East Team Kicks Off Shrine Game Week
The 94th East-West Shrine Game got underway on Monday with the East Team practice. With a bevy of NFL and CFL scouts on hand, the college all-stars went through a 2-hour workout in the mid-afternoon. What was noticeably different this year was the fact that the entire practice was held in Tropicana Field, where the game will be played on Saturday afternoon.
QB – Taylor Cornelius (6’6 232), Oklahoma State: I thought he threw the ball extremely well all day long. Cornelius was able to connect consistently in the intermediate area of the field accurately through the day, in all periods. His arm strength is something that stood out significantly, especially on deeper in-breaking routes. He was really sharp in both 7-on-7 and Team-vs-Team periods.
During OL-DL 1-on-1s, despite the drill being putting the offensive linemen in a disadvantageous situation, a couple of guys were able to win the majority of their battles against the defensive line. Tyler Jones (NC State), Joshua Miles (Morgan State), Nick Allegretti (Illinois) and Ethan Greenidge (Villanova) were stellar.
OL Olisaemeka Udoh (Elon), Martez Ivy (Florida) and Bunchy Stallings (Kentucky) thrived in the team run period.
WR – Terry Godwin II (5’11 185), Georgia: Godwin looked to be playing at a different speed on Monday. He’s very explosive out of his breaks, catching the ball consistently throughout the day. I thought he showed tremendous polish.
WR – Jesper Horsted (6’4 225), Princeton: Like Godwin, Horsted had a really good day catching the football. He moves extremely well for a bigger wide receiver, able to quickly throttle down and snap out of his breaks. He had some really good reps in 1-on-1s and during 7-on-7s.
TE – CJ Conrad (6’5 252), Kentucky: Conrad is a fluid route runner and has above-average acceleration. He is really able to get the defender to open up his hips quickly because of it before breaking off his route to get open.
RB – Jordan Ellis (5’10 225), Virginia: Ellis had a strong day running the football. During the Team Run period, he was able to consistently find the lane both frontside and backside, and quickly get there. He ran with good balance and pad level.
DE – Mathieu Betts (6’3 250), Laval: The USports star started to get acclimated pretty quickly to the American game during 1-on-1s, getting better with every rep. His next test will be to find the same growth against the run.
Speaking of stopping the run, DL Kevin Wilkins (Rutgers), Ricky Walker (Virginia Tech), Cortez Broughton (Cincinnati) and Chris Slaton (Syracuse) were solid in that regard during the Team Run period. Both Wilkins and Broughton had excellent reps in 1-on-1s as well.
I like what I saw from an athleticism perspective during the team periods from linebackers Malik Carney (North Carolina), Tre Watson (Maryland) and Ulysses Gilbert III (Akron). The trio showed good fluidity going sideline-to-sideline, with Gilbert doing a great job attacking downhill in the Team Run period.
A couple of guys in the secondary really stood out during the 1-on-1 period. Corners Rashad Fenton (South Carolina), Michael Jackson (Miami) and Jimmy Moreland (James Madison) looked good throughout the period. Fenton’s speed, Jackson’s ability to play with technique and length, and Moreland’s ball skills were on display and is what stood out the most during the period.
Practice Highlights: Day 1 – East Team
Team-vs-Team Period (Run & Full)