CJ Gearing Up For Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala. -- East Carolina record-setting running back Chris Johnson is among the 100 top senior NFL draft prospects participating in the 2008 Under Armour Senior Bowl this week.

Johnson, who broke or tied 18 Pirate single-game, single-season and career standards at the conclusion of the 2007 campaign and topped the FBS level with 2,960 all-purpose yards, reported to Mobile this past weekend and had his first practice session on Monday afternoon. He will play on the Under Armour Senior Bowl's North squad, which is being coached by Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff.

The players will have one practice per day during Senior Bowl Week, capped off by the 59th annual Under Armour Senior Bowl game on Saturday, Jan. 26. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium and the contest will be nationally-televised by the NFL Network.

Fans will also be able to follow the players' progress through the NFL Network's extensive coverage of this year's Senior Bowl practices, as over 21 hours of Senior Bowl content will air during the week and on game day. NFL Network telecasts will air on Monday through Thursday of the week, including live practice coverage and nightly recap shows in primetime.

Under Armour brings its expertise in performance apparel and rich history on the gridiron to the Senior Bowl athletes in what is essentially the first game of these players' potential NFL careers. With access to the most technologically advanced apparel on the market, participants will be able to perform at optimum levels in the week-long practices and game that are the key tools used by NFL coaches, scouts and training staffs to judge the best talent in the country as they prepare for the draft.

The Under Armour Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game and football's premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South that are coached by the entire coaching staffs from two National Football League teams. The Senior Bowl is also attended by over 800 NFL coaches, scouts and other front office personnel each year.

Over 575 former Senior Bowl players are currently active in the NFL, and the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl rosters features 25 former Senior Bowl players. A total of 90 players from the 2007 Under Armour Senior Bowl were selected in the 2007 NFL Draft, including 12 first-round picks.

The South squad is being coached by San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan and his staff.

Last year, the Senior Bowl produced 12 first-round picks in the NFL Draft, 90 total selections and a top five choice for the seventh consecutive year. 2007 Senior Bowl participant Patrick Willis was named the 2007 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press and is one of 25 former Senior Bowl participants to be named to the 2008 Pro Bowl.

Former ECU receiver Aundrae Allison, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round last spring after competing in the 2007 Senior Bowl, finished the contest with a pair of catches for 22 yards - including a seven-yard scoring grab from Michigan State's Drew Stanton.

Over 575 former Senior Bowl players were on active rosters in the NFL in 2007, that group included the NFL's leading rusher, LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers, its leading receiver in Reggie Wayne of the Colts, its leading tackler in rookie Willis of the 49ers, and the Eagles' Brian Westbrook, who led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage.

The Senior Bowl is also a non-profit, charitable event that has donated over $4.2 million through the Food World-Senior Bowl Charitable Partnership over the last ten years.