St. Petersburg, FL - To my eye, there’s a whole lot more talent on this year’s Shrine rosters than a usual season. And depending on your position group, there’s a whole lot more talent on one respective roster in this year’s collection of talent. The 2019 Shrine Game offers a lot of OL talent and LB talent in this year’s East Squad.
The West team? Not so much. But instead, you’ll find a plethora of defensive line, wide receiver and running back talent.
In summarizing the West practice on Day 2, that’s where we need to start.
KeeSean Johnson Shines (Again)
Fresno State WR KeeSean Johnson has put together a nice stretch of play in practice, serving up whiffs at the line of scrimmage vs press and catching damn near everything that was thrown his direction.
Johnson has popped off separation on a vast array of routes and showing he has strong functional play speed. A receiver that has concerns centered around his burst, his performance this week has been helpful for his perception. Next up will be the NFL Combine.
Daniel Wise On The Rise
Through two days of practice if you asked me with gun to head which Shrine prospect is most likely to get a call-up to the Senior Bowl, my answer would be Kansas DL Daniel Wise.
Wise has been a wrecking ball in the middle. Today he destroyed multiple pass sets in one on ones, using violent hands and a devastating rip move.
Oh. And he also steamrolled Arkansas State IOL Lanard Bonner with a swat at first contact that was as pretty a win as you’ll see at an All-Star game.
Ozigbo Is Devine
Nebraska RB Devine Ozigbo continues to be one of my favorite sleeper prospects in this year’s class. Today, Ozigbo performed better in team drills and looked ever so smooth in the bag drills.
I have it in good authority that Devine checked in at 219 this week, below his listed 230 pounds, a great number considering he’s still totally rocked up and looks the part.
Ozigbo continues to show versatility as well, he was comfortable catching the football in the individual periods.
Daylon Mack Trucks The Competition
Make that two great performances on the defensive interior today. Texas A&M DL Daylon Mack has been really active this week.
Mack doesn’t have great length but he’s got terrific leverage and showed good shedding techniques in tight quarters.
Mack effectively collapsed the anchor of defenders in one in ones as well. His hand power overwhelmed and out-manned an outgunned group of offensive linemen in today’s festivities.
Hartage Of A Champion
A new name has emerged as a top performer today: Northwestern CB Montre Hartage.
Hartage was physical at the line of scrimmage, living up to his film at Northwestern as an established starter. There was a great interception in the one on ones, Hartage essentially ran the route and showed good hands to pluck the football.
His weakness on tape was his turn and run speed, but if you keep Hartage in the face of receivers, he’ll do very well for himself going forward.
The Quarterbacks Are...Okay
The West team had much more fanfare for their QBs entering the week. For the second straight day, North Dakota State’s Easton Stick had a modest day. Both he and Boise State’s Brett Rypien had pick-sixes today on intermediate routes into the boundary.
Rypien had more good throws, again slotting throws with anticipation and consistently hitting his targets in stride.
Rypien’s arm is fine, he gets better heat on the ball than anyone else on the roster. But his frame will concern teams, as he’s not exceptionally mobile but still undersized.