bryan has won some sort of All-ACC honor; in the 2011 season he was named to the second-team all-conference offense. He is not the most athletic of tight ends, but he gets by on preparation and instincts. In 50 games he caught 123 passes for 1,294 yards and 17 TDs. That’s a 10.5-yard per catch average. Bryan is a sixth-seventh-round prospect and if he can lower his time in the 40, he might slip into the fifth-round during the NFL Draft.

Louisville (7-5)

#55 C Mario Benavides, Redshirt Junior – 6-3 ½, 300 pounds, 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash – It has been a tough year for Benavides and his body. In the spring he had knee surgery and at the start of the 2011 season he suffered an ankle infection that put him in the hospital for nearly two weeks. He missed quite a bit of pre-season time and the first three games before returning to action. Prior to that, he had missed just one start in the previous three seasons. A seventh-round/FA candidate if he’s healthy.

#11 TE Josh Chichester, Redshirt Senior – 6-7 ¼, 240 pounds, 4.8 seconds in the 40 yard dash – A solid blocker, who makes use of his big frame to catch a few passes along the way. In 48 games he’s had 96 catches for 1,225 yards and 11 TDs. This past season he had 27 catches for 365 yards and a pair of TD catches. A seventh-round/FA prospect, he’ll either be asked to gain weight to improve his blocking potential, or lose a few pounds and become more of a slot TE receiver.

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