Three WSU seniors are on the Senior Bowl's radar as the Cougars prepare to open their 2016 football season
An invitation to the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl collegiate all-star game in Mobile, Ala. generally indicates that a player is considered an NFL-caliber talent and is of great interest to scouts from the 32 NFL teams.
On Tuesday, the Senior Bowl released its watch list of 400 senior football players who will compete for the 110 slots in the Senior Bowl game that will be played in January 2017.
Washington State was represented on the watch list by receivers Gabe Marks and River Cracraft, and free safety Shalom Luani.
Marks, from Venice, Calif., finished last season as a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, and returns for his senior season as WSU’s leading outside receiver, with 1,192 yards, 104 receptions and 15 touchdowns in 2015.
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Cracraft plays inside receiver and is hoping to put together a big senior season after being sidelined by a foot injury for three games last year. A native of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Cracraft’s breakout year came in 2014, when he started eight games and finished third on the team with 66 receptions — good for ninth in the Pac-12 and 10th in WSU’s single season record book.
Luani transferred to WSU from the City College of San Francisco in 2015 and made an instant impact, earning a starting spot on at free safety and finishing his first season of FBS football as an All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection. The Masausi, American Samoa native finished his junior year with 90 tackles and led WSU with four interceptions. His 10 passes defended was 11th among all Pac-12 defenders.
Offensive tackle Joe Dahl was WSU’s sole representative in this year’s Senior Bowl game. Dahl was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft in May.