In the midst of college bowl season, The Redskins Blog will be highlighting the games that current Redskins players will likely be monitoring.
Chris Neild will be paying attention to:
Autozone Liberty Bowl— Texas A&M vs. West Virginia — December 29, Memphis, Tenn.
Neild played four years, the last three as a starter, for West Virginia as a nose tackle.
He recorded 35 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks in 2010, helping the Mountaineers finish with the best defense in the Big East. He ended his career there with 130 tackles and was drafted by the Redskins in the seventh round in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Neild found success in his first three bowl games, winning the Gator Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Chris Chester, Trent Williams and Tress Way will be paying attention to:
Russell Athletic Bowl — Oklahoma vs. Clemson — December 29, Orlando, Fl.
Chester, Williams and Way are all Sooners.
Chester, a veteran guard with the Redskins, actually played tight end for Oklahoma for his first three years before switching to the offensive line. Understandably, he ran the fastest combine for an offensive lineman (4.83 seconds) during his year.
He was drafted in the second round by the Ravens in 2006 and signed by the Redskins in 2011.
Williams began his Sooner career right after Chester in 2006, playing four seasons under head coach Bob Stoops. By the time he was a junior, Williams was starting at left and right tackle, part of a dominant offensive line in 2008 that surrendered only 11 sacks all season, impressive considering the offensive system behind quarterback Sam Bradford and running back DeMarco Murray.
The Redskins selected Williams fourth overall in 2010, and he was recently named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl.
Way briefly overlapped with Williams and was a four year starting punter for the Sooners. He was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2013. A year later, the Redskins claimed him off waivers.
The Sooners are 7-6 in Bowl games since 2002.
Colt McCoy, Keenan Robinson, Brian Orakpo, Jackson Jeffcoat and Robert Thomas will be paying attention to:
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl — Texas vs. Arkansas — December 29, Houston, Texas.
Just as Nebraska is well represented in the Redskins locker room, so too is Texas.
Quarterback Colt McCoy’s tenure at Texas was largely fruitful. As the starter for the Longhorns from 2006–2009, he won the 2008 Walter Camp Award, was the 2008 Heisman Trophy runner-up and was a 2009 Heisman finalist.
In his final season, he led Texas to a 12-0 record before losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship game, 37-21.
When Robinson became a sophomore, he started 14 games at outside linebacker, earning an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection. His impressive college career led the Redskins to draft him in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
He joined fellow linebacker Brian Orakpo, who played at Texas from 2004-08.
As a senior defensive end, Orakpo recorded 40 tackles and 11 sacks and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player in the nation.
Jeffcoat, who will actually be attending the Texas Bowl today, was also named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Like Orakpo, he has made the switch from playing defensive end in college to linebacker in the NFL. He was signed earlier this year and started in his first game against the Cowboys on Sunday.
Thomas, on the Redskins practice squad, made seven starts and played in 24 games as a defensive lineman after he transferred to Arkansas in 2011. The undrafted free-agent made 41 tackles, 7.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks while playing for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas is 2-3 in Bowl games since 2007.
Texas lost to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl last year.
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