What Is the Senior Bowl?

What Is the Senior Bowl?

The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl is rapidly approaching, but what is the history behind the college football all-star showcase?

What Is the Senior Bowl?

Although it isn’t the longest-running college football all-star game, the Reese’s Senior Bowl has established itself as one of the premiere games for NFL draft prospects looking to elevate their stock ahead of the NFL’s annual selection event.

The Senior Bowl has had an incredible track record of success as it pertains to putting players into the NFL. Last year alone, 106 of the selections made in Las Vegas at the NFL Draft had appeared in Mobile. Of those, 45% of the top 100 players that were selected had played at the Senior Bowl.

Last year wasn’t an isolated success either. The 106 selections in 2022 tied the previous record set following the 2021 Senior Bowl. Long story short, if you make the most of the opportunity to be invited to Mobile, there’s a strong chance that you’ll hear your name called in the NFL draft.

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The Senior Bowl is an all-star game that pits the National Team against the American Team. Any senior or draft-eligible underclassmen from any level of college football can compete in Mobile, but only the best of the best are invited to the Senior Bowl. However, it’s more than that just 60 minutes on a Saturday.

While the opportunity to play in front of a nationally televised audience on NFL Network is exciting, the week of practice spent in front of decision makers from all 32 teams, over 900 NFL personnel, and over 900 media members that were credentialed for the 2022 Senior Bowl, is often more meaningful than the game itself.

Meanwhile, the Senior Bowl means more than just a football opportunity for NFL Draft prospects. Since 1951, the Senior Bowl has donated $7.8 million to youth-related charities in the local area. Some of the initiatives invested in include the Child Advocacy Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama, and the Special Olympics.

When Is the Senior Bowl?

The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. Kickoff time is set for 2:30 p.m. ET (or 1:30 p.m. CT in the local market). This year’s edition will mark the second time that the Senior Bowl has been held in February.

The Senior Bowl is traditionally the final game on the college football calendar. Historically, it has taken place one week before the Super Bowl. With the expansion of the NFL season, it’s unlikely that the Senior Bowl will ever return to being held in January, which it had been since the inaugural event in 1950.

Where Is the Senior Bowl Played?

The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be held at Hancock Whitney Stadium, the home of the South Alabama Jaguars college football program. The event has called the 25,450-seat stadium home since 2021 when the National Team led by Brian Flores beat the Matt Rhule-coached American Team 27-24.

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Prior to 2021, the Senior Bowl was played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The 40,000-seat former home of South Alabama football was the long-running home of the Senior Bowl.

Prior to the relocation to Hancock Whitney Stadium, the 1950 event was the only one not held in Ladd-Peebles. The Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville held the first-ever Senior Bowl before the all-star game found a permanent home in Alabama.