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The Special Rose Bowl Game for NFL Hopefuls

Published on Monday, September 20, 2021 | 4:26 pm

Overlooked by fans but not the pros, NFL hopefuls – including top prospects from the UCLA Bruins who call the Rose Bowl home – will have a chance to showcase their talents on Jan. 22, when the 10th edition of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Collegiate Bowl kicks off at the Pasadena stadium.

Nearly 200 scouts, players, personnel staff, general managers and head coaches from all 32 NFL teams will be watching these prospects play. They are also expected to be in attendance to watch live practice games, conduct player interviews and review tape.

Among those on the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s Big Board, as of last week, are the Bruins’ defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was postponed this year and instead went virtual, with more than 135 of the top seniors in college football having to be content with being part of NFLPA-U, an online extension of the nightly workshop that regularly occurs during the annual week of programming. Through NFLPA-U, active and former NFL players gathered virtually to help guide the young NFL hopefuls on the business of football, continuing the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s tradition of equipping prospects for the next level.

Last week, the NFLPA said 81 alums have landed NFL club roster spots – 35 of them landing on 53-man active rosters, 36 on practice squads, and 10 on other reserve listings.

The  NFL Players Association started the Collegiate Bowl in 2012 as a post-season college football all-star game for NFL draft-eligible college players. With the game, the NFLPA wanted to give prospective players the best opportunity to prove how they can be assets to any of the NFL teams that would be interested in them.

Held annually in January, players are predominantly from teams within the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl has been held at the Rose Bowl since 2018. The first six editions of the game were played in Carson City.

To follow updates on the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, visit

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