Shrine Bowl Coach Speak

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Inside Carolina caught up with North Carolina Shrine Bowl assistant coaches David Grant, B.J. Laughter, Adrian Snow, and Russell Stone to discuss the six UNC verbal commitments on their roster – Khris Francis, Nazair Jones, T.J. Logan, R.J. Prince, Brian Walker, and Korrin Wiggins.

Russell Stone, Running Back Coach, on T.J. Logan:

"I would say if Gio [Bernard] goes pro, don't despair. This kid is the best ‘back I've ever seen and I've been doing this a long time. He has a gear that's going to shock you and you can't really appreciate it until you see it in person. And I think he's going to be a great player – God willing he doesn't have any injury. He can do so much more than we're showing – he can throw it and he is the best receiver up in the air I've seen in a while. He's a remarkable athlete and God's blessed him. He's very humble and a great kid. He's won three straight state championships and the last two were pretty much him with a bunch of good-average high school players. He's just a winner and a great character guy.

"If it's up to me, [in the Shrine Bowl] he'll be a reverse guy, screen guy, and we'll get him some carries underneath, and he'll return some kicks. Right now, the rest of the [coaching] staff is not quite at the point where they're ready to do those things. He's the total athlete. The only thing he won't do here this week is throw the ball… And he's as good of a safety I saw this year and he's definitely not playing defense.

"I saw him play three times this year – I went and saw him practice – and I'm very aware how Coach [Johnny] Roscoe used him. And then a year ago, I had the best football team I ever coached and [Logan] came into my stadium at Byrd and singlehandedly beat us. At Northern Guilford, he lined up at five different places and got the ball every play the first five plays of every game. And usually, they were ahead 21-0 by then."

Snow on Khris Francis:

"Khris is exactly what I thought. He's a very smooth runner. He's much faster than he looks, because he's so effortless. He doesn't quite have the explosion T.J. does, but God didn't make many of those. But he's a great up-field runner, gets behind his pads, runs hard, and then he has a really good gear to get away from you. All the guys I choose here, especially these two, catch the ball really well. Khris is a classic [UNC] runner back when they had 1,000-yard runners every year – straight ahead guys. He's probably not quite as quick as Bernard, but the style is similar in getting up and getting square and finding some things. He's not a versatile guy like T.J. is – he'll be a guy behind the quarterback all his career.

"He'll be our between-the-tackles guy [in the Shrine Bowl]… His center of gravity is so low when he runs the ball."

David Grant, Defensive Back Coach, on Korrin Wiggins:

"He's got great knowledge of the game – you can tell he's real comfortable being back there. He flies sideline-to-sideline, hash-to-hash. He has great awareness of where he is and where the receivers are on the field. If the ball is in the air, he's going to be the one to pick it.

"[In the Shrine Bowl], he's the quarterback back there. We put the coverages and the checks on our free safety, so he's going to be back there making sure we get aligned right and everybody knows what their assignment is."

Grant on Brian Walker:

"He's a shutdown corner. And I heard that and I saw that on film before we got him here, but he's something else. He's good with his hands, he's good with his feet, and he does a great job of taking the receiver out of his route.

"[All the receivers] are good down here, so we're not going to lock him onto somebody. But when we go bump-and-run coverage, we expect a lot out of him – we don't expect his man to catch the ball."

Adrian Snow, Offensive Line Coach, on R.J. Prince:

"He's unbelievable athletic. His best football is yet to come – I really firmly believe that. As big as he is, the man can do a split. He can fly around and do some good things. I think he'll only get better."

"We tried him at other positions [along the offensive line] early on, but he's going to be at right tackle. I think it's easier for him to grasp everything if he knows where he's supposed to be. We tried to decrease on what he had to learn by keeping him at one spot. He doesn't have to think as much and he can play."

B.J. Laughter, Defensive Line Coach, on Nazair Jones:

"Nazair Jones is doing a good job. He's playing strong and weak [defensive end], so he's had to learn both. He's very coachable. He's going to be exciting to watch one day. From what he came through – I kept up with that through his coach because he couldn't do any of the combine stuff – and to watch him progress and the attitude he had to get back to where he needed to be just tells you a lot about his character. He's just a wonderful talent. And what's funny, I don't think he's done growing. He's somebody you're going to see on Sunday afternoons.

"[In making the transition from a 4-3 end to a 50 end], he's adjusted well to having somebody block down on him or from getting a double from a tight end and tackle – he looks like he's done it forever. A lot of times, you move a kid that's been on the edge and you put him where somebody is on his outside, it messes with him a little bit. But it didn't happen with him – he adjusted well. He learns so fast – he just sucks up stuff."

Inside Carolina Top Stories