USC wide receiver Brandon Carswell, left, and UCLA wide receiver Nelson… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Two players from USC and three from UCLA are among those who will try to catch the eye of pro football scouts Saturday when they participate in the inaugural AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate All-Star game.
The question: Will any NFL teams be watching?
Not in person at the Home Depot Center.
The NFL forbids scouts from attending college all-star games and practices that include underclassmen, league spokesman Greg Aiello said. Miami of¿fensive lineman Brandon Washington and Syracuse safety Phillip Thomas are the only juniors participat¿ing in the game.
The NFL's stance has rankled the players' union, a spokesman telling the Associated Press last week that the union could consider a group boycott "maybe a violation of antitrust laws."
But participants remain unfazed and are looking forward to taking part in a showcase that will be televised by NBC Sports Network (formerly known as Versus) at 3 p.m.
"When I first heard about it," UCLA receiver Taylor Embree said of the NFL scouts' absence, "it was a little bit of a disappointment. But they're going to see all the practices on film and the game is on [TV]. People are going to see it."
Receiver Brandon Carswell and linebacker Chris Galippo from USC and receivers Embree and Nelson Rosario and safety Tony Dye from UCLA are on the National team, coached by Dick Vermeil.
Tom Flores will coach the American team, which features Oregon receiver Lavasier Tuinei.
NFL scouts and player personnel executives have spent the week in St. Petersburg, Fla., for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game, which will include former USC running back Marc Tyler and defensive lineman DaJohn Harris and UCLA tight end Cory Harkey.
The scouts will move on to Mobile, Ala., next week for the Senior Bowl on Jan. 28.
USC players will take part in the school's annual Pro Day workout March 7. The date for UCLA's Pro Day is still to be determined.
The NFL Scouting Combine will be held Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis. The draft is April 26-28 in New York.