GWINNETT GRADS: Local football players all over TV during bowl season

Baylor Bears defensive back Prince Kent, a Norcross grad, celebrates the win over the Iowa State Cyclones at Floyd Casey Stadium. (Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY)

Baylor Bears defensive back Prince Kent, a Norcross grad, celebrates the win over the Iowa State Cyclones at Floyd Casey Stadium. (Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY)

College football’s extensive schedule of bowl games means that Gwinnett County products will be all over your TV screens for the next few weeks.

A total of 84 Gwinnett grads are on the rosters of bowl teams, some playing more prominent roles than others.

Here’s a guide on where to watch those former local standouts this holiday season:


2 p.m./ESPN

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.

Washington State vs. Colorado State

Grayson’s Fred Zerblis (No. 54), a redshirt freshman, is the second-team center for Colorado State, while Peachtree Ridge’s Willie Udofia (No. 80), a sophomore, is a reserve wide receiver and special teams player.

3:30 p.m./ABC

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas

Fresno State vs. USC

Buford’s Ryan Dillard (No. 28) is a reserve cornerback for USC. The sophomore walk-on played in nine games this season, registering six tackles, one for a loss.

5:30 p.m./ESPN

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho

Buffalo vs. San Diego State

North Gwinnett’s Cordero Dixon (No. 12) started last season as a sophomore wide receiver for Buffalo, but injuries have limited him to three games this season.

9 p.m./ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Louisiana SuperDome, New Orleans

Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Berkmar’s Justyn Shackleford (No. 80), a junior wide receiver, ranks second on Tulane with 34 catches for 356 yards and five TDs and teammate Zach Davis (No. 57), a senior linebacker from Collins Hill, has 53 tackles (eight for losses) and 3.5 sacks.

Buford grad Ethan Rosenbalm (No. 73) is a reserve offensive tackle for Louisiana-Lafayette.


2 p.m./ESPN

Beef O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl

Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.

East Carolina vs. Ohio

East Carolina senior Trent Tignor (No. 38) is the starting punter and holder. The Mill Creek grad averaged 42.7 yards on 42 punts this season. Teammate Terry Williams, a junior nose tackle from Grayson, had 12 tackles (one for a loss, half a sack) and three quarterback hurries in four games this season. Williams missed the bulk of the season for a violation of team policy, but returned for the regular-season finale vs. Marshall.

Ohio has two freshman wideouts from Gwinnett on the roster — Parkview’s Jordan Reid (No. 12) and Collins Hill’s Justin Wyatt (No. 16).


2:30 p.m./ESPN

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium,

Annapolis, Md.

Marshall vs. Maryland

Mill Creek’s Tyler Cierski (No. 49) is a junior fullback for Maryland and North Gwinnett’s Jalen Brooks (No. 43) is true freshman linebacker.

6 p.m./ESPN

Texas Bowl

Reliant Stadium, Houston

Syracuse vs.


Both of Syracuse’s Gwinnett grads — Central Gwinnett’s George Morris (No. 27) at running back and Brookwood’s Cameron Lynch (No. 38) at linebacker — play big roles.

Morris has rushed for 301 yards and a TD, getting most of his work late in the season, including a 21-carry, 67-yard day vs. No. 1 Florida State. The redshirt freshman also starts at kick returner, averaging 19.6 yards per return.

Lynch, a junior, is third on the team with 61 tackles (10 for losses) and three sacks. He has two interceptions, four pass breakups and five quarterback hurries.

DEC. 28

3:20 p.m./ESPN

Belk Bowl

Bank of America

Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.

Cincinnati vs. North Carolina

Norcross’ Silverberry Mouhon (No. 92) had a breakout sophomore season at defensive end for Cincinnati. He had 37 tackles (10.5 for losses) and had team highs of 9.5 sacks and seven quarterback hurries.

Buford grads and UNC freshmen Nathan Staub (No. 33) and Mikey Bart (No. 45) contribute at linebacker and defensive end, respectively. Staub has 13 tackles (one for loss) and Bart has eight tackles with a sack. North Gwinnett’s Donnie Miles (No. 31) also is a freshman defensive back for the Tar Heels.

10:15 p.m./ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.

Michigan vs. Kansas State

Buford’s Ryan Mack (No. 35) is freshman running back reserve for Kansas State.

DEC. 30

11:45 a.m./ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Amon G. Carter

Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

Middle Tennessee vs. Navy

Middle Tennessee has a heavy Gwinnett flavor, thanks in part of offensive coordinator/quarterback coach Buster Faulkner being a Parkview grad. The Blue Raiders’ roster includes Collins Hill’s Jordan Parker (No. 6) at running back, Duluth’s Anfornee Stewart (No. 34) and Xavier Walker (No. 42) at safety, Norcross’ Shon Akins (No. 37) at cornerback, Peachtree Ridge’s Daniel Stephens (No. 66) on the offensive line and Norcross’ O’Shae Bridges (No. 94) at defensive end.

Parker has rushed for 741 yards and six TDs and Walker is the top defensive contributor with 51 tackles (36 solos) and an interception.

Mountain View’s William Tuider (No. 38) had 32 tackles (four for losses) and two sacks as a true freshman linebacker for Navy, which also has reserve defensive end Cam Henson (No. 71) of Brookwood on the roster.

3:15 p.m./ESPN

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

LP Field, Nashville, Tenn.

Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss

Georgia Tech has five Gwinnett products on the roster — Grayson’s Shawn Green (No. 97) at defensive line, Collins Hill’s Charles Perkins (No. 21) at running back, GAC’s Chase Roberts (No. 79) at offensive line, Norcross’ Anthony Autry (No. 80) at wide receiver and Central Gwinnett’s Francis Kallon (No. 92) at defensive end.

Meanwhile, Ole Miss’ defense is stocked with Gwinnett talent. Grayson’s Denzel Nkemdiche (No. 4) is a linebacker, Shiloh’s Cameron Whigham (No. 55), Grayson’s Robert Nkemdiche (No. 5) and Meadowcreek’s Lavon Hooks (No. 45) are defensive linemen and Grayson’s David Kamara (No. 29) is a defensive back for the Rebels.

Denzel Nkemdiche, limited by injuries after an All-SEC season as a freshman, made 34 tackles in nine games as a sophomore. Whigham (34 tackles, 4.5 for losses, 2.5 sacks) and Robert Nkemdiche (29 tackles, eight for losses, two sacks) also put up good numbers.

10:15 p.m./ESPN

National University Holiday Bowl

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Arizona State vs. Texas Tech

North Gwinnett’s Robert Nelson (No. 9) is a standout for Arizona State, earning first-team All-PAC 12 honors this season. The senior cornerback made 55 tackles (42 solos) and a team-high six interceptions this season, along with five pass breakups and 11 passes defensed.

Norcross’ Demetrius Alston (No. 51) is a junior defensive lineman and Grayson’s Zach Barnes (No. 12) is a freshman linebacker for Texas Tech. Alston is in his first season after playing at Hutchinson Community College (Kan.).

DEC. 31

12:30 p.m./ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Bowl

Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.

Arizona vs. Boston College

Grayson’s Jack Banda (No. 92) is a freshman defensive lineman for Arizona.

8 p.m./ESPN

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Duke vs. Texas A&M

Archer’s Deondre Singleton (No. 33) is part of a Duke defense that must slow down 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. The starting cornerback was fourth on the Blue Devils with 61 tackles. Buford’s Grant Hall (No. 38) also is a walk-on safety for Duke.

JAN. 1


TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

Everbank Field,

Jacksonville, Fla.

Georgia vs. Nebraska

Georgia has its typically large Gwinnett contingent, led by four offensive linemen — Buford’s Kolton Houston (No. 75), Buford’s Dallas Lee (No. 64), Buford’s Josh Cardiello (No. 60) and Wesleyan’s David Andrews (No. 61).

South Gwinnett’s Reggie Carter (No. 45), Brookwood’s Shaun McGee (No. 8) and Peachtree Ridge’s A.J. McDonald (No. 46) are linebackers for the Bulldogs, Wesleyan’s Kyle Karempelis (No. 36) and Wesleyan’s Merritt Hall (No. 43) are running backs, Peachtree Ridge’s Connor Norman (No. 11) and Grayson’s Devin Gillespie (No. 36) are safeties, GAC’s Jared Chapple (No. 41) and Collins Hill’s Jake Star (No. 25) are tight ends and Buford’s Wright Gazaway (No. 60) is a snapper.

1 p.m./ABC

Capital One Bowl

Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Fla.

Wisconsin vs. South Carolina

Mill Creek’s Kelsey Griffin (No. 94) has made 12 tackles in nine games this season as a true freshman defensive lineman for South Carolina.

1 p.m./ESPN

Outback Bowl

Raymond James

Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

Iowa vs. LSU

Buford has two current starters for LSU — Reid Ferguson (No. 50) at snapper an Vadal Alexander (No. 78) at offensive guard.

5 p.m./ESPN

Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

Stanford vs. Michigan State

Brookwood’s Andre Sims (No. 21) is a wide receiver and Brookwood’s Nick Tompkins (No. 32) is a running back for Big Ten champion Michigan State.

8:30 p.m./ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

Central Florida vs. Baylor

Buford’s Dontravious Wilson (No. 7) is a freshman running back who has seen brief action for Central Florida.

Baylor has a pair of Gwinnett grads — Wesleyan’s Andrew Frerking (No. 6) is a quarterback and Norcross’ Prince Kent (No. 1) is a linebacker.

JAN. 2

8:30 p.m./ESPN

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans

Oklahoma vs. Alabama

Two Gwinnett products start for Alabama — North Gwinnett’s Austin Shepherd (No. 79) at offensive tackle and Norcross’ Adrian Hubbard (No. 42) at linebacker. Hubbard has 31 tackles (5.5 for losses) and three sacks.

The Crimson Tide’s roster also includes senior offensive lineman Kellen Williams (No. 63) of Brookwood, freshman running back Alvin Kamara (No. 26) of Norcross, freshman tight end Kieran Williams (No. 89) of Archer and the Buford tandem of Kurt Freitag (No. 41) at tight end and Dillon Lee (No. 25) at linebacker.

JAN. 3

8:30 p.m./ESPN

Discover Orange Bowl

Sun Life Stadium, Miami

Clemson vs. Ohio State

Clemson’s roster includes Grayson grads Nick Schuessler (No. 3) at quarterback, Wayne Gallman (No. 9) at running back and Ryan Carter (No. 31) at defensive back.

Peachtree Ridge’s Bradley Roby (No. 1) is in his third season as a starting cornerback at Ohio State. The 2012 first-team All-American has 70 tackles (55 solos), three interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 16 passes defensed this season. Teammate Trey Johnson (No. 36), a Central Gwinnett grad, is a reserve linebacker as a true freshman.

JAN. 4

1 p.m./ESPN

BBVA Compass Bowl

Legion Field,

Birmingham, Ala.

Vanderbilt vs. Houston

South Gwinnett’s Jonathan Krause (No. 17) is a senior wide receiver for Vandy who has 41 catches for 703 yards and three TDs. He also is the team’s punt returner. Buford’s Paris Head (No. 21) has 21 tackles and three interceptions as a freshman defensive back and Shiloh’s Stephen Weatherly (No. 45) has 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks as a sophomore defensive end for the Commodores.

JAN. 5

9 p.m./ESPN

GoDaddy Bowl

Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

Arkansas State vs.

Ball State

Central Gwinnett’s Aaron Taylor (No. 37), a redshirt freshman defensive back, made 32 tackles this season for Ball State.

JAN. 6

8:30 p.m./ESPN

VIZIO BCS National Championship

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

Florida State vs.


Three Gwinnett grads have a shot at a national title in this matchup, and all are from Auburn. North Gwinnett’s C.J. Uzomah (No. 81) plays often at tight end/slot receiver, Norcross’ Ben Bradley (No. 50) is a major part of the defensive tackle rotation and Parkview’s Kenny Flowers (No. 33) is a reserve linebacker and special teams player.


Gwinnett grads to play for national title

Four Gwinnett grads will compete for Lenoir-Rhyne in today’s NCAA Division II National Championship Game in Florence, Ala.

The 13-1 Bears, winners of 13 straight games, will play second-ranked Northwest Missouri State (14-0) for the championship. They reached the finals with a 42-14 win over West Chester last Saturday.

Peachtree Ridge’s Tanner Botts leads Lenoir-Rhyne with 126 tackles. He has nine tackles for losses (two vs. West Chester), three sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles and nine pass breakups this season.

Twin brother Tyler Botts has 61 tackles (three for losses) and a pair of fumble recoveries. Parkview’s Joe Anderson also is a defensive leader with 77 tackles (3.5 for losses), an interception and six pass breakups.

Collins Hill’s Jimmy Bayer is part of a Lenoir-Rhyne offensive line that ranks first nationally with 377.9 rushing yards per game.

Cox a freshman All-American, runner-up for Rice Award

Dacula’s Marcus Cox was the only NCAA Division I FCS player on the 247Sports All-American Team, an NCAA Division I FBS-dominated team released on Monday, and also finished as runner-up for the prestigious Jerry Rice Award.

Cox, who earned second-team All-American honors, was one of only three non-FBS players on the three teams (and one of those three was a punter). The Southern Conference freshman of the year led the conference with 1,250 rushing yards, 1,809 total yards and 21 touchdowns.

The running back was the runner-up for the Rice Award, which honors the nation’s top NCAA Division I FCS freshman.

Fenteng an All-American

Grayson grad Shattle Fenteng, a sophomore at Hutchinson Community College (Kan.), was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-American second team this week.

Fenteng, a 6-foot-2, 189-pound cornerback, has committed to Georgia.


Brookins scores career high

Mill Creek grad Alicia Brookins, a junior at Limestone (S.C.) College, scored a career-high 19 points Tuesday in an 87-70 win over Southern Wesleyan.

The 5-foot-9 forward also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via email to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com.