East-West Shrine Game: Offensive Recap

Each year, I look forward to heading to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, so I can finally get a live look at some of the prospects I’ve been watching on film over the last few months. The 94th East-West Shrine Game showcased a solid list of prospects that know this was their opportunity to prove they have what it takes to play at the NFL level.

Last year we saw Justin Jackson of Northwestern and Phillip Lindsey of Colorado burst into the spotlight and producing a full platter of potential during the 2018 East-West Shrine game. Phillip Lindsey rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored nine touchdowns for the Broncos after going undrafted even though the Broncos took Royce Freeman in the third round in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Justin Jackson got to start for the L.A. Chargers and was a serviceable asset on the ground and through the air. Jackson rushed seven times for 39 yards while averaging 5.6 yards per carry in the 2018 Shrine game. He also saw 6 targets as a receiver. The Shrine game might be viewed as a lower tier all-star game but there is untapped potential within a lot of these prospects and that became very evident in the 2019 Shrine game.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHTS

QB Brett Rypien, Boise State

Rypien had a solid showing at the Shrine game, starting out his first series with a couple receptions to Utah State receiver Ron’quavion Tarver and ending the series with a really nice lob to LSU RB Nick Brossette on a wheel route for a 22-yard touchdown. His second series didn’t go so well, ending with a sack by Oklahoma State DE Jordan Brailford. Overall, Rypien didn’t necessarily improve or decrease his stock. He basically proved he is the reliable and consistent quarterback that we have watched at Boise State over the last few years.

QB Easton Stick, North Dakota State

It was an up and down day for Easton Stick, but ultimately this was not the game he was hoping for in terms of showcasing his talent. An interception by Oklahoma State QB Taylor Cornelius led to Easton Stick setting up the play-action at the East 22-yard line, hitting Arizona receiver Shawn Poindexter in the middle of the field for a 22-yard touchdown. That was the highlight of Stick’s day as there were many throws that were inaccurate and he seemed uncomfortable throughout the game. He played in four possessions, throwing for 53 yards. Standing at 6’2” and 221lbs, Stick is an intriguing prospect but there were quite a few weaknesses that were exposed in this game.

QB David Blough, Purdue

Of all the quarterbacks in this game, Blough looked the most comfortable and poised. He did an excellent job of standing firm in the pocket, going through progressions and displaying a quick release with solid accuracy at all levels. He had a few really nice long passes, one deep left to Princeton receiver Jesper Horsted for 38 yards, dropping it right into Horsted’s hands down the sideline. As the starting quarterback for the East, Blough completed 10 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. There was talk all week during practices that coaches were deeply impressed with Blough and he was very impressive during interviews. He has great intangibles which only helps him during the draft process.

QB Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss

Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu reportedly had a solid week of practice and garnered the attention of the Dolphins, who spent quite a bit of time with him during the week according to reports. Ta’amu had a decent game, showing off his competitiveness on a play where he basically made something out of nothing, finding Syracuse receiver Jamal Custis for a first down. Ta’amu has some intriguing traits that he was able to display during the game.

QB Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State

The positive for Cornelius is his frame. He looks the part standing at 6’6″ and 225lbs and when you see him in person, he looks impressive from a size and stature standpoint. The bad, well, he finished 4-of-7 passing for 28-yards and two interceptions. His first INT was on a pass that was intended for Michigan State tight end Matthew Sokol but McNeese State linebacker B.J. Blunt, who had an outstanding game, came up with the INT. The second came as he was targeting Jamal Custis. There were a few mental errors in this game and some passes that went well over the head of his receivers. There were rumblings that the New York Giants met with Cornelius during the week prior to the game, but one must wonder what NFL teams think of him after a 26.8 QB rating to end the Shrine game.

(Taylor Cornelius (#14) Jordan Ta’amu (#10)

RB Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska

Ozigbo was a hot name all week in practices. He showed off his power, vision, and pass catching ability proving he can have a role at the next level. At 6’0” and 235lbs, he shows solid footwork and the ability to be shifty in order to elude contact. During practice, he was able to show off his ability as a pass catcher on short routes and along the perimeter. The strong practices worked themselves into the game as Ozigbo was a solid contributor and ran the ball in for the West’s second touchdown of the game.

RB Nick Brossette, LSU

The infamous wheel route gave way to Brossette scoring the first touchdown for the West on a 22-yard catch from Boise State QB Brett Rypien. Brossette has a solid frame with good play strength which he shows in pass pro and as a very good finisher. The first series of the game was his most active series of the game and he sort of tapered off from there. Overall, Brossette proved he can be a reliable blocker and excellent in pass protection which could help him find a role on an NFL team.

RB Darrin Hall, Pitt

During the 2018 season, Darrin Hall ran for 1,144 yards and 10 TDs. He possesses an NFL ready frame at 5’11” and 225lbs. He runs with physicality and power while also showing some solid lateral movement. He was able to break off a nice run for 39 yards during the Shrine game, displaying patience and decent burst for a back his size.

RB Marquis Young, UMass

An intriguing prospect out of UMass, Marquis Young has solid size and athleticism. His stat line for the game, 10 carries for 54 yards while averaging 5.4 yards per carry, reflects the consistency he possessed during his collegiate career. During Shrine game practices, he showed excellent acceleration and burst into the second level. He was able to put this on display with a really nice 22-yard run up the middle.

RB Ty Johnson, Maryland

Johnson opened the game with really nice back-to-back first downs. His tenacious demeanor and fluid lateral quickness were engulfed in a spotlight on those plays. He plays physical and shows good toughness when taking on contact. He’s not the biggest back, but he has enough athleticism and play strength to be effective on all downs. He also showed he can be a reliable receiver during the game.

WR Terry Godwin II, Georgia

There were reports all week that Georgia receiver Terry Godwin was impressing coaches and displaying his speed. Not only were these reports correct, but Godwin balled out and won Offensive Player of the game. He posted two touchdowns in the game, both from Purdue QB David Blough. He had a bad series where he had the ball stripped by NorthWestern CB Montre Hartage but he didn’t allow that to affect him the rest of the game. Godwin had a breakout season in 2017 for Georgia when he posted a career-high 639 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He doesn’t have prototypical size at 5’11 and 185lbs, but in today’s NFL, his size won’t limit him as a playmaker with use of his speed in space.

WR Jamal Custis, Syracuse

The first thing you notice with Jamal Custis is his size. Standing at 6’5” and 213lbs, Custis has the size to be an impact player in the endzone. During the game, Custis had his share of ups and downs, missing a long pass that would have put the East inside the red zone. He did have a nice first down catch in the red zone on a slant in which he knocked down the defender upon initial contact and ran for extra yards. Custis has the size but is still raw and developing. An NFL team could look to add him as a developmental guy.

WR Shawn Poindexter, Arizona

Poindexter had a great 2018 season at Arizona, ending the season with 759 receiving yards and 11 TDs giving him a breakout season with 31.48% dominator rating. He had a productive day at the Shrine game, hauling in North Dakota State QB Easton Stick’s 23-yard touchdown pass. He ended the day with four receptions for 71 yards.

WR Ron’quavion Tarver, Utah State

Tarver who possesses very good size at 6’3” and 215lbs, had a solid day that started right out of the gate in the first series with two catches for 32 yards. Tarver had a nice reception from Boise State QB Brett Rypien, extending to the ball while maintaining solid body control in stride. He added additional receptions in every quarter of the game, giving him a nice stat line of five receptions for 66 yards.

 

 

 

jdirienzo

College Football Evaluator. Senior Director of Talent Acquisitions 🎧🎙Co-host of the Devy Watch Podcast. Previous student of the Scouting Academy. You can follow me on Twitter at @allpurposescout

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