As I cover the Shrine Game for a third year in a row, this year I will list players on both sides of the ball to watch for in this amazing game that raises awareness for the Shriners Hospital and it’s patients, plus the players that are showing the football world that they can play at the next level of football and put on a show for the people attending the game, watching the game at home, and the folks listening to the game on the radio.
I will give a small scouting report on each player listed.
DaeSean Hamilton – WR – Penn State – East Team
2017 stats – 53 receptions, 857 receiving yards, 16.2 yards per catch, 9 touchdowns
He rarely drops passes, runs clean routes and is a good blocker. Has great footwork and he can catch those bullet passes. One of those guys that can stretch the field without top speed. Great receiver when lined up in the slot.
Jake Wieneke – WR – South Dakota State – West Team
2017 Stats – 65 receptions, 965 receiving yards, 14.8 yards per catch, 16 touchdowns
Great size, plus he runs good routes and positions himself correctly to make a play. Can stretch the field. Jake is a physical runner that is not afraid on crossing the middle of the field.
Jester Weah – WR – Pittsburgh – East Team
2017 Stats – 41 receptions, 698 receiving yards, 17 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns
Weah is a big play receiver that loves to get vertical and his speed helps him achieve those big gains down the field. He has experience in a pro-style offense. Also, he has a big frame and uses it well to box out defenders. Weah goes up for 50-50 balls, plus he is able to snatch passes at the highest point and with good strength.
Riley Ferguson – QB – Memphis – East Team
2017 Stats – 38 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 4,257 passing yards, 63.1 completion percentage
Plays like a gunslinger without the arm strength or decision making ability. Ferguson plays with a short-memory. Also, he is fearless throwing the ball into tight windows. Moves smoothly outside the pocket.
Jeremiah Briscoe – QB – Sam Houston State – West Teaam
2017 Stats – 45 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 5,003 passing yards, 57.9 completion percentage
He possesses solid size on a sturdy frame with adequate athletic ability. Great football intelligence. When he goes through progressions, he does a very good job of analyzing the entire field and making good decisions with the football.
Quinton Flowers – QB – USF – East Team
2017 Passing Stats – 25 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 2,911 yards, 53.1 completion percentage
2017 Rushing Stats – 1,078 yards, 5.5 yards per carry, 11 touchdowns
Quick and aggressive passer that can extend plays with his legs. A real dual-threat quarterback. Smart player that plays with a ton of toughness.
Nic Shimonek – QB – Texas Tech – West Team
2017 Stats – 33 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 3,963 passing yards, 66.5 completion percentage
Great intangibles and mentality. Hard worker. Can become a good quarterback with time. Inexperienced (one-year starter). Big frame that teams will like. Traditional drop-back passer. He moves well in the pocket and has a good sense for pressure as he creates extra time to get the ball out.
J.T. Barrett – QB – Ohio State – East Team
2017 Passing Stats – 35 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 3,042 yards, 64.6 completion percentage
2017 Rushing Stats – 809 yards, 4.9 yards per carry, 12 touchdowns
Touch passer that can read and diagnose defensive coverages. Experienced leader that moves well around the pocket and can escape pressure with his legs to pick up yardage, whether it is making an off balanced throw or scrambling. Will complete mostly all of his short to mid-range passes.
Blake Mack – TE – Arkansas State – West Team
2017 Stats – 48 receptions, 618 receiving yards, 12.9 yards per catch, 7 touchdowns
Modern day tight end. Lean and natural receiver. He understands spacing and timing on routes, is a tough match-up for linebackers, and runs clean routes. Stretches the field. Not the best blocker, but will give it his all.
Cam Serigne – TE – Wake Forest – East Team
2017 Stats – 44 receptions, 556 receiving yards, 12.6 yards per catch, 9 touchdowns
Productive tight end since his freshman year at Wake Forest. Good speed that helps him run clean routes to perfection. Not a blocker. He has some stop and start ability that allows him to stun defenders and get vertical. Great hands.
D’Ernest Johnson – RB – USF – East Team
2017 Rushing Stats – 796 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, 7 touchdowns
2017 Receiving Stats – 11 receptions, 153 yards, 13.9 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns
Johnson played in a bigger role this year after the departure of Marlon Mack to the NFL. He is a true change-of-pace back and do it all type. He can catch passes, pick up blitzes, and run the rock. Also, he returns punts and kicks.
Justin Jackson – RB – Northwestern – West Team
2017 Rushing Stats – 1,311 yards, 4.6 yards per carry, 11 touchdowns
2017 Receiving Stats – 44 receptions, 276 yards, 6.3 yards per catch, 0 touchdowns
JJ is a shifty back that has a nice stiff arm, plus he can come out of the backfield to catch passes and block as well as any other top collegiate runner. Opposition defenses stacked the box against him, as Northwestern’s passing game was on the down side.
Ralph Webb – RB – Vanderbilt – East Team
2017 Rushing Stats – 831 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, 10 touchdowns
2017 Receiving Stats – 13 receptions, 188 yards, 14.5 yards per catch, 1 touchdown
Webb plays with a chip on his shoulder every time and will never give up to try and achieve his goals. Has good vision and speed. Could be a running back to keep an eye on this week. SEC star at Vanderbilt.
Chase Edmonds – RB – Fordham – East Team
2017 Rushing Stats – 577 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns
2017 Receiving Stats – 11 receptions, 129 yards, 11.7 yards per catch, 0 touchdowns
Edmonds missed some time this year. A productive back in his first three seasons at Fordham. Can change direction well and has the requisite speed to hit top gear when in the open field, he needs to work on his awareness on where the best paths to the open field are.
Zachary Crabtree – OT – Oklahoma State – West Team
Another very experienced offensive line prospect to lookout for in this game. Mason Rudolph’s blindside protector has the length and agility to play as a left tackle, but he might be better suited as a left guard or right tackle. Crabtree is a good run blocker. Right tackle as he has a tackle’s body frame and is good at run blocking, but left guard as he has played on the left side before.
K.C. McDermott – OG – Miami (FL) – East Team
This fellow Hurricane is versatile (has played primarily tackle, but also excelled at the guard position). One of the reasons why the Hurricanes’ run game came alive. He thrives in the run blocking department. As a tackle, has a good bend and can use his length to lock down power rushers. Probably best suited to play left guard, but has put up enough quality tape at left tackle to be considered versatile enough to play multiple positions on the o-line.
Cody O’Connell – OG – Washington State – West Team
Cody is a tall guard (6’9″). He can still play as a guard or be moved to the right tackle spot (depends on scheme). He could be fine as a guard at the next level as most of the time, NFL teams use the shotgun formation a ton and his height will not get in the way of the quarterback’s throwing lane. He is not just a road grader that plows defenders out of the way, but he also excels in pass protection as well and I think Luke Falk can say the same.
Coleman Shelton – C – Washington – West Team
Shelton has anchored one of the best offensive lines in the states. He is another experienced trench warrior in the Shrine Game. The husky is a very smart interior prospect. He is a solid two-way center by holding his ground against nose tackles without the help of double teams and that he can get to the next level effectively on run plays by pulling, especially when leading on outside runs. He is graded as a great pass protector due to the length of his arms. when being set and he can move defenders to make run games without the help of double teams. Excellent in pass protection with the length to use his arms to lock down defensive tackles. Plays alert.