Eight WSU seniors accepted invitations to the various senior all-star game all over the country

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With the 2017-18 college football season officially over, we turn our attention to all-star bowl season and the seven former Washington State players who’ll be participating in these showcase games that allow NFL scouts to evaluate prospects before the NFL Draft in April.

WSU’s Pro Day is slated for March 8.

Nose tackle Daniel Ekuale kicked off the all-star game circuit for the Cougars this week at the College Gridiron Showcase in Addison, Texas. The Gridiron Showcase operates on a different format than most of the all-star games in that there isn’t actually a game. Instead, players go through a week of practices in front of scouts, and this culminates in a scrimmage.

Ekuale spent the week in Texas and met with 18 NFL teams. NFL scouts like his size and athletic ability, and he projects as a player in the similar mold of former Cougars DT Destiny Vaeao, who went undrafted out of WSU in 2015 but signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and is now completing his second season in Philly.

“It was eye opening for me to go out there and just see different players from all over the country coming to compete,” Ekuale said of his Gridiron Showcase experience. “It’s just a good opportunity for me.”

Ekuale signed with Brandon Smart, who also represents Vaeao, because he has a long-standing relationship with Smart that dates back to his high school days in American Samoa.

Smart lived in Samoa for four years from 2010-14, when he and his brother ran Fieldhouse 100, a nonprofit recruiting service that helped Samoan football players get to college in the mainland U.S.

Through Fieldhouse 100, Smart and his brother helped guys like Vaeao, Robert Barber, Ekuale and Fred Mauigoa connect with WSU.

So when it came time to pick an agent, Ekuale says Smart was his first choice.

“He’s been with us since we were back home in Samoa. I know he’s somebody I can trust,” Ekuale said. “There were a lot of people wanting me to sign with them. I blocked them out and said I was going to sign with the one person I’ve trusted my whole life.”

Jamal Morrow pulls out of NFLPA Bowl with foot injury; Powell accepts NFLPA Bowl invite

Running back and all-purpose maestro Jamal Morrow had to pull out of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (Jan. 20 at the Rose Bowl) because he broke a metatarsal bone in his left foot in WSU’s loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.

Morrow stayed with his family in Menifee, Calif. for a few days after the bowl game on Dec. 28, then flew back to Pullman on New Year’s Day for foot surgery.

Morrow is currently on crutches and says he’ll have to wait another three to four weeks before he can begin training for the NFL Draft. But he’s hoping to be ready for WSU’s Pro Day.

Recently, there’s been a trend of NFL-bound players opting to skip their team’s bowl games for fear of getting injured. Christian McCaffrey, for instance, did not play in Stanford’s Sun Bowl game against North Carolina in 2016.

Yet, despite the injury, Morrow says he has no regrets about playing in the Holiday Bowl.

“Regardless of anything, I would have played for sure. I wouldn’t want to do that to (my teammates),” Morrow said. “It’s not too bad. I’m good now.”

Morrow and former WSU offensive tackle Cole Madison have both signed with Reign Sports Management, the same agency that boasts former Cougs Vince Mayle and Deone Bucannon on its client list.

WSU will still be represented at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl by linebacker Frankie Luvu and kicker Erik Powell.

Here’s a list of Cougars who have accepted invitations to the various senior all-star showcases:

Senior Bowl (Jan 27, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.)

  • QB Luke Falk
  • OT Cole Madison

East-West Shrine Game (Jan 20, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.)

  • OG Cody O’Connell

NFLPA Bowl (Jan 20, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.)

  • RB Jamal Morrow (had to pull out of game)
  • LB Frankie Luvu
  • PK Erik Powell

FBS Spiral Tropical Bowl (Jan 14, Daytona Beach, Fla.)

  • CB Marcellus Pippins

College Gridiron Showcase (Jan 6-10, Addison, Texas)

  • NT Dan Ekuale