Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden, who will head up the Senior Bowl’s South squad with the rest of the Buccaneers coaching staff next week, has made it clear that he will be looking for championship-caliber players to upgrade his team’s roster in 2005.
Well, several announcements regarding some big-name players who have committed to participating in January 29th’s game would suggest that Gruden and his staff will get a close look at several of them.
The Gruden-led South team will feature several members of Auburn Tigers, who compiled a perfect 13-0 record in 2004. Among the Tigers that will play for Gruden’s team are running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, safety Junior Rosegreen, defensive back Carlos Rogers and quarterback Jason Campbell.
The Bucs, who have 11 selections in the 2005 NFL Draft, will likely take a close look at Williams, Rosegreen and Campbell since they’ll be in the market for a running back, safety and quarterback, respectively, this offseason.
Rosegreen, who earned first-team All-SEC honors in his senior season, tied a 65-year old SEC record and set an Auburn record with four interceptions in the game against Tennessee.
An All-American tailback, Williams led the Tigers in rushing for the second consecutive season in 2004 with 1,165 yards. He finished his collegiate career with 3,851 rushing yards and 45 rushing touchdowns, which broke the mark held by former Tigers tailback Bo Jackson.
Gruden and his staff will also pay close attention to the wide receivers, and there will be plenty of good ones on the South team.
The biggest name that recently announced he will play in Senior Bowl is UAB’s Roddy White, who set Conference USA single season receiving records and was the nation’s second leading receiver in 2004. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound White hauled in 71 passes for 1,452 yards and averaged 121 yards per game during his senior season.
The South team will also feature Georgia WRs Reggie Brown and Fred Gibson, Texas A&M WR Terrence Murphy and Florida State WR Craphonso Thorpe.
The North squad will feature wide receivers like Purdue’s Taylor Stubblefield, Oklahoma WRs Mark Clayton and Brandon Jones, UCLA’s Craig Bragg and Indiana’s Courtney Roby.
The Senior Bowl will be held on Saturday, January 29 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on ESPN.
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