Three Aztecs Selected to Play in Reese’s Senior Bowl
Check out the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday, January 27th at 1:30pm CST
Three San Diego State Seniors Invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl for the Second Year in a Row
Three San Diego State graduating football players, Nick Bawden, Kameron Kelly, and Rashaad Penny, will suit up for the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday, January 27th at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The game is set for a 1:30 p.m. Central time start (11:30 a.m. PT) and will be broadcast on the NFL Network. The three Aztecs will play for team South.
The Reese’s Senior Bowl is actually a big deal. Last year, after NCAA all-time rushing leader Donnel Pumphrey showed a strong display in the event, he entered the NFL draft with an additional tail wind after a great college career. Because of San Diego State’s late night game play, any prime-time visibility for Aztec athletes generally fares well. If Bawden, Kelly and Penny stand out, it can only boost their NFL draft status.
Nick Bawden caught 15 passes for 103 yards (6.9 avg.) and a touchdown this past season while serving as the lead blocker at fullback for consensus All-American running back Rashaad Penny. Bawden was the highest-graded fullback blocker in 2016 and the third best in 2017, even while playing the majority of the season with a club on his hand.
Kameron Kelly had a great season last year, moving to cornerback from safety. He finished with 68 tackles (54 solo), three interceptions for 44 yards, eight pass breakups, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a quarterback hurry. Kelly earned first-team all-MW honors for his efforts and finished with 10 interceptions for his career, tied for tenth highest in NCAA history.
Rashaad Penny finished fifth all-time most rushing yards in NCAA FBS single-season history (2,248) and the fifth-most all-purpose yards (2,974). Penny managed at least 200 rushing yards during his last five games, joining USC’s Marcus Allen (1981), Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders (1988) and North Texas’ Jamario Thomas (2004) as the only players in NCAA FBS history to do so.
Penny, a consensus first-team All-American finished fifth in the final voting for the Heisman Trophy last year. He ended up leading the country in rushing yards and all-purpose yards, and ranking second in rushing touchdowns and overall touchdowns (28), fifth in kick return average, tied for fifth in kick return touchdowns and sixth in rushing yards per carry (7.78).
Only three schools – Alabama, Auburn and Virginia – have more players on the Reese’s Senior Bowl roster than SDSU’s three representatives. San Diego State is one of just four schools with at least three players on a Reese’s Senior Bowl roster each of the last two years (also Alabama, Auburn and LSU).
Rocky Long’s Aztecs finished 2017 with a 10-3 record, its third consecutive year with at least 10 victories. The Aztecs begin the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at Stanford.