CHARLESTON, SC -
Senior college football players from the Southeastern Conference, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 10 and Notre Dame create the initial list, which totals more than 50 players in all as The Medal of Honor Bowl releases its initial list of player commitments.
Some of the names include TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, one of the top quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft, and Raijon Neal a 1,000-yard rusher from the University of Tennessee. Pachall headlines an impressive list of quarterbacks that include Ohio University's Tyler Tettleton, a Davey O' Brien Award candidate and former Maryland and Wisconsin signal caller Danny O'Brien. O'Brien was named ACC Freshman of the Year before finishing his collegiate career at Division II Catawba. Neal rushed for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior campaign for the Vols.
"This is just the start of what is shaping up to be an outstanding class of future NFL talent coming to Charleston for the Inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl," said Executive Director Brian Woods.
According to Woods, there will be a total of 92 players participating in the game and they will be divided equally into 46 per team.
Former Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys head coach Chan Gailey will serve as head coach for the National Team while Ralph Friedgen, former assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers, will lead the American Team. The premier all-star event expects to have around 200 NFL scouts, coaches and general managers in attendance when practices begin on January 6.
The all-star lineup also includes some the nation's top small school prospects like defensive backs Malcolm Butler of West Alabama and L.J. McCray of Catwaba along with D.J. Adams, a running back from Portland State. Both McCray and Butler were on the Senior Bowl Watch List this year and Adams, a former Maryland Terrapin, was one of the top rushers in all divisions finishing his 2013 campaign with more than 1,600 yards.
Two of the most intriguing prospects could come from the wide receiver group as Nathan Slaughter from West Texas A&M and Gerald Ford from Valdosta State highlight the list. The speedy Slaughter has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2013. Ford was a Harlan Hill Trophy finalist in 2012 before an academic issue kept him off the field in 2013.
Another impressive unit is the linebackers corps, which counts Iowa State's Jeremiah George, Colorado State's Shaquille Barrett and Xavius Boyd from Western Kentucky among its commitments. George finished the season sixth in the nation in total tackles with 133. Boyd was the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week on three separate occasions this year and led the conference in tackles for loss. Johnny Millard, a talented linebacker from Cal-Poly and the son of former NFL player Keith Millard, has also accepted an invite to play in the Inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl.
Highlighting the defensive backfield is Travis Carrie from Ohio University and Albany State's Dexter Moody. Carrie, a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (for the nation's best defensive back) in 2012, returned two interceptions for touchdowns in his 2013 regular season finale. Moody enjoyed a stellar senior year to follow his 2012 campaign, which saw the safety finish third in the nation for all divisions with seven interceptions.
Also accepting an invitation was Wake Forest defensive lineman Nikita Whitlock. Whitlock, who is projected as a fullback in the NFL, will line up on the offensive side of the ball.
Local commitments include The Citadel cornerback Brandon McCladdie
and Newberry wide receiver and former North Charleston High School product Corey Washington, Jr.
The Medal of Honor Bowl is scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday, January 11 at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, SC.
Medal of Honor Bowl Player Commitments (55 as of 12/9/13)
Danny O'Brien – Catawba
Casey Pachall – TCU
Cory Robinson - Troy
Tyler Tettleton – Ohio University
D.J. Adams – Portland State
Raijon Neal – Tennessee
Nikita Whitlock – Wake Forest
D.J. Coles – Virginia Tech
Gerald Ford – Valdosta State
Taylor Gabriel - Abilene Christian
JaVontee Herndon – Arkansas
Keenan Holman – SMU
Ronrei Lloyd – Central Missouri
Colin Lockett – San Diego State
Quinton Payton – North Carolina State
Alex Neutz – Buffalo
Nathan Slaughter – West Texas A&M
Eric Thomas – Troy
Corey Washington, Jr. – Newberry
Jacob Maxwell – Louisiana-Lafayette
Scott Simonson - Assumption
Jimmy Bennett – Connecticut
Pat Eger – West Virginia
Curtis Feight – West Virginia
Justin Ellis – Louisiana Tech
Antonio Gillespie - Troy
Kona Schwenke – Notre Dame
Denico Autry – Mississippi State
Cody Bauer – Rice
Euclid Cummings – Georgia Tech
Cory Henry – Florida Atlantic
Chris Redding – Wake Forest
Daniel Riley – Harding
Robert Simpson – Mississippi Valley State
Justin Anderson – Louisiana-Lafayette
Shaquille Barrett – Colorado State
Xavius Boyd – Western Kentucky
DeRonn Furr – Fort Valley State
Jeremiah George – Iowa State
Adarius Glanton – Florida Atlantic
Johnny Millard – Cal Poly
Roosevelt Nix – Kent State
Deontae Skinner – Mississippi State
Malcolm Butler – West Alabama
Travis Carrie – Ohio University
Quadavius Cox – Jackson State
Brandon Dixon – NW Missouri
Brian Dixon – NW Missouri
Brandon McCladdie – The Citadel
Deon Broomfield – Iowa State
L.J. McCray – Catawba
Dexter Moody – Albany State
Parker Orms – Colorado
Mycal Swaim – Eastern Michigan
Michael Pallardy – Tennessee