Valero Alamo Bowl Players To Watch
QB Gardner Minshew, Sr. Washington State: One of the amazing stories of the college football season, the grad transfer went from East Carolina, to Alabama, to cult hero at Washington State, putting up a Heisman-caliber season that would’ve received far more love and attention in almost any other season. Steady, consistent, and everything the Mike Leach quarterback is supposed to be, he completed 71% of his throws for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns with nine picks, and he ran for three scores.
DE Logan Tago, Sr. Washington State: The All-Pac-12 performer only generated three sacks – with two against California and followed it up with one against Colorado – and 27 tackles, but he led the team with ten tackles for loss. The 6-3, 250-pounder was a steady playmaker behind the line, working like a hybrid on the outside. He’s not a specialist, and he’s not all that big, but he has to be accounted for on every play.
QB Brock Purdy, Fr. Iowa State: The season changed around once the freshman took over the offense. A 6-1, 202-pound baller, he ran when needed – scoring three times – and was deadly accurate in stunning early performances against Oklahoma State and West Virginia, hitting over 72% of his passes in each game with seven touchdowns in the wins.
He wasn’t consistent, but he averaged ten yards per throw and cranked up 16 touchdown passes with just five picks. More importantly, after starting the season 1-3, the Cyclones went 7-1 once he became the starter.
WR Hakeem Butler, Jr. Iowa State: Receiver was supposed to be a problem after the Cyclones lost three of their top four receivers, but Butler stepped it up as the No. 1 target, catching 51 passes for 1,126 yards averaging over 22 yards per grab with nine scores. At 6-6 and 225 pounds, he’s an ultra-reliable big target who can get deep – he’s a matchup problem.