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Poinsettia Bowl 2012: San Diego State vs. BYU -- preview, game time, TV, odds, NFL Draft prospects

Ezekiel Ansah of BYU (right) is a player to remember
Ezekiel Ansah of BYU (right) is a player to remember
Scott Cunningham

Here is a quick look at Thursday night's Poinsettia Bowl between 7-5 BYU and 9-3 San Diego State.

Game time: 8 p.m. ET
Odds: BYU -3.5

[SB Nation's complete college football coverage]

What it means

It means that you have football to watch tonight.

2013 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch

Here we go, draft fans. Though this game is between two teams that wouldn’t get a second look on most other days they have the stage to themselves son December 20th and have a few interesting names to watch, including one player who could end up being a top 10 pick.

San Diego State

The Aztecs have two players worth mentioning in terms of draft prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft. Corneback Leon McFadden was selected to the first-team All-Conference for the All-Mountain West Conference in 2012. McFadden has taken two passes back for six points this year and has been a key player for the team since his true freshman year in 2009. His father was a professional baseball player. McFadden is listed at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds and also brings some value as a potential punt return man. He’s a day three prospect.

On the other side of the football is big-bodied wide receiver Brice Butler. Butler is a former USC Trojan who transferred to San Diego State prior to the season. Butler is listed at 6-3, 205 pounds. He didn’t have the big season he was hoping for and looks like a late day three pick.


Remember the name Ezekiel Ansah, if you don’t already know it. Ansah is a tremendous athlete. He began his football playing career at BYU in 2010 after growing up in Africa. There was an article in Sports Illustrated about him last month that detailed how raw he was when he began at the program -- from being unable to put on his pads to not knowing any of the rules of football, but he has come a long way.

Ansah has elite athletic ability and terrific size. He is 6-6, 270 pounds and built like two other recent high draft picks -- Jason Pierre Paul of the New York Giants and former Syracuse star Chandler Jones, now with the England Patriots. The success of Paul and Jones will likely benefit Ansah because neither JPP or Jones finished college with impressive numbers. Ansah has 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks with eight passes broken up.

Ansah is the reason you should watch this game (especially if you’re a Giants fan as he looks and pronounces his name like he should be a Giant).

There are a few other prospects to watch on BYU WR Cody Hoffman is the second best one and an early day three pick.

Offensive linemen Braden Hansen and Braden Brown are two potential day three picks on the offensive line for the Cougars.

Linebacker Uona Kaveinga and Brandon Ogletree are two other players who could hear their names called, though they are just as likely to end up as undrafted free agents.

-- Draft analysis provided by Big Blue View draft expert Jesse Bartolis