Shrine Bowl Spotlight: E.J. Abrams-Ward

ROEBUCK, S.C. --- After starring at quarterback for Thomasville (N.C.) for the past two seasons, the North Carolina Shrine Bowl coaches have inserted E.J. Abrams-Ward at linebacker, a position he made a name for himself at as a sophomore.

"It's just being back to how it used to be," Abrams-Ward said Monday morning following the Shrine Bowl's first practice. "…[The adjustment is] just being able to refresh my memory as far as coverage-wise, defensive assignments, man-to-man, zone reads – things of that nature."

Abrams-Ward, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, is playing weakside outside linebacker. In North Carolina's 50-defense, the outside linebackers will be asked to pass rush, and play man and zone coverages.

"It's a lot more responsibility against the pass [than usual for linebackers]," Abrams-Ward said. "But we played a lot of that at Thomasville, so I'm familiar with it."

Additionally, Abrams-Ward is listed on the punt and kickoff units. And if anything happens to kicker Casey Barth (Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard), Abrams-Ward will handle the punting duties.

Thomasville was unexpectedly eliminated from the NCHSAA 1AA playoffs in the second round. In the couple of weeks since then, Abrams-Ward was able to concentrate on recruiting and finalized his list of favorites.

"I've finally narrowed it down to four schools," Abrams-Ward said. "That is Boston College, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee."

Helping Abrams-Ward with his reduction was in-home visits with Boston College, UNC, and Tennessee last week.

On Wednesday, Kenny Browning and John Shoop stopped by Abrams-Ward's home for UNC.

"[They talked about] wide receiver," Abrams-Ward said. "They can't promise anything, but they'll give me an opportunity to be able to play as a freshman."

Abrams-Ward has also begun to map out his official visit schedule. Thus far he has dates set with UNC on January 11th and Tennessee on January 18th.

"[I'm looking for] the camaraderie of the team, how the players interact with the coaches, how the players' character are," Abrams-Ward said. "… And how they run their offense, because that's what I'm being recruited as."

Abrams-Ward, who isn't claiming a leader, said he will make his college decision after completing the official visits.

E.J. Abrams-Ward Profile


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