There’s a strong contingent of locals playing in college bowl games this month. Plenty, actually.
Nine total used to grace the fields in Bakersfield. Four of them are from Liberty High School; three are from Ridgeview — and all play their college ball at Iowa State; one is a graduate of Frontier, while another comes from Independence.
From the Mountain West, to the Pac-12, to the southwest and the midwest, all have found varying degrees of success on the college level.
With that, here’s a local list, the games they play in, and how to watch live:
Colorado State vs. Marshall
GILDAN New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque
Colton Foster, Colorado State defensive lineman: Foster was a dominant two-way player at Frontier High School. He’s also a big dude, standing at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds. Foster has played in eight games this season, and has recorded eight tackles (one for a loss) for the 7-5 Rams. Just a redshirt junior, he still has a year remaining of college eligibility on the defensive front.
TV: 1:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Kansas State vs. UCLA
Cactus Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz.
D.J. Reed, Kansas State defensive back: Reed was a super athlete at Independence who took the hard road to Kansas State. Reed attended Fresno State for a redshirt season, before taking the junior college route at Cerritos College. Then it was off to Manhattan, Kan. where he has emerged at cornerback for the Wildcats. Last year he had 75 tackles, three interceptions and 19 passes defensed. Big-12 coaches selected him as an All-Conference player. Now a junior, Reed is second in the FBS in kickoff return yards (35.3) and punt returns (17.1), while scoring a touchdown in both facets. His efforts in the return game garnered Walter Camp Foundation second team all-american honors. He also has recorded 43 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. A product of hard work. Gotta tip your hat to that.
Krys Barnes, UCLA linebacker: Just a beast of a ballplayer. Barnes played on a standout Liberty team, combining with quarterback Jordan Love (who’s also on this list) for the Central Section Division I championship in 2015. Barnes is a physical specimen (6-foot-2, 250 pounds) who’s just going to get better. That’s saying an awful lot, considering he’s a sophomore starter at outside linebacker on a high-end Pac 12 program. Barnes has recorded 50 tackles on the season.
TV: 6 p.m. on ESPN
Arizona vs. Purdue
Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara
Kurtis Brown, Arizona defensive line: He was a superb player at Liberty, starring on the defensive line while also lining up at tight end and, at times, fullback for the Patriots. Now as a freshman at Arizona, Brown has gotten good playing time, recording eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. After suffering a concussion late in the year, he returned for their season finale against Arizona State. He figures to be active for his team’s bowl game.
Anthony Mariscal, Arizona safety: Another terrific athlete at Liberty — he starred in football and track — who also found his way to Tucson. After appearing in eight games last year as a redshirt freshman, Mariscal has taken the field in five this season and has played a role on special teams.
TV: 5:30 p.m. on FOX
Utah State vs. New Mexico State
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson
Jordan Love, Utah State quarterback: Another Liberty guy on this list, Love was a multifaceted quarterback in high school who could do it all. He has come seemingly out of nowhere for Utah State as a redshirt freshman, leading the team with 1,377 passing yards. He’s also ran for 164 yards and has accounted for 10 total touchdowns. A rising player, his best days appear in front of him.
TV: 2:30 p.m. on CBSSN
Iowa State vs. No. 20 Memphis (9:30 a.m., ABC)
AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.
Kamari Cotton-Moya, Iowa State defensive back: All three of the following players are Ridgeview graduates, headlined by Cotton-Moya. And he’s a good one. The former BVarsity Player of the Year carried that high-level of play right into his career with the Cyclones. The redshirt senior has recorded 60 tackles, a team-high three interceptions, and three tackles for a loss. The Cyclones have also improved during his tenure at the school, highlighted by this year: A 7-5 record with wins at No. 2 Oklahoma (38-31), vs. No. 13 TCU (14-7) and a narrow defeat to No. 17 Oklahoma State (49-42). Iowa State also spent time in the top 25 this season.
Sheldon Croney, Iowa State running back: A straight power back who proved to be hard to tackle, Croney starred at Garces High School before giving Ridgeview a boost. He also was a standout basketball player on the high school level. As a redshirt sophomore for the Cyclones he has 151 rushing yards and has scored a touchdown, while adding six receptions for 51 yards.
Lawrence White, Iowa State defensive back: The 6-foot, 178-pounder brings pure speed to the defensive backfield. White was a former two-way standout at Ridgeview, who also starred in track and field in the triple jump. As a redshirt freshman this year he has made 10 tackles and one pass breakup in 12 games.
TV: 9:30 a.m. on ABC