Four Cowboys named to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Big Board
LARAMIE -- The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl released its 2022 Big Board on Friday as a lead up to the college football season.
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl has become one of the premier college football all-star games in the country over the past 10 seasons. Among the individuals on the original list of players to watch this season are four Wyoming Cowboys in defensive end Garrett Crall, linebacker Chad Muma, running back Xazavian Valladay and offensive tackle Alonzo Velazquez.
Crall and Velazquez are players who are being referred to as Super Seniors -- players who would have completed their college eligibility last year but were granted an additional year of eligibility to compete in 2021.
Muma and Valladay would have been entering their senior seasons in 2021 if not for the NCAA granting all players an added year of eligibility due to COVID-19. Muma and Valladay have two years of college eligibility available to them in 2021 and 2022 if they choose to take advantage of both seasons.
In January 2022, the NFL Players Association will produce the 10th annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif.
Since the 2011 season, the NFLPA Bowl has provided senior NFL prospects with an exceptional platform to showcase their talents to all 32 NFL teams as well as a one-of-a-kind experience that educates participants about the business of football.
In the past two years alone, 87 NFLPA Bowl participants have been invited to the NFL Combine and 58 were drafted by NFL clubs.
Being named to the preseason Big Board does not assure any players of selection to this season's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. The final selections for the January 2022 game will be made later this year.
Wyoming has had five players appear in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl since its inception.
The first Cowboy to play in the game was defensive lineman Mike Purcell, who played in the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Purcell is currently a starting defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos. Former Cowboy linebacker Lucas Wacha was invited to and played in the 2017 game. Wacha later signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL and played professionally as a member of the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.
In January of 2018, former Wyoming cornerback Rico Gafford participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Gafford went on to play wide receiver for the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL. In January 2019, former Cowboy running back Nico Evans was invited to and played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Former Cowboy cornerback Tyler Hall became the fifth Cowboy to play in the game in January of 2020. Hall is currently on the roster of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams.
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