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Conference USA Sees Only Nine Players ma on Senior Bowl Watch List

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The annual game in Mobile, Alabama will be played on January 24, 2015. Invitations will be sent out throughout the season.

WKU WR Willie McNeal could be heading to Mobile this winter.
WKU WR Willie McNeal could be heading to Mobile this winter.
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

'Tis the season of college football watch lists — but this one might actually have some legitimate clout.

The Senior Bowl — the annual showcase game for the best seniors and NFL-bound underclassmen in the nation — released a 350-man watch list this week. The typically ballyhooed names were on it — Mariota, Hundley, 75 SEC players — but nine Conference USA players also made the cut.

That number might seem low with a team like Marshall and schools in Florida, Texas and Louisiana in the league, but note that C-USA only had nine picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.

And consider the importance of the Senior Bowl's list — compared to those of the Manning or Thorpe award — is that it is a viable parsing of college football's best talent ahead of the college football season and the 2015 NFL Draft, the latter of which has made the Senior Bowl a critical, and highly publicized scouting tool over recent years.

Below are the C-USA players who were recognized. Note that inclusion this doesn't guarantee an invitation to the game, just as exclusion from this list doesn't mean a player can't be invited to Mobile.

D'Joun Smith

CB

FAU

Rakeem Cato

QB

Marshall

Tyler Heinicke

QB

Old Dominion

Jordan Taylor

WR

Rice

Jamarcus Nelson

WR

UAB

Eric Tomlinson

TE

UTEP

Cameron Clemmons

OT

Western Kentucky

Cam Thomas

CB

Western Kentucky

Willie McNeal

WR

Western Kentucky

Is there anyone that the Senior Bowl missed? Anyone that you guarantee will make it in 2015? Let us know below, we'll relay the message — promise.