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Plenty of local talent on display in next month's Senior Bowl

Former University of Alabama-Birmingham offensive tackle Matt McCants will play in front of his home fans at next month's Senior Bowl after accepting an invitation to participate in the college all-star contest in Mobile, Ala., McCants' hometown.

The game, a showcase for some of the top players entering the upcoming NFL Draft, takes place Jan. 28 and will be aired live on NFL Network.

"It's awesome," McCants, who graduated earlier this month, told The Birmingham News Friday. "I walk around with a big smile on my face all the time. I'm so honored just to be considered to play in this game. The selections are considered to be the top college players in the country."

Linebacker Courtney Upshaw and center William Vlachos of Alabama also confirmed Friday that they would play in the game, according to Crimson Tide receiver Marquis Maze had already confirmed Wednesday that he would participate.

"I'm very excited," Upshaw said. "When making my decision last year to come back, that was one of the reasons: To have a chance to play in that game."

Alabama plays LSU for college football's national championship on Jan. 9

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