NORTH TEAM MVP
Tony Pike | QB | Cincinnati
Pike was drawing compliments through the week primarily for his physical stature, running ability and basic pocket mechanics--handling the snap, handoffs and footwork. But the buzz around his throwing accuracy was mixed. Although he had plenty of velocity on his throws, he wasn't hitting his receivers consistently.
On Wednesday, Pike looked like he had found his groove. He threw darts at receivers as they crossed underneath, hitting them in the chest and in full stride. The accuracy of his passes on out routes was much improved. And the highlight of his morning came when he dropped a perfectly timed pass in the right corner of the end zone to fellow Bearcat Mardy Gilyard.
Even Pike noticed a difference in the chemistry with his wide receivers.
"The first few days you're learning a new offense, and at the same time you're trying to adjust to all these new players around you," he told Scout.com during a post-practice interview. "You know the distance that they're going to be at on their routes, but you don't know how they're going to come out and how they're going to get there.
"But today, I feel like it came together and the guys have a better feel for the offense. And that made it a better day out here today."
SOUTH TEAM MVP
Riley Cooper | WR | Florida
Cooper has been a bit inconsistent this week. Monday he came out of the gates well with some impressive catches and good routes. Tuesday he seemed distracted, dropping some balls and not gaining as much separation from the defensive backs.
But on Wednesday, he flipped the switch back on and was the most targeted receiver of the day. The South Team quarterbacks obviously noticed that their chances of completing their passes were pretty good if they got the ball to No. 11 today.
West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown tested Riley's alertness with a timing throw that he tossed to the left pylon. Just before the ball arrived, Riley broke his route crisply and turned his head, catching the ball right on cue and taking it in for the score despite tight coverage.
During a two-minute drill, Riley sprinted up the left sideline and gained a few steps of advantage over his defender. Fellow Gator Tim Tebow arched a throw that dropped into Riley's hands in stride for roughly a 25-yard gain. And Riley helped Tebow's completion numbers by abruptly reversing his direction on a pass thrown behind him, leaping with his arms fully extended to keep the ball from sailing by him. And he held onto it despite a somewhat rough landing while still stretched out.
Which Riley Cooper will you see during the game? You'll have to tune in to see. But today, he was the South Team's MVP.
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