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News and notes from Day One of Practices at the 2018 East-West Shrine Game

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What you need to know from day one of the Shrine Game practices.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Weigh-ins

Unlike the Senior Bowl spectacle, Shrine Game weigh-ins are (thankfully) closed to the media. But Eric Galko of Sporting News has done a terrific job hunting down the data for as long as I can remember. Late Monday, Galko dropped some weigh-in numbers on the quarterbacks. Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett checked in at 6’1” 220 with 10” hands. As I suspected, Barrett is a couple (almost three) inches taller than his East teammate Quinton Flowers.

Barrett, in fact, may have been the QB weigh-in winner. Memphis’ Riley Ferguson checked in under 200 pounds (196), and Nick Stevens of Colorado State was just 203. Sam Houston State’s Jeremiah Briscoe and Texas Tech’s Nic Shimonek checked the height and weight boxes (both in the 6’3” 220 range), but have smallish hands. Take these results with a grain of salt. The Shrine Game folks aren’t known for the accuracy of their measurements, but this is just an idea of what scouts are looking for at these things. We’ll have full weigh-in results by the end of the week, and I’ll link to them as soon as they become available.

Quarterbacks

Let’s stick with the quarterbacks for just a second. I don’t want to be too hard on these guys, because it was the first day, and they’re working with unfamiliar receivers and entirely new coaching staffs. Shimonek is the only guy here with fewer than two years as a starter, so they all have plenty of tape out there. I really just want them to play well enough for me to get a decent look at the receivers and defensive backs, and with that in mind, I thought the QBs did ok. For what it’s worth, I overheard more than one person say that Barrett was the best quarterback at East practice today. I would probably give the nod to Stevens as best of the West.

Kentavius Street

I thought Street would have a huge senior season for North Carolina State, but his production dipped a bit in 2017, and missed the cut for the Senior Bowl. So far, at least. The versatile, if undersized defensive lineman was outstanding on Monday, consistently getting into the backfield and pressuring the quarterback from defensive tackle and end. Street is quick off the ball and incredibly athletic. At one point, unfazed by a play action fake, Street leaped high to bat a J.T. Barrett pass, and tipped it to himself for a near interception. I expect Street to fare well in one-on-ones against the O-linemen here, so hopefully we’ll see some of those drills on Tuesday.

Miscellanea

  • Penn State receiver DaeSean Hamilton facing off against South Florida corner Deatrick Nichols was a fun matchup. These are two of the better NFL Draft prospects down here.
  • East coaches were enthusiastic about running backs D’Ernest Johnson (USF) and Chase Edmonds (Fordham). All-star practices aren’t the best showcases for running backs, but both guys made the right cuts, ran hard and finished plays.
  • Slippery Rock defensive end Marcus Martin holds the Division II records for sacks and tackles for loss, and took the step up in competition level Monday in stride, providing consistent pressure off the edge. Martin is on the short side, and I’m guessing the arm length will be less than ideal, but he looks like a legitimately draftable small school stud.
  • Speaking of small school, West receiver Jake Wieneke (South Dakota State) came down with two tough catches on Monday afternoon. He didn’t get much separation, but he was able to haul in a leaping contested catch, and a diving catch down the opposite sideline, both while controlling the ball through contact with the ground. A valuable skill these days.
  • West receivers Devonte Boyd (UNLV) and Bryce Bobo (Colorado) also stood out on Day One. Boyd might be the best route runner on his squad, while Bobo got open from the slot and outside, and drew praise for his blocking.

Finally, shout-out to Louisiana Tech safety Secdrick Cooper, who is gutting this week out with a cast on his right hand. And a number “3” jersey that’s just an “8” with white tape on it: