It was a bright, sunny, and chilly day in Pasadena, CA. The Rose Bowl hosted the 10th annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. In front of scouts and NFL personnel, players staked their claims for the NFL Draft. Schools from the FCS, HBCU’s, Power 5, and blue blood programs showed off their skills.
Behind a comeback effort led by Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Cole Kelley, the National team rallied from a 14-point deficit to defeat the American team, 25-24. A missed game-winning field goal with 3 seconds left was the deciding factor. The all-star game featured more than 100 prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft. In charge of the winning team was former NFL head coaches Marvin Lewis going up against Jeff Fisher. The QBs that stood out the most were Alabama A&M QB Aqeel Glass and Southeastern Louisiana University Cole Kelley.
Glass is a two-time SWAC and HBCU Offensive Player of the Year. In 46 career games, Glass finished in the top 15 in FCS career passing yards (12,136) and tied for 11th in career passing touchdowns (109). The QB displayed a powerful arm and excellent ball placement on passes. He completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards, with a touchdown. He made plays and escaped the pass rush to keep drives alive. He also had zero turnovers.
With Glass at the helm, the American team went on two scoring drives scoring 10 points. He directed a 6-play, 68-yard drive and punctuated it with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Nicholls State wideout Dai’Jean Dixon. He possesses good vision balance, elusiveness, and deceptive speed when running the ball. Overall, Glass enjoyed his time on the west coast while making his mark.
“It’s been a great week. I’ve been able to learn a lot from these coaches and play against a great player and compete at a high level.”
Kelley wasn’t the starter, but he stepped in and instantly fired a spark. He led the comeback and earned game MVP honors. He completed 9-of-13 passes for 68 yards during a 19-play drive that ate up 9:04 of game time and ended with a field goal heading into halftime.
The team was flat until Kelley came in. In the fourth quarter, with his team down by seven, Kelley orchestrated a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Coastal Carolina RB Shermari Jones touchdown. He then found Indiana TE Peyton Hendershot for what turned out to be the game-winning points on a two-point conversion. Kelley finished the game 12-of-17 for 150 yards and a score. He is huge for a quarterback at 6 foot 7 and reminds me of the Steelers Big Ben. Also, he has a physical style of running the ball like the Buffalo’s Josh Allen.
“All the coaches and former players here, I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time. We had coach Blake, coach Hayes, and coach Lewis. I learned what it is to be a pro and am blessed to be in this position.”
The NFL pre-draft process is in full swing. Players dreams are on the line! Kelley will return to Charlotte and train as pro day and Scouting Combine approaches. Glass will be at the HBCU Legacy Bowl before preparing for his pro day.