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12 MAC players invited to 2023 Tropical Bowl

A good handful of all-MAC quality players assemble in Orlando to impress pro scouts in the Tropical Bowl.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Cheez-It Bowl Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tropical Bowl returns to action once again for a seventh edition in 2023, with the game set to take place in Orlando, Florida’s Camping World Stadium on Saturday, January 21.

Like last season, the Tropical Bowl will feature the most players hailing from the Mid-American Conference, with a dozen former MAC footballers set to participate in the event. That’s up from last year, when the bowl game had nine former MAC players.

Players will have the chance to interact directly with scouts from the NFL, CFL, XFL, USFL and other minor leagues at home and abroad during the event, with television considerations exclusively via PPV stream.

Here are individual profiles of MAC players listed by team:

Team National

  • Matt McDonald, QB, Bowling Green

McDonald was the starter at BGSU for three seasons after transferring in from Boston College in 2019 and sitting out due to former eligibility rules. He finished his career with 5,921 yards, 35 touchdowns and 22 interceptions over 29 starts for the Falcons, with a 58.3 completion percentage. McDonald also had six rushing scores over three seasons, with four in the 2021 campaign.

  • Mac Hippenhammer, WR, Miami

Hippenhammer was the primary outside receiving option for Miami in 2022 after the graduation of Jack Sorenson the prior year. The former Penn Stater would emerge as a threat after the COVID season, ending his RedHawk career with 1,632 yards and 14 touchdowns on 107 receptions in two full seasons. He earned second-team all-MAC honors in 2022.

  • Carlos Carriere, WR, Central Michigan

Carriere transferred in to CMU after a promising 2021 season as a depth piece at Maryland. Alas, it was a struggle for a lot of CMU pass catchers in 2022, as the offense suffered heavy losses at every position. Carriere wound up finishing as the team’s receiving leader, with 45 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Jayshon Jackson, WR/RS, Ball State

Jackson transferred in to Ball State from Cincinnati in 2021, becoming an immediate contributor to the Cardinal offense. He finished his BSU career with 142 receptions for 1,652 yards and eight touchdowns, earning second-team all-MAC honors in 2022.

  • Tariq Drake, DB, Ohio

Drake was an Ohio lifer over his five-year career, waiting for his opportunity to contribute. The truncated 2020 season was his first shot as a starter, but over his two full-time campaigns, Drake was one of the best defensive backs in the MAC, hauling in six interceptions, six pass break-ups and 99 total tackles in 2021 and 2022. His 51-tackle, three INT campaign this year earned him all-MAC third-team honors.

  • Corvin Moment, EDGE, Western Michigan

Moment was a key cog to making a high-ceiling WMU defense go, operating from the inside and outside linebacker spot, as well as at the edge of the defensive line. He played in every game he was eligible to play from 2018 onwards, earning back-to-back all-MAC third-team honors in his two full-time seasons as a starter in 2021 and 2022. Moment finished his Broncos career with 239 tackles, 35 tackles-for-loss, 12 sacks, six passes defensed, five fumbles forced and two fumble recoveries.

  • Marvin Pierre, HYBRID, Kent State

Pierre, originally a grad transfer from FCS Murray State, was a resourceful piece for the KSU defense, seeing time at both linebacker and safety (or something in-between) in his time at Kent. Over his two seasons of eligibility, Pierre finished with 149 tackles, including 11 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks, with an interception, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a defensive score.

Team American

  • Isaiah King, DB, Buffalo

King was a spot starter for Buffalo in the defensive backfield in his time at Buffalo, collecting 21 starts over 56 games in six seasons. King started his Bulls career primarily on special teams as a reserve receiver and kick returner, but finished as a defensive back, totaling 78 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one interception, 10 passes defensed, two fumbles forced and two fumbles recovered.

  • Jahmin Muse, SAF, Buffalo

Muse came to Buffalo from Boston College as a graduate transfer, cracking the starting lineup as a safety in his one season at UB. He finished with 56 total tackles, including five tackles-for-loss and two sacks, while nabbing an interception, defending three passes, forcing three fumbles and recovering two. Muse scored a defensive touchdown off one such fumble.

  • Ronald Kent Jr., CB, Central Michigan

Kent joined his younger brother Donte in Mt. Pleasant this past season after spending the majority of his career at FCS Western Carolina, where he was a second-team all-SoCon player two years in a row, leaving the Catamounts as the program’s second-best all time pass break-up leader. Kent finished his 2022 campaign with 56 tackles, six tackles-for-loss, a sack and 10 pass break-ups, finishing second behind his brother (15.)

  • Noah Gettman, P, Akron

Gettman was an important player for the Zips in 2022, transferring in from FCS Sacred Heart to aid the Akron kicking game. He booted 61 punts for 2,478 net yards (40.6 average yards per), with 21 fair catches forced, 12 punts downed inside-the-20 and six punts going over 50 yards. He also has kickoff experience, with 22 kickoffs for 1,289 yards and six touchbacks. Prior to his Akron stint, he was named to the AFCA and Stats Perform All-American teams and to the first-team all-NEC team in 2021.

  • Jamezz Kimbrough, OL, Central Michigan

Kimbrough is another MAC lifer, having been part of the CMU football team since 2017. He started every game he was eligible to play at the center position in 43 career appearances (including 31 consecutive contests) after red-shirting his first season on campus. A team captain for 10 of the 12 games this past season, Kimbrough earned second-team all-MAC honors in 2022, playing every game from the center spot.