The East-West Shrine Game is going to be played on Saturday, January 19 at 4 p.m. ET, but players from around the country have already assembled in the Tampa area as practices for each squad started this afternoon.
Generally, the players at the Shrine game come from smaller schools, but don't be fooled into thinking that there isn't talent on the field.
Today was the second day of practice for each side, and the players seem to be getting a sense of what the coaches are looking for from them. Here are some player notes from today’s practice.
Here are the notes from the East team.
Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 6’5”, 310 pounds.
Armstead showcased great footwork in pass protection in today's practice. He has good lateral movement skills and kept his man in front of him throughout practice.
T.J. Johnson, OL, South Carolina, 6’5”, 315 pounds.
Johnson was great in one-on-one drills as he wasn’t beat at all. He was very physical and showed the ability to lock a defender out if he got his hands on them. It was a great day of practice for Johnson.
Mike Catapano, DT, Princeton, 6’4” 270 pounds.
Catapano showed nice power with the bull rush today. He uses good technique with his shoulders and showed good lateral quickness. He blew up a goal-line rollout for what would have easily been a sack.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina, 6’8”, 267 pounds.
Taylor played too tall and allowed the offensive linemen to get into his body today. This was not his best day as he got stoned at the point of attack throughout practice.
Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh, 5’10, 190 pounds.
Graham flashed more of the same today. He ran hard and showed great cutback skills. He displayed good hands and even lined up as a receiver at times.
Scott Vallone, DT, Rutgers, 6’3”, 275 pounds.
Vallone is an all-effort player who had a better practice today then he did yesterday. In team drills, he beat a lineman with a nice swim move and displayed the ability to stack and shed.
Here are the notes from the West team.
Will Pericak, DT, Colorado, 6’4”, 295 pounds.
Pericak physically asserted himself today as he looked powerful with an array of pass rush moves and the ability to push linemen back with his power. He has very impressive gap-penetrating skills and powerful hands. He was dominant today and also showed great effort.
Caleb Schreibeis, DL, Montana State, 6’3”, 252 pounds.
Schreibeis was very explosive in today’s practice. He flashed a very quick first step and ability to bend around the edge. He lined up on the left and right side, showed good pad level and beat offensive linemen into the gap. He showed great power as he pushed tackle Dann O’Neill into the quarterback. He also burst through a gap and caused a fumble by Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams.
Dann O’Neill, OT, Western Michigan, 6’8”, 305 pounds.
O’Neill looks a little out of place from a strength and movement perspective at the left tackle spot. In today’s practice he struggled to move laterally and completely whiffed on a few blocks. He doesn’t keep his weight over his knees and doesn’t play with good leverage.
James Ferentz, OC, Iowa, 6’1”, 288 pounds.
Ferentz was overwhelmed physically in this practice and had a hard time snapping the ball. He was compensating for his lack of strength by trying to get the ball out quicker, and it wasn’t working.
Braden Brown, OT, BYU, 6’6”, 300 pounds.
Brown was dinged up in practice today.
Sam Brenner, OL, Utah, 6’4”, 305 pounds.
Brenner was getting killed by his coaches on today’s practice when he was playing guard. He won’t move his feet and drops his head as he gets into contact. He is transitioning from the tackle position and it will take some time for him to get his bearings.
William Campbell, DL, Michigan, 6’5”, 310 pounds.
When Campbell plays low, he is simply dominant physically—and he showed that today. He made a bunch of nice plays on the interior of the defensive line.