Gary McDaniel

Shrine Bowl Practice Report II

CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel weighs in on another day from the Shrine Bowl practice fields, as the best players from the Carolinas prepare for Saturday's game!

Day three began with a stop by the SC practice field and a quick look at the team as they began drills. The usual suspects from the past two days continued to shine and show the skill that earned them the honor to play in this prestigious event.



If I had to award any player for the day as “standing out” over the others, it would go to Troy Pride Jr. from Greer, SC. The former Virginia Tech commit was absolutely showcasing his skill set on several plays against any wide reciever that challenged him. We saw him take a quick “in route" and jump in and  completely blow it up agianst a much larger receiver. Then, he’s on the boundary against a legit 4.4-speed Malik Grate and played him step-for-step all the way to the endzone. He timed his jump to break that one up as well. Pride was having fun, too. He was very vocal, and I saw him coaching up other DB’s on plays.  For example, I overheard him tell one teammate, “Get your head around."


The offensive line guys were par for the course from the previous two days of practice. John Simpson and Cade Stewart are creating a real tough left side of the line for the Sandlapper squad.  And they seem to be bonding well, as they were laughing and cutting up with each other when not mauling the guys in front of them. I really like what I saw out of Stewart again, playing guard. He was exceptional on plays where he “pulled”  to open the plays up for the running back.  Of note were his communication skills (he played center his senior season), as I saw him on a couple occassions give instruciton to Simpson on the read and call as they set for the play.


Clemson commit Nyles Pinckney showed a great push and toughness when we watched him today. I had a chance to get Nyles to speak on record and will share that conversation with you guys later in the week. 


Also, Yafari Werts continued to impress with his smooth and effortless play at QB in the run game, as well as his time at the slot receiver position. He really looks comfortable there and shows the elusiveness and quickness needed for that position. 


Jayson Hopper again was yeoman-like in his work--it's just another day for the Lexington product.  He does not drop a ball if it's in his catch radius and runs routes with precision, showing real competitive nature on every single play. Hopper is a “baller” in every sense of the word, and he's the most consistent of the wide receivers on the South Carolina squadMalik Grate, the Pendleton standout and Wake Forest commit, is polishing his game every day. He comes from a notoriously run-heavy program where he played both ways. Grate showed his speed on several long pass attempts his way. He's the fastest player on the field not named Tavien Feaster


Speaking of Tavien Feaster, the nation's #1 running back continues to show why he was tabbed with this moniker earlier in the year. He just does everything right and with the ease and awareness of someone advanced for his age. Today he also showed a toughness in pass pro I had never seen before, as I saw him take on a blitzing linebacker and stand him up, dead in his tracks. Incidentally, you will notice in the gallery below that Feaster is wearing a shoulder brace. Do not be alarmed by that. He's worn it all season as a precautionary measure. From the blocks I saw him make in pass protection, his shoulder is in great shape!

A couple of guys we want to make sure and mention for their consistnt play:

Austin Scott of Spartanburg HS (who was honored with WSPA Player of the Year) and K.J. Chamberlain, the Emerald HS (Greenwood) App State commit are both playing at a high level and with high football IQ’s, as coahes where appluading them for their knowledge of schemes and the playbook. 




The Diondre Overton show contiued on the NC pracitce fields. He just takes over his side of the field, and I have yet to see a defensive back that he cannot get past or over to get to the ball. And his ball skills are exceptional. He has great body control, and any jump bal is his. He has impeccable timing when he leaps for those, and he made more than one impressive catch again today. See the gallery below again for the latest Overton snag.


I took a few seconds to talk to kicker/punter Harrison Kiser from Page HS in Greensboro.  Kiser is being looked at by Clemson, UNC and NC State. Clemson views him as a punter, and a preferred walk-on spot is being held for him. Kiser told me he plans on getting back down to Clemson real soon and that he has a “Clemson connection” in ex-Tiger and NFL legend Joe Bostic, who is a friend of his family. Harrison has attened Clemson games going back a couple of years. He told me about sitting with the Bostics in their box for the Louisville game in 2014. Keep an eye on this one as it progresses. The Tigers are looking hard for a punter this go around.


Cornell Powell was again Mr. Consistent. Smooth and polished is the only way to describe the Clemson commit . Crossing routes and moving him in and out of the backfield has been the modus operandi for the North Carolina offense so far. The sets where he’s in the slot and Oveton is out in the boundary are scary scenarios for any defense at this level, as these two present two different and equally deadly skill sets.  Pick your poison if you’re the SC defensive coordiantor. Cornell spoke with us afterwards, and we will put that out for you guys later this week. Don't forget to look for the Recruiting Radar on Friday!


We will continue to cover the Shrine practices through the rest of the week and the game itself on Satruday from Wofford College. Stay tuned!



GALLERY: Jayson Hopper, Tavien Feaster and Cade Stewart Diondre Overton Cornell Powell Nyles Pinckney Troy Priide Jr, Troy Pride defending Malik Grate Mailk Grate WR /ATH Wake Foresr Commit Jayson Hopper Cade Stewart Cade Stewart and John Simpson Cornell Powell and Diondre Overton Cornell Powell WR Clemson Commit Diondre Overton Harrison Kiser Punter Page HS Greensboro, NC Jayson Hopper Tavien Feaster Clemson RB commit Cade Stewart Nyles Pickney Clemson DT Commit Austin Scott App St Commit KJ Chamberlain Top Stories