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4 former Mid-American Conference players to participate in 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Four of the top players in the MAC have accepted offers to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 29th. Each looks to capitalize on the opportunity in the all-star showcase.

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 21 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is being played on January 29, at 6 p.m. EST in the Rose Bowl. This is the 10th edition of the all-star showcase.

Super Bowl-winning coach Marvin Lewis is the head coach of the National Team, Jonathan Hayes and Rod Woodson fill out the staff as offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator respectively.

For the American Team, Jeff Fisher, Duane Taylor, and Wade Phillips take the head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator jobs. Wade Phillips and Jonathan Hayes are each participating in their second all-star game this year.

The game can be seen on the NFL Network.

Four MAC players will use the practice time with NFL coaches and in front of NFL scouts to improve their draft stock for April’s draft.


National Team

  • Bryant Koback, RB, Toledo

Bryant Koback rushed for 1400 yards, which is good for second-most in the MAC this season and a selection to the All-MAC First Team. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be his second all-star showcase game this season, which is a rare happening for any collegiate prospect. He played in the Hula Bowl on January 15 and was named the Offensive MVP for Team Kai.

He has had a great college career as a Rocket. Koback is fourth on the Rockets career rushing yards list with 4,026 yards, and second in career rushing touchdowns at 45. He averaged 6 yards per rush or more in three of his four seasons in Toledo. In his final two seasons, he proved he can be a weapon in the passing game by catching 54 total passes for 562 yards and 5 touchdowns. In the final month of the 2021 season, Koback became unstoppable with 639 yards and 10 touchdowns under the weeknight lights.

He came to Toledo by way of transfer from Kentucky. He transferred after one season and recorded no stats. He chose the Wildcats over offers from Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue, Syracuse, and Toledo.


American Team

  • Kalil Pimpleton, WR/PR, Central Michigan

Kalil Pimpleton is the 2021 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year and a two-time All-MAC First Team wide receiver. Once in 2019 and again this season.

Pimpleton is electric with the football. Central Michigan found as many ways as possible to get him the football this season, and he finished 6th in the conference in all-purpose yards. The best single-game example of what Pimpleton brings to the field was against Western Michigan. He returned two punts for touchdowns, one for 70 yards and another for 97 yards, and had 5 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. This season he finished with 62 catches for 960 yards with 4 touchdowns, a healthy 15.5 yards per catch average.

Pimpleton is originally from Muskegon, Michigan, and was a three-star recruit. He originally went to Virginia Tech after receiving only two offers. After one season in Blacksburg, he transferred to Central Michigan.

  • Michael Caliendo, C, Western Michigan

Michael Caliendo is a center for the Western Michigan Broncos and comes from the Land of Lineman: Wisconsin. He was recruited to Kalamazoo by PJ Fleck in the class of 2016. He took a redshirt season and never missed a game after that.

Caliendo has appeared in every game since the 2017 season. He has started every game for the Broncos since 2018. That is an incredible testament to his durability and some luck mixed into that streak.

At 6’4” and 300lbs, Caliendo meets the minimum requirements for a lineman that is looking to make the jump to the NFL. He has been named to the All-MAC First Team twice and Second Team once. He’s got the size, the smarts and the skills to earn a roster spot at the next level; he has, in fact, turned down medical school offers to see what he can do at the professional level. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is where Caliendo will start making an impression with NFL scouts and evaluators.

  • Samuel Womack, CB, Toledo

Samuel Womack is the MAC leader in passes defended for 2021, 2020 and 2019. His interception total isn’t incredibly high (5), but the cumulative career of passes defended (48) is the current career record at Toledo. That number could be and should be higher with only 6 games played in 2020.

Leading the conference in the dominant stat for the position group for three consecutive seasons is quite the feat. He finished the rest of his career stat line with 124 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovered. Womack also earned All-MAC First Team this season for the first time in his career.

Samuel Womack came to Toledo from East English Village Prep in Detroit, Michigan. For a player whose records are going to be hard to beat, he came out of nowhere. Womack joined the Rocket program as a preferred walk-on in 2017 and earned a scholarship before the next season.