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Local athletes in bowls
Former Tigers now playing for top colleges
Nicholas Franks - photo by Photo provided.

Three former Bradwell Tigers will be representing the Liberty County community and their respective universities this week, playing at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport La., and the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

Representing the University of Georgia Bulldogs at the Independence Bowl are former Tigers Vince Vance and Nicholas Franks. Representing the University of Minnesota is former Tiger Marcus Singletary.

The Bulldogs will face off against the Texas A&M Aggies in the Independence Bowl tomorrow and Minnesota plays Iowa State on New Year’s Eve in the Insight Bowl.

Vance, a 6’8" 325-pound senior right guard, has appeared in 12 games, making two starts this season, according to the Bulldogs’ Web site.

Franks, 6’2" 210-pound sophomore tight end, made the team’s roster after spending time on the scouting team.

"It feels awesome," he said. "I am going to experience something a lot of people will never get to experience. I truly feel blessed to be a part of this team. We may not have won enough games to make the Bulldog faithful happy, but you can’t knock our fight."

Franks said the Aggies have a prolific offense, but he thinks the Bulldogs can give them quite a dog fight.

As a BI Tiger, Franks’ main focus was baseball where he was named First Team All-Region as a senior and was the team’s captain.

The technology education major has his sights set on coaching high school football and baseball, but for now he said he and his tight knit group of Bulldog teammates are concentrating on a bowl win.

University of Minnesota Gopher senior defensive back, Singletary will be making his second trip to a bowl game and said the experience is awesome.

"Arizona is a very nice place," he said. "God willing, we’ll go out and handle business against Iowa State."

Singletary didn’t get to see much action on the gridiron last season and joined the Gopher squad midway through the 2007 season, but was red-shirted. This year he’s played in 10 of 12 games.

"This last year of football has been special to me," he said. "With God leading the way I lettered this year, played in 10 of 12 games and got to play against talent I always could compete with. Let’s just say I will never forget this experience."

Singletary said his dreams of playing high level football started on Olvey Field and wants kids to know hard work and humility can make dreams possible.

The one thing he lacks now, he said, "Is a winning bowl game."

The Independence Bowl will be televised tomorrow at 5 p.m. on ESPN and the Insight Bowl is on at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the NFL Network.

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