The Myrtle Beach Bowl is among the newest in the Bowl season. The inaugural game was played on December 21st, 2020, Coastal Carolina University lays host along the beautiful beaches of South Carolina to this matchup with three conference partners – the C-USA, the MAC, and the American. This year, the AAC places the Tulsa Golden Hurricane into this matchup against the C-USA’s Old Dominion Monarchs. The prize? A winning 2021 season.

Tulsa (6-6, 5-3 vs AAC) enters the game after a couple of very humiliating performances including a season-opening loss to UC Davis (19-17). However, after a 3-6 start, Tulsa won out their last three games, including an upset over SMU, to advance to the Bowl season.

Old Dominion (6-6, 5-3 vs C-USA) bounced back in a tremendous way to make this bowl game appearance a possibility. After a 1-6 start, the Monarchs won their last five games, upsetting Florida Atlantic and Charlotte along the way.

Myrtle Beach Bowl – The Marquee Attraction: OT Chris Paul, Tulsa

Right tackle Chris Paul (6’3″ 324 lbs) is Senior Bowl bound and has a very good shot at making a long career at the professional level. He’s a pass protector by nature, and has played all across the offensive line – making starts at left guard and right guard before settling into right tackle. He’s probably best fitted for the inside, but is very capable of playing tackle.

The thing to watch with Paul (if he plays) is his lateral speed. Old Dominion has been able to bring some speed at times. Paul has handled it well against some great pass rushers like Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati), but we’d like to see him show more consistency overall. He needs to have a good day against Old Dominion.

Tulsa players to watch

  • NT Tyarise Stevenson (CGS)
  • Z WR Josh Johnson (Shrine)
  • DT Jaxson Player

We really like nose tackle Tyarise Stevenson (6’3″ 365 lbs) as a traditional interior defender who would work well in a rotation on run down plays. He’s explosive enough to be a 1-tech and I like him playing relatively early in his career. The issue with “Big Cat,” as he’s been called, has been health and staying healthy. I think that’s probably why Stevenson has an invite to the College Gridiron Showcase and nowhere else yet.

Josh Johnson (5’10” 179 lbs) has recently accepted his invitation to the Shrine Bowl. Johnson is very quick, displays excellent body control throughout the catch, and shows very promising route-running ability. From what I saw, he was very nuanced and ran a lot of more advanced routes. He’s a Z receiver who will have to make his mark early, otherwise he should play in the USFL.

Jaxon Player (6’0″ 294 lbs) is made more of the Aaron Donald-style mold of a versatile 1-tech and 3-tech defensive tackle. Player has even been compared by his coaching staff to Aaron Donald and his collegiate production has been similar. He collected 13.5 tackles for loss this season, right now sitting with 29.5 on his career as a three year starter (missed 8 games over his first two years).

Old Dominion players to watch

  • TE Zack Kuntz
  • On Ball LB Jordan Young

There’s no guarantee that Zack Kuntz (6’6″ 248 lbs) declares for the NFL Draft, as he still has two years of eligibility remaining. Kuntz became the big play contributor on offense, snagging 66 receptions for 747 yards and 5 touchdowns this season, his first at Old Dominion after transferring from Penn State. He’s capable at every level of the field and a solid run blocker.

Jordan Young (6’2″ 230 lbs) has no remaining eligibility and will be entering the class. Right now, he looks like a better fit for the USFL, but Young is a box defender. He doesn’t have the speed or range to work too well outside of the box to the perimeter and would be a liability in pass coverage. He’s the leader of the defense, though, so someone to keep an eye on throughout the game.

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By John Vogel

NFL Draft Analyst. Dad.

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