NFLPA Collegiate Bowl 2013: Lesser-known players hope to make positive impact to scouts

Kevin C. Cox

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is not the most highly-coveted honor for a college athlete, but it is still another opportunity for players to show what they've got. Here are a few names you need to know.

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, formerly known as the Texas vs. The Nation Bowl, is not nearly as prestigious as the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine Game when it comes to postseason exhibitions. But that does not mean that some of these players won't be getting a shot at the pros come April and beyond. For many of these players, there is a chip on their shoulder that they hope to shake off with a big game on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Among them is a quarterback with a familiar last name: Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of Aaron. The Vanderbilt quarterback is rated as the 13th-best QB prospect in the draft by NFL Draft Scout. Aaron told the Green Bay Press Gazette about his younger brother:

"He has a pretty good pedigree. He has a great work ethic and he’s got some time now to get ready for hopefully the combine, if not a pro day, and he’s going to get right to his workouts."

While Rodgers must overcome his junior college background to impress scouts, others will be trying to prove that they are now healthy. Eric Stephens of Texas Tech tore his ACL in 2011 and was limited during his senior season.

Fresno State center Richard Helepiko has enjoyed gaining knowledge from former NFL players during practice this week, especially longtime pro center Kevin Mawae:

"I'm learning off him," Helepiko said, "trying to absorb as much information as I can."

Fellow Bulldog, running back Robbie Rouse, is considered to be one of the very best players in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Marquise Goodwin of Texas was an Olympian in London in 2012.

The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET in Carson, Calif., and will be televised on ESPN2.

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