Defiant Senior Bowl Boss Rejects Notion That His All-Star Game Is Diminished in 2023

Defiant Senior Bowl Boss Rejects Notion That His All-Star Game Is Diminished in 2023

MOBILE, Ala. — The most anonymous Senior Bowl in recent memory gets underway here Tuesday, but the all-star game’s executive director insists reports of its demise are vastly overstated.

At the Senior Bowl kickoff news conference Tuesday, Jim Nagy bristled at the idea that his primary competitors — the Shrine Bowl and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl — are nipping at his heels.

“I think everyone’s using social media more smartly, so they’re out there more visibly, which we’ve done,” Nagy said.

“But I think when you look at the rosters, the other game got two players we invited this year. I’ll just say that. We’re going to keep doing what we do.”

Nagy punctuated his argument by pointing out that the Senior Bowl has had 181 players taken in the first round since 2000.

“No other game has had one.”

Star Power Lacking at Senior Bowl in 2023

But visuals speak louder than words. And the visuals Tuesday highlighted that this year’s Senior Bowl does not have the same star power we are used to seeing from this prestigious annual event.

The two players Nagy invited to join him at Tuesday’s news conference were Notre Dame edge defender Isaiah Foskey and TCU quarterback Max Duggan.

Foskey will almost certainly be a first-round pick.

Duggan, to put it kindly, will not. He’s, at best, a Day 3 guy. And yet, he’s the closest thing the Senior Bowl has to a signature name.

MORE: Top 10 Players at 2023 Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl’s quarterback class this year is the weakest in recent memory, which is the No. 1 reason the game just doesn’t seem to have the same sizzle.

Nagy acknowledged the obvious Tuesday: The Senior Bowl’s streak of placing a quarterback in the first round will end this year.

“Based on our grades, this class is all in that fourth, fifth-round group, which was where Jalen Hurts was just three short years ago,” Nagy said. “And now it’s pretty awesome to see Jalen in the Super Bowl. He jumped into the second that year. I think there will be a guy or two that gets into Day 2.”

Hendon Hooker Update

The list of quarterbacks participating here this week would send everyone but the most dedicated draft follower to Google: Duggan, Jaren Hall (BYU), Jake Haener (Fresno State), Malik Cunningham (Louisville), Clayton Tune (Houston) and Tyson Bagent (Shepherd).

Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker is also in town, but some two months removed from ACL surgery, will not do any on-field work.

MORE: QB Tyson Bagent Continues To Shock the World Ahead of NFL Draft

When asked where Hooker might go in the draft, Nagy replied:

“The medical part makes it so hard. We had Hendon at like fourth round coming into the year. He and Bo Nix were the guys that broke out of that clump there in that part of our board. Hendon and Bo were the two guys that broke into Day 2. We’ll see.

“… With interview and meeting room time being so critical for quarterbacks, with Hendon being the person he is and the season he had, he was the face of college football for a good chunk of the season. I’ve gotten to know Hendon a little bit. Got to know him at the Manning Camp, got to know him on campus in August when I went up there. He deserves this opportunity. He’s going to stay in town until Friday.”