Shrine Bowl: North Carolina Evaluations recruiting analyst Miller Safrit takes a closer look at some of the key players on the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team. Come inside for an in-depth look at the opposition for the Sandlappers on Saturday at Gibbs Stadium.

Sam Battle is listed at 5-11, and may be about an inch shorter than that, but he is just a ball of muscle with huge arms and active legs around the line of scrimmage. About as big as he can get at 235 pounds, presents an intruiging potential with abiliy to be a blitzing middle linebacker or a grinding fullback. Two injuries in three days are somewhat of a concern.

Quan Sturdivant is playing out of position, so it is tough to make a full evaluation on his potential at his future home of linebacker. Still, as a scout team wide receiver, it is easy to see the unreal athletic ability for a player of that size. Every bit of 6-2/225, he moved well in space making a few catches against the tough North Carolina defensive backs and able to jump out of press coverage easily.

Marcus Gilchrist looks like what a cornerback should look. Trim, compact, and fast, Gilchrist is a dynamic defensive back with a great mental presence and awareness for the game. Feels the wide receiver well to make sure he is in good position before turning around to look for the ball. Makes intelligent gambles on the ball and is more of a knock-down receiver rather than a true pass interceptor. May be closer to 5-10 than 5-11 and needs to add a little more muscle mass to his body, he has the potential be a lock-down corner in a few years.

Tyrell Worthington may be the best overall athlete on the North Carolina team able to jump around between running back and safety very easily. He has a burst that you want from either position, though he is not a big fan of the big contact over the middle as a safety. Probably a better fit at running back, shows great vision and awareness of his surroundings. Listed size of 6-0/185 appears to be about right and is naturally strong with big hands and great form running the ball both to the outside and in the hole.

Justin Byers is a confident cornerback who loves to play close to the line in bump coverage. His experience at playing quarterback this year has helped him quite a bit because he is doing a good job of jumping routes in zone coverage. Not seeing much of a burst or makeup speed yet, but that could be due to a prexisting leg injury dating back to last year. Listed at 6-0, very close to that and may be able to rotate over to free safety in college if needed.

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby surprised me more than anybody on the North team. He is more shifty than expected and running well behind his pads in the hole finding a little more of a crease than any of the other running backs. The offensive line is having trouble giving much room for the backs to run, but Oglesby is able to do a little something up the middle. Lacking the burst to be overly effective with the quick defenses off the edge except in an option offense or other assignment-oriented offenses, still quick and great reaction time in the middle.

Dominique Ellis is an undersized but active strong safety who is excellent in press coverage and makes up ground well against the number two receiver on his side. Will require help against a bigger tight end, but plays well in the air to overcome a few inches in height. Able to play in the box and has a cornerback attitude that just keeps coming back after any bad plays.

It is hard to imagine that the warrior on film is the same John Stamper in person. He looks so unassuming and almost out of place until the pads are put on and he comes up with tackle after tackle against better competition. Very thin, his future size depends on if he ends up at safety or linebacker for Wake Forest, but he certainly looks like he could and should add a good amoung of muscle mass throughout his body. That could make Stamper a scary figure for the Deacs.

Ryan Houston is a bruising player that is getting much time to get a head of steam in this week of practice. There are flashes of brilliance where Houston shows unbelievable agility making the first player miss in the backfield with a simple swivle of his hips and get up to full speed soon thereafter, but he is without the burst once he gets past the first level into the second level where he is tough to be caught from behind. It will be interesting to see how he does in the game with the quick South Carolina defense.

Matt Thompson has a great body for a potential weakside linebacker with broad shoulders and powerful steps in the way he moves around the ball. He has long arms and strong hands to go along with a good mind for the game and leadership on the field. His combination of size and sped could be the final nail in his adding size to move up into the box at East Carolina.

Barquell Rivers is the smartest of the linebackers on either team. Quick to make decision and react to the ball filling the hole well and able to kick out in contain and pursuit on outside run plays. Size is going to be a concern at 5-11 and just over 200 pounds and plays very low to the ground on top of that.

Melvin Ingram
Melvin Ingram has been the most consistent of the North Carolina linebackers with great size and speed to the ball. Once he is able to read the play, he shows a burst to the ball and makeup/closing speed. Good natural speed and overall natural athlete with room to add a lot of muscle mass to both his upper body and lower body.

Tristan Dorty has the ability to play inside linebacker in the game on Saturday, but his potential on Saturdays to come will be as a strongside linebacker. Currently listed at 6-1/230, he looks thinner and maybe a shade taller than that right now, probably in the 215 range but he certainly can get up to that size quickly. He is a smart player with quick hands and can give a big hit in the hole and solid contact on the ball carrier.

Quinn Barham
Quinn Barham is a powerful lineman that looks ready to make the quick move inside with great feet and huge lower body, especially in the backside. Good technique keeping his balance and moves well laterally in pass protection. Can easily see him adding a lot of size in the upper body, which is a necessity for him to be a contributor. Looks to be right at 6-3.

Kwamaine Battle is sort of a stumpy defensive tackle that may have trouble getting up the size to play defensive tackle in the ACC, even in a three technique. Probably better suited for defensive end coming off the edge using his 6-1 frame to his advantage to keep low and away from tackles well off the edge. Would like to see a little more of what type of burst he has outside and less of what he can do against double teams.

Kevion Latham looks like a definite defensive end at the next level with his 6-3 frame and huge lower body. Needs to add muscle mass and if he is indeed 230 then he'll be at 250 by his second year of college. Needs a redshirt year to get that strength because any offensive tackle that is able to get his hands on his pads, Latham has trouble shedding. Very powerful strider, keeps low off the ball, and quick steps getting up the field around the corner. Plenty of room to add weight to his upper body.

Landon Walker
Landon Walker is listed at 6-7, but he is probably an inch shy of that. He still is every bit of 273 and up about 15 very, very solid pounds (especially in his upper body) from his 260 at the combine in Durham last. He is college ready right now and versatile enough to play either side of the ball with footwork to get the backside and strength in both upper and lower body to play the strongside of the line. Strong, big hands, natural bend at the waist in pass protection, and technique has improved. Wins the most improved award in NC for coming along so far from last year to this year.

Kyle Linney surprised me with his size, and is certainly 6-3/285 and will be a solid contributor as a nose tackle in college. He has some skinny legs that will need to add some muscle to before getting pushed back in the middle of he line. Plays very low off the ball and active in the middle with his hands and footwork moving laterally. A bit inconsistent, shows flashes of his potential against the run. Plays hard.

Travian Robertson almost looks like he has the perfect defensive end body for a strongside player. Listed at 6-4/235, he is every bit of that and can get up to 260 quickly with a pretty lean but muscular frame with wide shoulders. Previous injury and use of knee brace is somewhat of a concern. Does not show any problems moving upfield off the ball, but had trouble with lateral movement in bag drills. Equally adept at defending the pass and the run, and able to slash across the face of the tackle off the ball with strength to push through the gap.

Desmond Roberts is a high school center, but I am not sold on his potential at the position because he may be simply out of place there. The combination of his height and very long arms could move Roberts out from the cerebral position to one of the other places along the line. Still have to love that versatility. Needs to add weight to be college ready, but knees are already buckling a little with his current size. Has a tendency to play with his hands low.

Kerry Neal
Kerry Neal is every bit of 6-3 and is exactly the same height as Latham. The two may be the same weight, but Neal hides his size better proportionally. Quick reaction to the ball, able to show a huge burst especially when he is backside on a rollout. Sheds the offensive tackle well, still has a lot of work to do in the weightroom, but can be an impact player if given opportunity on special teams. Mult-year contributor.

Weslye Saunders looks awkward and uncomfortable playing defensive tackle and would be a project at that position. The combination of playing around at wide receiver and just watching his overall athletic abilties through the week, Saunders looks to be a bettr fit at tight end. Listed at 6-5/270, looks to be right at that height and needs to work on his lower body to help along the line of scrimmage. Thin through the ankles and calves but able to get by with good upper body strength and quick feet.

George Bryan is every bit of 6-7, and probably heavier than his 265 pound listed weight thanks to some big legs. Looks like he is slowly growing into an offensive tackle, but with his ability to make some catches in the middle and body control, college coaches may be hesitant to make that move. A lot will depend on jus how much bigger he gets and if he is able to just tone up his body to stay at the tight end position. Very strong hands, good blocker, and would be a tremendous left tackle if he heart is in it.

Dwight Jones
Dwight Jones has the best football body of anybody on the North Carolina team. Certainly a good 6-4 with long arms and amazing body control, Jones needs a fire lit under him at times. Looks tired after three days of practice, but unsure how much of that has to do with playing through Saturday in the playoffs. Soft, strong hands for a receiver, needs to work on his routes and creating space with the defensive back. Best ball-hawking of all receivers on the jump ball.

Steven Howard is a natural pass-catcher and possibly the smoothest of the four receivers. Very fluid in his movement into and out of his cuts, able to make catches in traffic and a brilliant receiver on the edges along the sideline. Body control is a key asset for his game. Listed at 6-3, maybe an inch shorter and certainly thin but able to add a good amount of size to his game. Deceptive speed, but still going to be a possession and red zone receiver.

Chris Culliver is a track kid trying to find his way in the football world, and he's doing a great job of it. His potential is obvious and shows up every once in a while, especially on a 50/50 ball. Has potential to be a safety and the hips of a cornerback. Excellent speed, and has a huge burst getting to full speed quickly. Better in man coverage than zone, he is more of a reaction to the ball type of player. Needs to work on technique and a better feel for pass defense in general.

Jason Barnes, like many former Independence players, is close to reaching his full potential depending on how he continues to work in the weightroom. Route-running is very advanced for his age including head fakes, cutting, and understanding how to find a hole in the zone and spacing with regards to his teammates. Timed at a 4.7 and 4.4 earlier in the spring, acts more like a 4.55 type of receiver when he runs anything with straight speed to it. Not going to be able to get behind cornerbacks consistently in college, so expected to be more of a possession guy. Catches the ball very well and always catches with his hands both outside and inside his body rather than trapping it. Good frame to add some size.

Michael Byrd is a thinner tight end that could play defensive end in college as well. Definitely needs to add overall size, especially for a guy that is more of a blocker than pass receiver. Needs to get stronger in order to create more movement, but blocks well in space and gets to the second level quickly. Tough, competitive, and hardworking.

Tydreke Powell has been the top overall prospect for the North Carolina team throughout the week. Easily 6-2 and possibly 6-3, he looks shorter than that because he is simply a very wide body. Looks to be much larger than he was earlier in the year and could be over 300 pounds at this point. Two-gap player that can be a three technique but probably better over the center in the hole. Very thick lower body, can take on tandem blocks well and able to shoot through the gaps on stunts. Lower body leg strength is obviously a major contributor to his abilities, but quick hands help him in the middle.

SC Prep Nation Top Stories