Although lining up against each other throughout their careers, four stars from the MAC will team up together for their final game as college athletes.
Running back Kareem Hunt (Toledo), tight end Michael Roberts (Toledo), offensive tackle Taylor Moton (Western Michigan), and defensive end Tarell Basham (Ohio) are the four seniors from the conference selected to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Hunt finished his Rocket career as the program’s all-time leading rusher with 4,945 yards. The four-year standout recorded 44 touchdowns and caught 73 passes while wearing blue and gold. Hunt will attempt to impress scouts with his will to fight for extra yards and expert vision in the backfield. Currently, CBS ranks Hunt as the ninth-best running back prospect in the class — a projected third or fourth round pick.
Hunt is joined by teammate Michael Roberts on the North. Roberts did not shatter Toledo record books but journeyed his way into this game with a breakout senior year performance. After only 25 combined catches in 2014 and 2015, Roberts lifted the Rockets in 2016 with 45 receptions, 533 yards, and 16 touchdowns — most among all FBS tight ends. Roberts is six-feet-five-inches tall and 270 pounds, a similar build to premier NFL tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. He is a projected fifth or sixth round pick, according to CBS, but the value could rise if Roberts continues to succeed in pre-draft workouts and the Senior Bowl.
Roberts additionally played in the East-West Shrine Game on January 21. In the game, he tallied two receptions for 25 yards.
Moton finished his collegiate career with a Cotton Bowl appearance, leading Western Michigan to 13 wins by anchoring a strong running game. Moton blocked for the duo of Jamauri Bogan and Jarvion Franklin, a rushing unit that finished with 228.1 yards per game. The powerful offensive tackle, who played during the entire P.J. Fleck era in Kalamazoo, stands at six-feet-five-inches and 328 pounds. CBS lists Moton, a former guard, as the seventh-ranked offensive tackle and a second or third round pick. Moton is the second-highest ranked MAC prospect overall, trailing his wide receiver teammate Corey Davis.
Basham claimed MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and led the Ohio Bobcats to their first MAC East title since 2011. Basham tied for 11th in college football with 12 sacks in 2016. On top of that, he added 50 combined tackles and a forced fumble. The powerful run stopper and pass rusher is the 11th-ranked defensive end by CBS. Basham is expected to be selected in the third or fourth round, with the opportunity to raise his draft stock in front of scouts on January 28.
The Senior Bowl, an event beginning in 1950, often features the premier seniors for the ensuing NFL Draft class. Notable past MVPs of the event include Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Derrick Brooks.
Kickoff in Mobile on January 28 will occur at 2:30 p.m. EST at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The four MAC representatives can be seen playing for the North on NFL Network on the day.