SENIOR BOWL RECAP

The 60th edition of the Senior Bowl was held on Saturday. A few intrepid Birddogs made the trip to Mobile, Alabama to see Eric Kettani wrap up his college career in the only college all-star game sponsored by the NFL.

Eric didn’t get into the game much at first, as the North squad used a lot of one-back, 3 WR sets. He got more frequent snaps as the game wore on, though, as well as playing special teams on both punts and kickoffs. I thought that he played very well. Eric scored on his only carry of the day, a one-yard TD plunge in the 4th quarter. He threw a couple of key blocks both on kickoff returns and running plays, including Jeremiah Johnson’s 16-yard run that set up the North’s first touchdown in the second quarter. He certainly didn’t miss any blocks he was supposed to make, and he even got in on a tackle on one return. Some pictures:

Eric waiting to be introduced before the game, along with Central Arkansas’ Nathan Brown, Syracuse fullback Tony Fiammetta, and Cedric Peerman from Virginia.

South TD.

Eric on the kickoff return team.

The pre-game hoopla involed the multi-color pastels of the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids, who I know nothing about. I saw them in the Tournament of Roses parade, though.

It was a pretty packed house; the other half of the stadium was just as full as this one. The Senior Bowl certainly appears to be doing better than most other college all-star games. Ladd-Peebles is a bit of a wreck, though. How can a stadium so small be so hard to get around in?

Eric lined up in the offset I-formation.

On the sideline.

Alabama’s band was brought in for the occasion.

Eric on kickoff coverage.

A bad picture of a good block.

A dream backfield: Eric lined up with one of my favorite non-Navy players, Oregon’s Jeremiah Johnson.

Game action.

Eric heading to the locker room.

Obligatory band picture for the wife…

Obligatory Redskins cheerleaders picture for the rest of us.

Graham Harrell supposedly had a bad week of practice. If that’s true, the game didn’t go any better for him.

Huddling up. We sat in this endzone. The North team drove down inside the 5 towards this end zone at the end of the third quarter, but moved to the other one to start the fourth, putting Kettani’s TD run on the other end of the field. Bummer.

Eric on the punt return unit.

All in all, a good game. Eric shook hands with us afterwards & thanked us for coming. I didn’t see any other Navy fans there outside of our little group, but I’m sure someone had to have driven up from Pensacola.

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7 Responses

  1. Great shots! – on the way thru the airport Sunday morning I saw a bunch of the players sitting arouind waiting on flights. I saw a group of them around REY MAUALUGA. After not seeing Eric around anywhere I just walked up and started a conversation by asking Maualuga “what they did with my Navy boy Kettani?” – He said “we (south team) knocked them out!”. They all got a laugh out of that but I did tell them to remember Eric next year this time when he might be on a ship in the Persian Gulf and they are making the large $$$. A couple of smiles on the 5 or 6 players assembled there at the Cinnabon but I think I might as well have said he will be on a space ship headed to Jupiter.

    I saw Cal linebacker Zack Follett (2008 Emerald Bowl MVP I later found out out) down by the American gate and ended waiting for a flight next to him. He was on the North squad and said he got to hang with Eric a bit and enjoyed getting to know him. Follett was a very sharp and friendly kid. I didn’t recognize him at all so I had asked him where he went to school and what position he played since he’s not really big. He answered very politely with no pretense. I hit the web and found that he is a bit of a stud.

  2. eric played great. the announcers tried to ding him for his block of the linebacker on the play just before he scored. i thought he did a good job to take the guy out of the play initially. (too bad the Oline got stood up, but it did give him a chance to score). He also had some other really good pickups. it’s a tough game for a fullback given the way they call it.

    mike-
    what do you think of white as mvp? i didn’t think he was all that, although i didn’t realize how small he was. but i’m also not sure anybody else deserved it more.

    and you can repeat your comment about McKillop… he’s one lb i’m really glad we won’t see anymore

  3. I didn’t realize that Lubbock, TX was in “the north.” I guess with all those solid QBs down south this year, they could spare Harrell.

  4. yeah usmc53, that’s what I said. I also noticed someone from USF on the North squad…

  5. West Virginia became a state by secession from (regular) Virginia, so how are they in the “south”.

  6. What got me was Grant Harrell from Texas Tech on the North team.

  7. Eric represented Navy Football well in the Senior Bowl. That he can’t follow up with a trip to the NFL combine is unfortunate. Word on the yard is that EVERYONE was supporting EK….the commandant, the superintendent, CG, SS…..all wanted him to go. The decision to deny him was made by Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations. Very sad!

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