This weekend will provide several college seniors a chance to make an impression on NFL coaches and scouts. Top prospects around the country will compete in the Delchamps Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama or the Hula Bowl in Kahului, Hawaii.
Both games, which will be played Saturday, have produced several current New England Patriots. Running back J.R. Redmond represented Arizona State and ran for 61 yards on 10 carries at the 1999 Senior Bowl. Among those blocking for Redmond was Hawaii tackle Adrian Klemm, New England's top draft pick last April.
Other Patriots who have participated in the game in the past include wide receiver Tony Simmons, safety Tebucky Jones, running back Robert Edwards and tight end Rod Rutledge. The game actually served as a springboard for Rutledge, then a member of the University of Alabama program.
Rutledge was considered the third-best tight end coming out that year behind Oklahoma State's Alonzo Mayes and Washington's Cameron Cleeland. Mayes and Cleeland opted out of the game, providing Rutledge extended playing time.
Wide receiver Dane Looker was the only Patriot to play in last year's Hula Bowl. He had four receptions for 43 yards in the game.
The Hula Bowl has showcased nine other current New England players in past years. Quarterback Michael Bishop, linebacker Marc Megna and wide receiver Sean Morey each played in the 1999 game, while Chad Eaton, Ted Johnson and Sale Isaia all played in 1995. Isaia, now a guard with the Patriots, saw time as a defensive tackle out of UCLA.
Safety Larry Whigham represented Northeast Louisiana at the Hula Bowl in 1994, while Henry Thomas (LSU) and Lee Johnson (BYU) played in 1987 and 1985 respectively.