2022 Hula Bowl: Eight Mountain West Players On All-Star Game Roster
The Hawaii-based college football all-star game has moved to Orlando this year and will feature eight Mountain West football players.
New locale, same opportunity.
This year’s Hula Bowl has made a detour to the mainland this year, but the latest edition of the Hawaii-based all-star showcase is no less flush with football talent from the Mountain West.
Eight players from seven different teams in the conference are listed on the rosters for this year’s game, which has taken place every year since 1946. UNLV running back Charles Williams is arguably the biggest name of the bunch, having set the Rebels’ program record with 4,201 rushing yards while becoming the only running back in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors twice.
Colorado State defensive end Scott Patchan has his own strong case to be center stage, as well, after becoming a bright spot for the Rams. After transferring to Fort Collins from the Miami Hurricanes, Patchan racked up 16 sacks and 26 tackles for loss in 16 games over the last two seasons. He’ll be joined in the defensive trenches by Arron Mosby, who did it all for the Fresno State Bulldogs over the course of his collegiate career but had a career season in 2021 with 15.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and six forced fumbles after converting from linebacker (and safety before that) to defensive end.
In the defensive backfield, Air Force cornerback Tre Bugg and San Diego State cornerback Tayler Hawkins figure to make some noise throughout the showcase. Bugg and Hawkins led the Falcons and Aztecs, respectively, with 14 and 13 passes defended and finished among the top five highest-graded cornerbacks in the Mountain West according to Pro Football Focus. Hawkins, in particular, led the way with a 89.4 coverage grade that ranked fifth among all FBS cornerbacks.
Hawaii is the only team with two athletes on the Hula Bowl rosters, as both wide receiver Jared Smart and offensive lineman Kohl Levao made the cut. Smart had a breakout campaign back in 2019 as part of Nick Rolovich’s run-and-shoot offense, catching 87 passes for 1,129 yards, and followed that up with 62 catches for 734 yards over the last two seasons. Levao, meanwhile, spent time at both center and right tackle for the Warriors back in 2018, though the last three years have largely been marred by injuries.
San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel rounds out the group after battling an arm injury of his own last season, completing only 51.9% of his throws for 1,654 yards and nine touchdowns against seven interceptions. However, he was central to the Spartans’ run to the conference championship back in 2020, when he threw for 2,174 yards and 17 touchdowns in eight games.
The Hula Bowl will kick off on Saturday, January 15, beginning at 9:00 AM PT/10:00 AM MT. It will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.