WMU offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor played in the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl while defensive back Darius Phillips sat out with a sprained ankle.

The Reese’s Senior Bowl showcased a great amount of talent. Many players participating in the game were hoping to give themselves an edge for the NFL Draft in April. Western Michigan University’s very own Darius Phillips and Chukwuma Okorafor were on the North team for this game. Phillips, unfortunately, suffered a sprained ankle earlier this week, resulting in an inability to participate. Okorafor is projected to be one of the more valuable offensive linemen in this draft.

Vance Joseph’s North team squared off against Bill O’ Brien’s South team. Having well-rounded teams go against each other would usually mean that you’d be tuning in for a competitive game. The game would only stay this way for some time. In the first quarter, the South got off to a quick start leading 10-3. Early in the second quarter, running back prospect Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State scored a 73-yard touchdown. Penny was the leading rusher in Division I football this season with 2,027 yards and complimented that nicely with 23 touchdowns.

After halftime, that’s when the South took control of the game. Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, threw two touchdown passes early in the third quarter. The South only lead 18-16 at this point. 16 points would be the maximum for the North, as the South offense exploded. Kyle Lauletta of the Richmond Spiders came out slinging the football. Lauletta threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Chark of Louisiana State University. Chark would finish the game with five receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown.

Lauletta would end up throwing two more touchdowns, and the South had a defensive touchdown as well. 45-16 would be the final, as the South’s quarterback play drove them to a huge victory. Kyle Lauletta would finish 8 of 12, with 198 yards passing, and three touchdowns. He was named the MVP of the game, Lauletta was more than deserving of the award. The Heisman winner Baker Mayfield did not see much playing time in this game. His final stat line was 3 of 7 for nine yards and zero touchdowns. Mayfield’s mother was in the hospital with an undisclosed illness, so he left the game early to tend to his mother as any player would.

Although Darius Phillips was unable to play, you can imagine he is still as ready as ever to participate in the NFL Combine. Okorafor could be a steal in the draft for teams needed help with run and pass blocking. Having two Broncos accepting invitations to this game is quite an honor. Students, staff, and alumni can only hope these two Broncos hear their name called on draft day.

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