With college football season over, all-star/draft evaluation games are underway and draft-eligible players from around the country, as well as Canada, took part in the East-West Shrine Game today.
The West ended up beating the East by a final score of 24-17, but obviously, that hardly matters; it was about who shined in their game reps.
One of the best performances of the day came from UT-Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman, who went 10-of-15 for 168 yards and a touchdown. Coleman originally signed with Tennessee in 2007 before transferring down to the 1-AA program. The highlight of his day was a nice pass right down the seam to well-covered Chase Ford from Miami (FL) that went for 64 yards.
Coleman’s name has been picking up some momentum over the past week in practices and it was easy to see why today. Analysts like ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected Coleman as a mid-to-late round selection, but he might have helped his stock today.
The other East quarterbacks, Southern Miss’ Austin Davis and Florida’s John Brantley, had good and bad days, respectively. Davis went 7-for-10 and a TD, but Brantly completed just one pass.
It was a rough day for the Gators quarterback.
On the other side, Western Kentucky’s Bobby Rainey showed his explosiveness (six carries, 33 yards) on the ground and had four receptions. Rainey isn’t the biggest running back, but it’s hard to argue his back-to-back 1,600-yard rushing seasons.
Additionally, Arkansas receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs combined for five catches for 76 yards.
Other players who stood out:
- Louisiana Tech running back Lennon Creer led all rushers with 80 yards on 15 carries and a late score.
- Tennessee RB Tauren Poole was all the buzz this week in practice, but ended up with 6 carries for 19 yards — 15 of those came on one run.
- Fresno State’s Devon Wylie had four punt returns for 45 yards.
- Michigan State WR B.J. Cunningham had a touchdown catch off a comeback route. The receiver broke a tackle and waltzed right into the end zone.
- West Virginia’s defense wasn’t as strong statistically as it was last year, but three Mountaineers had good games today. Defensive end Julian Miller had a pass deflection (and near interception) and made a lot of open-field plays. Miller projects more as a pass rusher in a 3-4 defense than a true 4-3 DE. Linebacker Najee Goode and cornerback Keith Tandy also had their numbers called a couple times. Tandy almost intercepted a pass.
- As expected, TCU linebacker Tank Carder was just about everywhere too. The Horned Frogs are really going to miss his presence next season.
- Penn State’s Nick Sukay won defensive MVP.