Humanitarian Bowl: No. Illinois vs. Fresno St.

As the college bowl season starts, we will check up on the participants and NFL prospects that will be part of the games.

  • SATURDAY/4:30 P.M. on ESPN

Northern Illinois (10-3)

Best prospect: #28 RB Chad Spann, 5-7½, 198 pounds, 4.58 seconds, Senior – Spann was named the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. He’s had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and so far in his career over 49 games, he’s produced 2,958 yards in offense (2,760 rushing/198 receiving) and scored 28 total TDs. This season he has run for 1,239 yards on 226 carries, an average of 103.2 yards per game. Spann is not much of a receiver out of the backfield; he caught just nine passes this year for 45 yards.

Best underclassmen prospect: #12 QB Chandler Harnish, 6-2, 220 pounds, 4.73 seconds, Redshirt-Junior – Harnish was named first-team quarterback on the All-MAC offense and was also named the Huskies MVP for the ’10 season. He completed 157 of 238 passes for 1,949 yards and 17 TDs. He also is second on the team in rushing with 761 yards. This is the third straight bowl game that Harnish has directed the Northern offense, with appearances in the Independence and International Bowls in the previous two seasons. He owns a 3.7 GPA

Player that might interest Chiefs: #71 C Scott Wedige, 6-3 ¾, 300 pounds, 5.28 seconds, Redshirt-Junior. Wedige was named to the All-MAC first team offense, blocking for an offense that averaged 264.8 rushing yards per game. It was his first season as starter for the Huskies and he immediately solidified the position and helped RB Chad Spann win conference offensive player of the year awards.

Other potential draft choices: #54 DE Jake Coffman, 6-4½, 255 pounds, Redshirt-Senior; #5 CB Chris Smith, 5-9½ , 186 pounds, 4.53 seconds, Senior; #62 OT Trevor Olson, 6-5 ¾, 306 pounds, Redshirt-Junior; #72 G Joe Pawlak, 6-4 ½ , 302 pounds, Redshirt-Junior.

Fresno State (8-4)

Best prospect: #43 OLB Chris Carter, 6-1 ¼, 240 pounds, 4.73 seconds, Senior – Carter was selected the Western Athletic Conference defensive player of the year for his performance with the Bulldogs in ’10; he led the WAC and is seventh in the country with 11 sacks. He also had 16.5 tackles for loss, 55 total tackles and four forced fumbles. The California native played defensive end for FSU and over his career he played in 48 games, with 205 total tackles, 38 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

Best underclassmen prospect: #77 DT Logan Harrell, 6-2, 278 pounds, 4.92 seconds, Junior – First team All-WAC defense in ’10. In the season opener, he had four sacks against Cincinnati and he finished the season with 10.5 sacks, along with 41 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 3 passes broken up and one forced fumble. Over his three years at Fresno, he’s played in 37 games with 12.5 career sacks, 72 total tackles and 17.5 tackles for loss.

Player that might interest Chiefs: #54 ILB Ben Jacobs, 6-3 ½, 240 pounds, 4.78 seconds, Redshirt-Senior – Jacobs is a two-time All-WAC first team defense and he’s been a leader of the Bulldogs defense for the last four years. He’s played in 51 games and has not missed one. He has 380 total tackles, with 22.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recovered and returned for TDs, an interception and 7 blocked kicks. This guy has been productive, available and a leader on his team. “Ben is a player who has great instincts and football savvy,” said Fresno head coach Pat Hill. “He’s tough and smart and always around the football. He can bring the lumber and hit you. He’s going to be the best linebacker we’ve ever had here when it’s all said and done.”

Other potential draft choices: #69 G Andrew Jackson, 6-5, 295 pounds, 5.42 seconds, Redshirt-Senior; #74 C Joe Bernardi, 6-2, 287 pounds, 5.08 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

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