Two Badgers have been selected to participate in this year’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena. Both Taiwan Deal and Rafael Gaglianone will look to improve their NFL stock by participating in the eighth annual hosting of the event.
The Collegiate Bowl was founded in 2012 to give prospective players an opportunity to showcase their skills. The weeklong event will allow 112 draft-eligible prospects to display their talents in front of NFL executives and learn the business side of the professional football world. At the end of the week, the two sides will compete in a game on Jan. 19.
Gagliagone was selected to the American team, which will be coached by former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. Gaglianone will look to return to his former self and impress various scouts after having a down year statistically. He finished the 2018 season 10-for-17 on field-goal tries, less consistent than his previous years. With quality NFL kickers hard to come by (a la Chicago Bears) scouts will certainly want to see what the leg on Gags can do.
Deal will join the National team coached by former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice. Deal had an excellent season in 2018 after battling injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons. He was an ideal spell to Jonathan Taylor, racking up 545 yards and six touchdowns, both career highs. Deal was named Comeback Player of The Year for Wisconsin at this year’s senior banquet and capped off his career with a late touchdown in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.