Who to Watch: Ball State V. UCF (Beef O Brady’s Bowl)

Stay tuned for must-see prospects from every game of the bowl season.

Beef O Brady’s St Petersburg Bowl

Friday, December 21, 7:30pm EST

ESPN

Lights, Camera, MACtion

Ball State

Keith Wenning, #10 , Junior, QB

I’ll be honest and admit that I had no idea Keith Wenning was this good.  I knew he existed.  I knew he was the starting Quarterback for Ball State University.  I did not know that he was this good.

Wenning, now in his third year as a starter for Ball State, grades out as one of the top 20 passing performances of the 2012 season.  That on it’s own is a nice accomplishment, but when you consider that he grades out as the #7 ranked JR quarterback in my system, we may have uncovered a gem.  According to NFL Draft Scout, Wenning is the #26th ranked QB in the JR class.  Something doesn’t add up.  My guess is that Wenning’s Sophomore season, which was below average, may have buried him in the rankings and his low profile school did nothing to help raise his stock.

Looking at this season alone, Wenning has improved in EVERY metric that I have.  Most notably, he is being trusted to throw more passes in relevant games, completing them further down field, and at a higher completion percentage.  He is throwing touchdowns at a much higher rate and interceptions at a lesser rate.  Across the board he has improved significantly.  But, just how high have those improvements moved him up in my MAC database?

Through my system, Wenning’s 2012 season grades out almost identically to Chad Pennington’s last year at Marshall.   He also checks in comfortably above people like Charlie Frye, Dan LeFevour, and fellow 2012 prospect Zac Dysert.  Keep an eye on him tonight as he fights through an ankle injury to face a tough UCF defense.  If things go well, he could join Jordan Lynch and Tyler Tettleton as the banner-carrying MAC Quarterbacks for the 2013 season.

(limited Ball State footage on youtube, this will have to do)

UCF

Latavius Murray, #28 , Senior, RB

There are two Senior running backs in America who have separated themselves from the pack–UCLA’s Franklin and Oregon’s Barner–when you look at their production in premier games. Then, there’s a cluster of backs who, when isolating on their premier games, rushed for between 115 and 125 yards per game.  Those backs would be Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor, Wisconsin’s Montee Bell, Florida’s Mike Gillislee, and UCF’s Latavius Murray.  So who is ‘LT Murray’?

Murray is a 6’3” 225lb running back that I expect will punish the Ball State defense.  In UCF’s four toughest games, Murray averaged 22 carries, 120 yards, and 1.5 rushing TDs per game.  He is one of the most endzone-prone RBs in America who I could see carving out a goal-line niche role in the NFL.  Expect him to reach paydirt at least twice against the Cardinals and tote the rock often when the Knights have a 2nd half lead.

(limited highlight footage on youtube, but this let’s you get to know more about the player, with a few highlights)

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