Team StrengthsThe strength for the North Carolina team has been the defensive backfield led by five-star safety Kennan Allen. David Amerson and A.J. Marshall have been outstanding working the corners.
Antwuan Blue has caught several passes in one-on-ones and pass skels as well. Marcus Lattimore has received a lot of praise at running back, but Mustafa Greene is also playing extremely well. Max Elliott has been singled out by the coaching staff as well as the players on the defensive side of the ball.
Anything You Want, CoachMany players for both teams are not only making a transition to a new offensive or defensive scheme, but are playing a position they do not normally play for their high school team.
"It is a big change for me," said Golson. "I have more coverage responsibilities and I have to get outside contain on every play where the tight end is on my side."
Some of North Carolina's defensive backs are making a slight change as David Amerson, A.J. Marshall, and Nate Charest all played safety for much of the season but are practicing at cornerback for periods of time.
Amerson said that he is prepared for the move thanks to the trust of his head coach, who put him at cornerback at times during the year.
"I played at corner for one full game and whenever they needed one big play during a game," he said. "I never asked, I just played wherever he wanted me."
They Found Carver's BayA couple of teammates participating this week will also take their play to the next level together to Central Florida. Cornerbacks Clayton Geathers and Davious Chestnut, from Carver's Bay, are working at strong safety this week.
"Practice has been very intense," said Chestnut. "We are out here learning the defense and trying to learn all the plays. I feel like I have been doing all right. I have a lot to learn. Some of the receivers and DBs have stood out to me."
"I am really glad to be out here," said Geathers. "It's great to compete with these guys. The defense is real strong. I feel like I am doing OK, but there is room for improvement."
David Kelly, assistant head coach and wide receivers coach for the Knights, reeled in the talented duo. Both shared what lured them to the Sunshine State.
Geathers: "UCF is a great place. When we went down there we liked what we saw. I felt like we fit in down there. Plus the fact we can be together down there."
Chestnut: "Pretty much what all he said. I liked everything I saw down there. We fit in pretty good with them."
From Spread To Wing-TTyler Brosius, a three-star quarterback from Tuscola, N.C., passed for 3,400 yards with 34 touchdowns and seven interceptions for his senior season. He amassed 7,895 yards throughout his high school career. He may have a big arm, but he is spending this week running the offense and handing off the ball out of the Wing-T formation.
"You just have to take everything in one practice at a time and try to absorb everything the coaches are telling you," said Brosius. "The Wing-T is different. I have never done anything like it. We ran the spread offense.
"It's good footwork practice. I would say I have been a little shaky out there with it. There is definitely room for improvement. After this, I don't think I'll be running the Wing-T offense anytime soon."
Coach TalkNorth Carolina head coach Jim Oddo (Charlotte Catholic): "The first practice was scary. I thought things would come together quicker than they did. I'll be honest after the first practice I wasn't feeling too good. We banged pretty hard and lost two or three guys to injury.
"I thought today was much better. The guys picked it up. They looked better and a lot sharper than the first day. I am feeling pretty good about it. The offense is getting better. We have some real good talent. It's great to work with these kids who are so quick and agile.
"About all the players out here have impressed me. I'll say the Joshua Snead kid looked really good. K.P. [Kevin Parks] looks good. Most of the big linemen look real good. As far as people who have surprised me I wouldn't say anyone has surprised me. We are just pleased right now."
Fulton's WorldJohnavon Fulton, four-star cornerback from Manning, S.C., is one of the top uncommitted players participating in the Shrine Bowl. Fulton has received plenty of media attention this week especially with a decision coming in January.
Fulton is having a good week, with just a few receivers making some plays against him. He is constantly talking smack to his opposition, but very much respects his opponent. One player who had some success against Fulton Tuesday was Clemson commitment DeAndre Hopkins.
"I felt great out here today," said Hopkins. "I felt in shape. I have good quarterbacks who are getting me the ball. I am just doing my thing.
"I can't do it any other way," laughed Fulton about his trash talking, shortly after telling Hopkins that he was "a possession receiver."
Fulton has decided to push his announcement back to January 2 and will announce between Alabama, Florida and South Carolina at the Under Armour All-America game. He has already welcomed in all three coaching staffs.
"South Carolina came to my house the week before the SEC Championship," Fulton said. "Coach Spurrier and his whole staff were there. It was great. It was a big meeting. It was like we were in a board room. My family was there. We had a real great talk.
"Alabama and Florida both came last week. Coach Saban and coach Burns both came up. We ate some food and watched a movie. We had a real good time as well. Coach Bedford and coach Carter came up from Florida. The meeting went really good as well."
Recruiting Justin ParkerJustin Parker, three-star middle linebacker from Beaufort, S.C., is one of the top uncommitted prospects participating this week. He will take official visits in January and has named his top two as Clemson and South Carolina. Plenty of players are trying to recruit him this week including Clemson commitment DeAndre Hopkins.
"Right now my top two schools are Clemson and South Carolina," said Parker. "I plan to announce my decision on signing day. This week I have been receiving a bunch of pressure from guys who are committed to Clemson and South Carollina.
"I have been trying to recruit Justin Parker," said Hopkins. "He is the linebacker from Beaufort. I have been watching him. He is a pretty good player."
Injury ReportA couple of injuries have occured on the field this week with the teams in full gear the first two days of practice. Kane Sherrill, an offensive lineman from Lake Norman, N.C. who replaced Robert Crisp, has been replaced after injuring his shoulder on Thursday.
Independence offensive lineman Ryan Thompson, who replaced T.J. Leifheit, has a high ankle sprain and has been replaced by Carson Moss from Leesville-Road.
Kentucky commitment Justin Henderson, three-star defensive end from Bamberg-Erhardt, S.C., suffered a concussion Tuesday morning. He will not participate in the game. Chad Hamilton, offensive lineman from Charleston-James Island, is also out of the game with a high ankle sprain.