While the college football season ended earlier this month with Georgia capturing its second straight national title, for the seniors their new journey is just beginning. This Saturday Texas Tech football alums SaRodorick Thompson and Krishon Merriweather will have a chance to impress NFL scouts at this year’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game is one of several college all-star games including the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game just to name a few.
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is the newest all-star game. Created in 2012, the game week provides seniors an opportunity to learn the business side of the NFL and be introduced to the players union. More importantly, seniors get to be coached by former NFL coaches and players as they set their eyes on the upcoming NFL Draft.
Former NFL head coaches including Dick Vermeil, Mike Martz, and Marvin Lewis along with former NFL players such as Darrell Green have coached both teams. This year the National Team will be coached by former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George while the American Team will be coached by former Titans and St. Louis/ Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. Thompson will play for the American Team while Merriweather will play for the National Team.
SaRodorick Thompson spent most of his senior season splitting carries with fellow back Tahj Brooks. He rushed for 684 yards and scored seven rushing touchdowns, tying him with Brooks and quarterback Donovan Smith for the most on the team. While he might not have put the numbers as some of the best backs in the Big 12, Thompson remained a key leader on the 2022 Red Raiders.
Coming out of Irving, Thompson immediately showed flashes in Kliff Kingsbury’s final season in 2018. His mix of power and burst made him a great running back in an offense that, during his time, saw three different head coaches and four offensive coordinators. Despite the turnover in the staff, Thompson remained loyal and made an impact in balancing an offensive that is known for throwing the ball over the yard.
For Krishon Merriweather, the path to being an impactful linebacker in the Big 12 took a detour. He spent three seasons at Garden City Community College in Kansas before Matt Wells convinced him to sign with the Red Raiders in 2020. Despite being undersized at just six feet, Merriweather led the team in tackles in his first season at Tech as he became a key leader of the defense.
His senior and super-senior seasons helped the Red Raider defense elevate itself to a new level. He played in all 26 games, including two bowl games, and his final season saw him total 112 tackles which led the team. Merriweather set the tone every game and sets the stage for a new group of young linebackers to take the reins.
It remains to be seen how much playing time Thompson and Merriweather will get on Saturday but the entire week of practice is just as vital. Scouts from several NFL teams will be in attendance so this is a wonderful opportunity to impress. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be shown live on NFL Network at 6:00 P.M. eastern time.