Gary McDaniel

Shrine Bowl Practice Report I

CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel was on hand for the Monday and Tuesday Shrine Bowl practice sessions. Here is his report on the best of the best from South Carolina and North Carolina!

I arrived this afternoon to a gorgeous day outside and found both squads ready and in great moods, practicing hard. I can tell you the NC kids mentioned that this is the year they feel they can get back in the win column. I took time to watch both squads, and below you will find my assessment of what I saw today while I was there.


Diondre Overton is a man among boys in the 7-on-7’s. Several times I saw him go up against the Tarheel squad’s top DB’s and win each and every time, making some real eye-opening catches. Clemson commit Cornell Powell looked great too—very smooth and was working the slot with Overton in the 9-man position on the same side of the formation. Look for that to happen a lot on Saturday—sending Diondre deep and moving Powell in and out of space in the flats and in between zones.

B.J. Emmons, the Alabama commit is a stud. See the pics below, as this kid is really put together and uses that thick frame on the field. He was very physical in all his runs and hits the hole hard and with a purpose. He’s not as fast as I would like to see, but in short bursts he’s hard to bring down. If you need someone on 3rd and short, this is surely the go-to guy.

Landon Dickerson was the only OL from the NC team that really drew my attention. They are much bigger on the lines this year versus years past. Dickerson was great in and out of his stances and showed good flexibility. He was quicker than what I had seen on film. Someone is getting a real good looking OL in Landon.


Two Words…Tavien Feaster. The kid was electric! It was at practice, and he was tearing off runs out of the screen game like it was the playoffs. No less than three times, he took a short screen from teammate Austin Scott and left DB’s and LB’s grasping air after juking them out of their shoes. He was drawing oooooh’s and aaaaaah’s from the gathered crowd of players, coaches and a huge continent of recruiting analysts from Scout and all the major networks. Go ahead and get the words “wheel route” impressed into your memory banks, as this will result in the words “touchdown Feaster” in Clemson for a few years to come. This kid is without a doubt the most well-rounded and complete RB prospect I have ever seen at the high school level, and I have seen some good ones.

John Simpson was as advertised. The big man was very physical and moved very well. I was a little disappointed in how he played at times with a “high pad level,” and I think he was a little fatigued at that point too. But he definitely lives up to the press and all the accolades. Another OL we have reported on in the past was also making a big push today. Cade Stewart from DW Daniel was making a lot of noise and also played like it was already Saturday. A number of times, Cade was downfield finishing his blocks and playing through the whistle.

Jayson Hopper again showed why he made the Shrine Bowl squad. A better possession receiver in the state you won’t find. I see a bigger, stronger and maybe faster version of ex-Clemson and NFL star Adam Humphries. And the preferred walk-on offer is still out there from the Tigers. Can you see this kid wearing that #13 one day? Georgia Southern commit Yafari Werts was out there working at both QB and slot WR. They had a specific wild cat package with Werts and Feaster in the backfield together. Talk about a nightmare for the NC defense! Werts is as elusive a kid as you will find running the zone-read, and to have Feaster in the backfield with him? Yikes.

Stay tuned! I have a ton of content to gather and get back to you guys before week’s end, and we will be there in force on game day.

GALLERY: Diondre Overton wth the Catch. Jayson Hopper Lexington High School Troy Pride Greer HS John Simpson Fort Dorchester SC Landon Dickerson Alabama Commit RB BJ Emmons Diondre Overton Werts and Feaster in the wildcat. Wake Forest commit Malik Grate Pendleton HS Austin Scott and Tavien Feaster Spartanburg HS Jayson Hopper Tavien Feaster Overton, Emmons and Powell (Clemson Commit) Overton Top Stories