Vinny, Jason and Cornelius couldn’t make it, so Temple running back
HONOLULU (AP) _ Vinny, Jason and Cornelius couldn’t make it, so Temple running back Paul Palmer becomes this season’s Hula Bowl standout by default.
The Hula Bowl used to have a virtual lock when it came to attracking Heisman Trophy winners and other major award winners, as long as they were seniors.
But the recent rise of two other all-star games, the East-West Shrine game and the Japan Bowl, has diluted the talent pool for all-star games. The problem has been compounded by having all three bowl games played this weekend.
Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde is in Tokyo for the Japan Bowl, while Lombardi Award winner Cornelius Bennett and Outland Trophy winner Jason Buck are playing in other games.
Thus Palmer, who finished second behind Testaverde in last month’s Heisman voting, tops the list of 68 Hula Bowlers.
And that’s just fine with the scouts from the National Football League.
″We’re all here to find out how the less publicized players handle themselves,″ said Tom Boisture of the New York Giants. ″That’s basically why you come to these games. You already know how good the good players are.″
Palmer welcomes the chance to display his talents.
″There’s a lot of people who haven’t seen me play,″ said Palmer, who broke Marcus Allen’s record for all-purpose yardage this season. ″As a matter of fact, some people who voted for the Heisman have never seen me play.″
Palmer will play for the East team, coached by Bo Schembechler of Michigan. Wolverine quarterback Jim Harbaugh is expected lead the team’s offense, along with Mississippi State quarterback Don Smith.
Cody Carlson of Bayor and Chris Miller of Oregon will share the quarterbacking for the West, which will be coached by Texas A&M’s Jackie Sherrill.