We are quickly approaching College Football All-Star Games season, where the NFL begins its interview process with potential prospects. One of the best ways that NFL clubs become familiar with players entering the NFL Draft is through college football all-star games, where access to players is oftentimes more convenient than trying to visit with them at their school on a game day.

College football all-star games cater to NFL scouts with their entire event. The decisions that are made

College Gridiron Showcase Small College Invitational Showcase

Dates: January 7th-9th, 2022
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Game: No game played (practice environment)
Website: 2022 CGS Small College Invitational Showcase | College Gridiron Showcase (cgsallstar.com)

An exclusive event for FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA players looking to go pro, the CGS Small College Invitational Showcase is a good opportunity for these small school players to get in front of NFL Scouts. In 2021, the CGS performed in front of over 100 scouts representing 30 of 32 NFL teams, plus representatives from the CFL and other alternative football leagues. The $475 cost of admission allows prospects the opportunity to compete, weigh-in, and complete a professional seminar.

College Gridiron Showcase

Dates: January 8th-12th, 2022
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Game: No game played (practice environment)
Website: College Gridiron Showcase | It’s Not Where You Play, It’s How You Play. (cgsallstar.com)

The College Gridiron Showcase is a good opportunity for lesser-known players to get in front of NFL Scouts. In 2021, the CGS performed in front of over 100 scouts representing 30 of 32 NFL teams, plus representatives from the CFL and other alternative football leagues. The prospects will perform drills in an OTA format, performing through a controlled scrimmage and going through 1v1 and team drills. Over 600 players who have performed at the CGS have received professional opportunities to advance their careers.

SPIRAL Tropical Bowl

Dates: January 12th-15th, 2022
Location: Orlando, Florida
Game: Camping World Stadium, January 15th, 2022
TV: FLOSports
Website: Home – SPIRAL Tropical Bowl
Roster Tracker: Coming Soon

The SPIRAL Tropical Bowl kicks off its seventh year since its formation and is part of the SPIRAL Bowl week. In Orlando, the All-America Classic game is played featuring some of the top national high school seniors, and the All-America Underclassmen game features talented underclassmen in high school. Since its inception in 2015, the Tropical Bowl has assisted over 350 players in their journey to the NFL.

Hula Bowl

Dates: January 12th-15th, 2022
Location: Orlando, Florida
Game: UCF Bounce House Stadium, January 15th, 2022, 12:00 PM ET
TV: CBS Sports
Website: The All-Star Hula Bowl Classic Football Game | Hula Bowl
Roster Tracker: Coming Soon

Originally held in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Hula Bowl relocated this offseason to Orlando, Florida, and probably for the best as it will keep NFL scouts centralized during the week between the Hula Bowl and the SPIRAL Tropical Bowl. The Hula Bowl has a long-standing tradition running back into 1946 before the game was canceled after 2008. It was resurrected in 2020 and has so far put two successful seasons together and now enters its third year.

The teams will be led by former NFL head coaches Mike Smith and Brian Billick. Between the two coaching staffs, over 275 years of NFL coaching experience are on hand for this event. The two teams, Aina and Kai, are both named for the Polynesian words for “land” and “water.”

CoachTeam AINATeam KAI
Head CoachMike SmithBrian Billick
Offensive CoordinatorRon TurnerBrian Billick
Defensive CoordinatorTim LewisWade Phillips
Offensive LineTony WiseMike Tice
Wide Receivers/Tight EndsJohnathan HayesKevin Sumlin (WR’s)
Running BacksGerald BrownTaylor Jones (TE’s)
Defensive LineJay HayesBill Johnston
LinebackersBob SandersN/A
SecondaryAndrew WeidingerCarnell Lake
Hula Bowl coaching staffs

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Dates: January 25th-29th, 2022
Location: Los Angeles, California
Game: Rose Bowl, January 29th, 2022
TV: NFL Network
Website: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl – The Premiere CFB All-Star Game
Roster Tracker: NFL Sapient

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is considered the “lesser” of the three top all-star college games leading up to the NFL Draft. However, after a few adjustments from the Shrine Bowl this offseason, some NFL personnel will be attending this game rather than the one in Las Vegas.

Former NFL coaches Jeff Fisher and Marvin Lewis will serve as the two head coaches during the week.

East-West Shrine Bowl

Dates: January 30th-February 3rd, 2022
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Game: Allegiant Stadium, February 3rd, 2022
TV: NFL Network
Website: East-West Shrine Bowl – More than just a game
Roster Tracker: NFL Sapient

Every year, the Shriners put on an all-star event to help feature NFL draft prospects to NFL clubs. The Shrine Bowl has played second fiddle to the Senior Bowl for its entire existence. Now entering its 97th game, the game has traditionally been played in St. Petersburg, Florida. However, for 2022, new director Eric Galko decided to step the game up a notch by moving the event to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the facilities will be better for players and NFL teams.

The Shrine Bowl in 2022 made some positive changes to its format compared to other all-star games. Rather than rostering players by region, the Shrine Bowl will roster players based on their projected NFL scheme. Offensive rosters will be broken up by personnel (an 11 personnel roster and a 12 personnel roster), and defenses will be broken up by front (a 4-3 roster and a 3-4 roster). The weigh-in event won’t be a public stage event as it has been traditionally this year either, players will be measured and weighed upon their arrival.

Senior Bowl

Dates: February 1st-5th, 2022
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Game: Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama, 2:30 PM ET
TV: NFL Network
Website: Official Web Site of the Reese’s Senior Bowl | Reese’s Senior Bowl Mobile, Alabama
Roster Tracker: NFL Sapient

The Senior Bowl is the most prestigious of all the college football all-star games, dominating the player pool and demanding the attention of the NFL scouts who show up in attendance. The all-star event captures two NFL teams to coach the game, normally the teams with the first two picks in the NFL Draft, to give unrivaled access to the players.

The all-star event annually turns sleepy downtown Mobile, Alabama, into a football hub central for an entire week with star personalities and executives walking its streets with all of the magical hype and glamor that the NFL has to offer. Speaking from experience, there isn’t anything in the world like it. The Draft truly starts in Mobile.

Cajun All-Star Bowl

Dates: February 9th-12th, 2022
Location: Shreveport, Louisiana
Game: February 12th, 2022, Independence Stadium
Website: Cajun AllStar Bowl – Cajun Bowl, Event, Allstar Bowl, Cajun Bowl
Roster Tracker: Coming soon.

The Cajun All-Star Bowl, formerly known as the Pigskin All-Star Invitational, has taken on a bit of a rebrand this year. Taking place in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Cajun All-Star Bowl is sponsored by ESPN and is attempting to make a name for itself as a good place to perform.

This year, the teams will be coached by legendary college coach Hal Mumme and former Grambling State head coach Melvin Spears.

HBCU Legacy Bowl

Dates: February 15th-19th, 2022
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Game: Yulman Stadium, February 19th, 2022
TV: NFL Network
Website: Home | HBCU Legacy Bowl
Roster Tracker: NFL Sapient

A brand new college football all-star game has entered the playing field, this time exclusively open to NFL prospects from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The HBCU Legacy Bowl launched very successfully this offseason, partnering with NFL players including Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Donald, Jameis Winston, and Bobby Wagner to bring stability and legitimacy to the event. The game was co-founded by former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Doug Williams, who has been an instrumental part of building the event.

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By John Vogel

NFL Draft Analyst. Dad.

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