Get excited football fans, TDN is primed to provide you with unparalleled coverage of the East-West Shrine Game. We have five members of our staff (JC Cornell, Trevor Sikkema, Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino and Jon Ledyard) credentialed for the week to deliver you the most comprehensive analysis possible on the practices and games.
Don’t sleep on the significance of the Shrine Game and the NFL talent that is on display. 70 participants from the 2018 Game made final NFL rosters last season. More than 300 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters on a yearly basis. The Shrine Game has produced 77 Pro Football Hall of Famers.
It’s time to give this important event the media coverage it deserves. Practices begin on January 14th and the game itself is on January 19th. To get ready for the event, let’s talk about five prospects I expect to have big weeks.
Devine Ozigbo, RB, Nebraska
A big-bodied bruising runner, Ozigbo blends power components with an impressive amount of burst and lateral quickness. Breaking out under Scott Frost as a senior, Ozigbo has the best season of his career racking up over 1,000 rushing yards at 12 touchdowns.
I expect Ozigbo’s multifacted skill set to turn heads in St. Pete.
Tyree St. Louis, OT, Miami
A three-year starter for the Canes, St.Louis flipped over from right tackle to the left side as a senior. While I was hopeful it would be a breakout season for St. Louis, his results were mixed. With that said, his blend of size, mobility and power serve as a strong foundation to develop from.
With plenty of experience facing all the top pass rushers the ACC has featured of late, St. Louis is tested and offers an exciting toolbox of traits. He’s the type of developmental offensive lineman worth investing in and I expect him to prove why in St. Pete.
DaMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
Lodge is a stud! I love his nuanced route running skills, explosive burst and competitive toughness in how he competes. His ability to beat press coverage and win in the contact window combined with his detailed routes gets me very excited about the type of playmaker he can be in the NFL.
Lodge is my top offensive prospect at the event and the corners in St. Pete will have their hands full trying to mirror Lodge in man coverage. Look for a big week from Lodge at Shrine.
Ricky Walker, DT, Virginia Tech
Playing on a top defense in 2017, Walker go lost in the mix among several other standouts including two first round selections in the Edmunds brothers. In 2018, Walker had a strong season but was overlooked on Hokies team that posted its first losing season since 1992.
But don’t sleep on Walker – legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster labels him an elite football player. Walker projects favorably as a penetration-style 3-technique in the NFL where his burst, motor and ability to shed blocks is accentuated. I expect those traits to lead to a dominant week at the Shrine Game and for some buzz about his ability to be generated from his performance.
Kyle Phillips, DE, Tennessee
A five-star recruit, Phillips was destined to be labeled a bust until he blossomed as a senior under Jeremy Pruitt. Phillips is a strong run defender that does well to maintain his fits and has found success rushing from the interior on passing downs. His frame and play strength are excellent and I’m eager to get a feel for his athletic ability in person. Phillips took over the Auburn and Charlotte games in 2018 and he has the traits needed to shine at Shrine.