2011 Bowl Season – Music City Bowl

Franklin American Music City Bowl

Friday, December 30, 5:40 p.m./ESPN

LP Field/Nashville, Tennessee



Wake Forest (6-6)

#97 OLB Kyle Wilber, Redshirt Senior – 6-3 ½, 240 pounds, 4.7 seconds is the 40-yard dash – During his 42-game career at Wake, Wilber has moved around from defensive front playing at end on both sides and this year moving to outside linebacker. He has good speed and quickness for a player his size. In 42 games, Wilber had 189 tackles, 33.5 TFLs, 13.5 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 6 passes broken up, 5 forced fumbles and he returned a fumble for a TD. He missed more than half of the 2009 season after suffering a broken leg. It appears that opinions on Wilber vary considerably, as some scouts think he’s a sleeper pick, while others view him as a sixth or seventh-round choice.

#2 WR Chris Givens, Redshirt Junior – 5-11 ¾, 195 pounds, 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash – All-ACC first-team offensive player after a record setting season for the Demon Deacons, catching 74 passes for 1,276 yards and 9 TDs. The Texas native had seven 100-yard games this season, topped by 191 yards against Maryland. Overall in 35 games, Givens has caught 154 passes for 2,149 yards and 21 TDs. NFL types say he’s a second or third-round prospect.

Mississippi State (6-6)

#94 DT Fletcher Cox, Junior – 6-3 ½, 295 pounds, 4.9 seconds in 40-yard dash – No word on whether Cox is leaning towards coming out early or not, but he has to be considering it based on his 2011 performance.. An immediate contributor as a true freshman with the Bulldogs, Cox is very athletic and can play inside if it’s a 4-3, or defensive end if it’s a 3-4. He has very good speed and quickness for a young man his size. He was named to the first-team All-SEC defense for his performance in the 2011 season with 49 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovered fumble and a blocked FG. In 35 games he has totaled 107 tackles, 21.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks. Cox could easily be a first-round selection depending on what teams might be looking for on the defensive line.

#28 RB Vick Ballard, Senior – 5-10, 220 pounds, 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash – A junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College after a season where he ran for 1,728 yards and 22 TDs. He’s followed that up with 24 games at Mississippi State with 1,990 total rushing yards on 366 carries with 28 touchdowns. Ballard topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2011 with 1,009 yards on 179 carries but just 8 TD runs after scoring 20 times last year. He was named second-team All-SEC offense. He could improve his standing in the next few months with all-star games, workouts and combines. Right now he’s seen as a fourth or fifth-round talent.

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