One of just three January bowl games without a ranked team, the GoDaddy Bowl between Ball State and Arkansas State still has some intrigue as far as NFL prospects go. While Ball State senior quarterback Keith Wenning is the only player from either team invited to an All-Star game, Arkansas State quarterback Adam Kennedy is ranked higher on our board. Both are unlikely to be drafted but could get a chance in free agency.
A player that does have a chance to be drafted is Arkansas State defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers, who we rank as a 6th round prospect. Ball State is favored by 9 points in what has the potential to be a shootout thanks to Wenning matching up with a poor Arkansas State pass defense and the Red Wolves’ strong rushing attack going against an equally bad Ball State run defense.
Ryan Carrethers, DT, Arkansas State, #98, 6’2, 330
A space eater on the inside for the Red Wolves, Carrethers is tough to control at the point of attack and rarely finds himself eliminated from a play. A former wrestler, Carrethers consistently moves centers off the ball lined up as a 0-technique, keeps his head up and sheds quickly to make tackles. He holds his ground well against double teams and has quick hands to swim and penetrate the backfield when he doesn’t engage initially. It’s rare to see a defensive tackle approach 100 tackles in a season but Carrethers did just that with 87 this year, ranking second on the Arkansas State defense. He will need to play a big role in shutting down Jahwan Edwards and the Ball State rushing attack to keep the Red Wolves in this game.
Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State, #10, 6’3, 220
Wenning will be one of three quarterbacks playing for the West in the East-West Shrine Game on January 18, along with Keith Price and Tommy Rees. He operates well in the Cardinals’ rhythm offense, settling nicely in the pocket and thriving on short and intermediate routes to complete over 65 percent of his passes. Despite that accuracy, Wenning’s ball placement isn’t always consistent and he has a tendency to throw balls low or leave them slightly behind his receiver. He maximizes solid arm strength with good mechanics and shows nice pocket awareness, stepping up to avoid edge rushers with enough strength to break through contact. Wenning throws well rolling to his right and has the athleticism to break the tackle box when necessary, though he isn’t a dangerous runner.
Adam Kennedy, QB, Arkansas State, #5, 6’5, 224
After graduating from Utah State and transferring with immediate eligibility, Kennedy poses an intriguing dual threat at quarterback and ran for over 500 yards this season. Rarely does a quarterback with his height show ability in the running game as well and Kennedy is very effective throwing on the move to his right. Within the pocket, Kennedy’s accuracy can be erratic on deep and intermediate passes and he has a tendency to get happy feet if his initial read is covered. He has a good arm and like Wenning, completes a high percentage of passes in an offense that likes to utilize the screen and short passing game.
Other Players to Watch
(JR) Willie Snead, WR, Ball State, #3, 5’11, 193
(JR) Jahwan Edwards, RB, Ball State, #32, 5’10, 219
David Oku, RB, Arkansas State, #25, 5’10, 202