A Few Names to Watch in the Texas vs. Nation Game


The Texas vs. Nation All Star game is usually pushed to the side because all of the good players are either in the East-West Shrine game or the Senior Bowl, but there are actually some solid players participating in this year’s Texas vs. Nation game. Here are some players you should keep an eye on if you’re able to catch the game.

1.  Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Wide Receiver, Iowa

Better known by Iowa fans as “DJK”, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos has probably been the most impressive player all week at practice if you’ve been following the process on Twitter, and it’s really no surprise. Johnson-Koulianos was arrested right before Iowa’s bowl game against Missouri and subsequently suspended. His stock was set to take a major hit, but Johnson found a nice stroke of luck when nearly every charge was dropped other than the marijuana charge.

With really no legal issues facing him anymore, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Johnson-Koulianos drafted in the 4th-7th round range. I know that’s pretty broad, but teams will be very wary of his antics at Iowa. Wherever he is selected, he is going to likely be a steal. I have had the privilege of watching DJK over the last four years, and it has been a real treat.

From my experience, I can tell you that this guy will simply be a playmaker. He catches the ball away from his frame, he has great instincts and field awareness, he’s not extremely fast but he’s deceptively quick and runs good, clean routes. He reminds me a lot o a more bulked-up version of Brandon Lloyd. He’s also got the ability to be a very good kick returner at the next level.

2.  Schuylar Oordt, Tight End, Northern Iowa

Oordt is not a well-known prospect by any means, but he’s 6’6″ 250 pounds, and is one of Wes Bunting’s top ten tight end prospects this year. He’s had his share of injuries at UNI, but he has great size and has the potential to be a big red zone target at the next level.

3.  Kenrick Ellis, Defensive Tackle, Hampton

Ellis is a very interesting prospect to me. He started his career off at South Carolina, but was removed from the team and transferred to Hampton. This past year, the 6’5″ 340 pound load has been a disruptive force for Hampton, and has intriguing upside at the next level. Last year, a player of similar stature named Linval Joseph, who got selected pretty high by the New York Giants. If Ellis can show the athleticism that got him recruited to South Carolina, he could be a  top 100 pick in the coming draft. He obviously has the size, and despite it being at Hampton, the production is there as well.

4.  Devon Torrence, Cornerback, Ohio State

For torrence, the physical skills are all there. He’s 6’0″ 190 pounds, has 4.5 speed, and was pretty productive for the Buckeyes. A solid junior year followed by another productive senior year, and he certainly will not go unnoticed. He has the makings of a fabulous cover two cornerback, specifically for a team who runs the same scheme as the Buccaneers, Colts, or Bears. He has press corner written all over him, and my guess is that he will for sure be under-drafted.

5.  Robert Housler, Tight End, Florida Atlantic

A season-ending injury prevented him from playing the entire 2009 season, but he came out in 2010 and had a great year. At 6’6″ 250 pounds, Housler has an impressive combination of size and speed for the tight end position, and reminds me of a little bit more athletic version of Tony Scheffler. Housler is more of a wide receiver in a tight end’s body, and will be a nice receiving threat at the next level.

6.  Jerrell Powe, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss

Powe did not show the dominance in 2010 that had many people believing he could be a first round pick in April, so he will likely fall to the third or fourth round now, but he has great size and potential as a nose tackle in the NFL. My problem with Powe has always been that he will be 24 by the time of his first NFL training camp, at least two years older than your typical rookie.