Typically when you think of senior all-star games at the University level the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and maybe the East-West Shrine Game but after the first of many this up coming February, the Cajun All-Star Bowl will soon be in those conversations. The Cajun All-Star Bowl, which was founded by Bryan Beasley will be played at Lamar University’s Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas on February 12th, 2022. Provost Umphrey Stadium seats up to 16,000 fans and unlike the other games mentioned previously, Beasley is “looking to have a packed out stadium.” In an interview he had with Jordan Zlomislic of JZ Media and the newest addition to the Cajun All-Star Bowl’s media staff Beasley had said, “Beaumont has never had an event like this before. They have some really good football in the area and it will not only help grow that connection that football fans have with the town but also everyone else. Our game is going to be something for everyone from the pre-game tailgate to the game to the half time performance we are super excited to make this happen.”
The Cajun All-Star Bowl will have their first ever game this upcoming February. It will be a four day event, running two practices during the week prior to the game. They will be giving athletes at the event the best coaching and exposure possible to ensure that they don’t only have the opportunity to play at the professional level but also excel at the stage as well. The coaches and staff members on board as of now along with Bryan Beasley include Hal Mumme, who is known for his time at Kentucky, Valdosta State, New Mexico State and has most recently coached professional football in the XFL and The Spring League following his 11 roles played on NCAA coaching staffs, and Melvin Spears who will be the head coach, coaching against Mumme, the other head coach. Spears is an extremely experienced coach like Hal Mumme, having spent time at a number of different football programs over the years including Morgan State, Alabama Stat, Texas Southern, Grambling State and Alcorn State. He won the 2005 SWAC national championship, won the SWAC coach of the year the same year and now looks to bring that winning culture and experience to the next level of athletes at the Cajun All-Star Bowl.
Also on staff are long time NFL players Kevin Smith and Mike Hollis. Smith, a Texas A&M alum played with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys from the 1992 NFL season all the way through the 2000 NFL season. He intercepted 20 passes over the span of 9 seasons in the Cowboys secondary and won 3 Super Bowls along the way. Hollis on the other hand was a place kicker in the NFL from 1994 to 2003. Spending time with the San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and the Jacksonville Jaguars he was able to appear in one 1997 pro bowl and set team records for the Jaguars as the team’s leading point scorer, and field goal kicker. Both Smith and Hollis will play major roles on the coaching staffs for the Cajun Bowl, and unlike other coaches out there have the ability to coach from experience in the largest stage.
Outside of the coaching staff, CFL hall of famer Uzooma Okeke, who was in the CFL from 1994 to 2006 as a player and since a scout with the Montreal Alouettes is a part of the scouting side of things at the Cajun All-Star Bowl alongside David Paine of the B.C Lions front office, Luis Ojeda who was previously with the East-West Shrine Game and Kyle Grove. The staff is like no other and Beasley said he is “extremely excited to be a part of the game and I can’t wait for it to happen.” when I spoke to him regarding the event. He says, “We are looking to use this game as a platform for players. We’re giving athletes the golden ticket when they are invited to play at the Cajun Bowl. They will have exposure to NFL and CFL teams at the event and really, the timing is perfect too. The NFL will have the Super Bowl the very next day and football fans can never get enough football, but what that also means is that the NFL season is over so the staffs around the NFL are focused on the draft. We will be the last of the bowl games before the NFL combine so it will be the last time some scouts see the players play against top tier talent before going into the draft.”
The players that will be found on the field at the Cajun Bowl in February will be 2022 NFL Draft prospects, but the catch with this game, which separates it from the other all-star games is that Bryan Beasley and his staff have come forward and said that they want 22 HBCU football players and 10 Canadian players at the minimum. Beasley told me, “This is going to be a great opportunity for a lot of players. There are a lot of great players that get overlooked by the other games being played before the draft but we want to see that come to an end. We want to provide the best opportunities to players that aren’t given the best exposure. At the game you will see at least 22 HBCU players and 10 Canadians.” He explains, “HBCU’s are generating a lot of hype now with Deion Sanders and others putting them in the spotlight so we want to give them the actual on the field spotlight for the scouts to see. Canadians have always played extremely well in the CFL and we are seeing a lot of them now making that jump in the NFL so we want to get some Canadians from Canadian schools and even those from NCAA schools to come and prove that they can play with some of the best players in the draft class. This will be good for their exposure to the NFL but also good for the CFL to be able to get a better in game look from their favourite draft prospects.”
Overall, this will be a great event and opening it in 2022 after seasons were cancelled and postponed in 2020 and 2021 will have Beaumont, Texas booming come February. Fans, coaches, scouts, players and media get ready for the 2022 Cajun All-Star Bowl. The game looks to be featured on national television and will showcase all of the hidden gems for the 2022 NFL Draft.