2023 Trillion Tropical Bowl: 11 Mountain West Players On All-Star Game Roster
11 of the Mountain West’s best football players will descend on Orlando to showcase their talents for NFL teams.
Diamonds in the rough?
Hot on the heels of last week’s Hula Bowl, the Tropical Bowl will take place this Saturday at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium and feature 11 Mountain West players from nine different teams across the conference.
Colorado State and Utah State have the most representatives on the Tropical Bowl roster with two players each, while Air Force, Boise State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State, and UNLV have one player. A pair of former transfers will appear for the Rams: After coming to Fort Collins from Rutgers, defensive end CJ Onyechi collected 57 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, and three sacks in his lone season at CSU. Guard Gray Davis, meanwhile, followed head coach Jay Norvell from Reno after earning an all-conference honorable mention in 2021, finishing his collegiate career with 32 total starts.
As for the Aggies, they’ll be represented by safety Gurvan Hall Jr. and quarterback Logan Bonner. Hall spent only one year in Logan after transferring in from Miami (FL) and saw action in eight games before being removed from the roster in mid-November, while Bonner cemented his legacy in 2021 by leading Utah State to its first outright conference championship since 2012. Lingering injuries cut his 2022 season short, but he leaves the program with five single-season records, including passing touchdowns and passing touchdowns.
He’s not the only former Mountain West quarterback on the roster, though, as he’ll be joined by San Diego State’s Braxton Burmeister. Burmeister started five games for the Aztecs in 2022 before injuries and ineffectiveness led to a switch. He finished the season completing 36-of-72 passes for 263 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions, though he also played sparingly in the second half of the year as a wide receiver. Interestingly, he is listed at that position on the Tropical Bowl roster.
Air Force guard Isaac Cochran will hope to use the bowl game as a springboard toward becoming the latest Falcon selected in the NFL Draft. He played a total of 828 snaps last season and, according to Pro Football Focus, posted a 75.7 run-blocking grade which ranked fifth among Mountain West offensive linemen. He’ll be joined in the trenches by UNLV guard Daviyon McDaniel, who started 24 consecutive games for the Rebels over the past two seasons after transferring from Charleston Southern, and San Jose State defensive tackle Noah Wright, who contributed to the Spartans’ title run in 2020 but missed time during the 2022 season because of a serious injury suffered against Wyoming in early October.
The last of the conference’s cohort includes Boise State cornerback Caleb Biggers, Hawaii tight end Jordan Murray, and Nevada defensive lineman Phillip Huff Jr.. Biggers played two seasons for the Broncos after transferring from Bowling Green, posting 38 tackles, five tackles for loss and four passes defended in 2022, while Murray caught ten passes for 70 yards in eight games for the Warriors after transferring from Missouri State. Huff played just one year for the Wolf Pack, though he only saw playing time in three games this past season.
The Trillion Tropical Bowl can be livestreamed on a pay-per-view basis beginning at 1:00 PM Pacific/2:00 PM Mountain on Saturday, January 21.