SPARTANBURG, S.C.- The 74th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas featured many of the top prospects, not only from the states of North and South Carolina, but throughout the country. Here’s one final overview of the event with superlatives and storylines. South Carolina defeated North Carolina, 42-10, in the game Saturday at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College.
Jadeveon Clowney is the top prospect in the country, therefore it's no shocker he was tops at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
The nation’s top overall prospect played like it and was dominant both in the practice session he worked in (he sat out most of the week with a shoulder injury) and then in the game, he was unstoppable and impacted everything the North Carolina team was trying to do offensively.
Top five prospects
Taking everything into account (not just the week of work in Spartanburg)- Shrine Bowl week, high school career, complete body of work (vitals, etc.), here are the top five overall prospects that played in the Shrine Bowl.
1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
2. Stephone Anthony, LB, Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson
3. Charone Peake, WR, Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman
4. Kris Frost, LB, Matthews (N.C.) Butler
5. Brandon Shell, OT, Goose Creek (S.C.)
We will continue to evaluate all prospects (many of these have national all-star games forthcoming and senior film heading our way), but that's how it would shake out right now if we were ranking these guys in order.
T.J. Thorpe is still an excellent receiver prospect (or perhaps a defensive back), but did not make the impact we thought he would during Shrine Bowl week.
Ben Councell, OLB, Asheville (N.C.) A.C. Reynolds
The Notre Dame commit had 13 tackles in the game and blocked a punt. We had been hearing that the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder had had a very good senior season and the week of work at the Shrine Bowl and his performance in the game likely earned his way into the Top247 and a higher numerical grade when final rankings are released.
T.J. Thorpe, WR, Durham (N.C.) Jordan
The North Carolina commit wowed us this summer at the Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 tournament and is impressive on film, so coming into the Shrine Bowl week, we expected him to be a bit more dominant than he was. He’s still one of the top receiver prospects on the East Coast in this class, but may not be quite as elite as we once thought.
Justin Worley, QB, Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern
The 6-foot-4 pocket passer put up staggering numbers and was the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Half the colleges that have evaluated the Tennessee prospect absolutely love him, half do not. As impressed as we were with Worley during his high school season- in particular a nationally-televised win against Clowney’s team where the offense exploded in the second half thanks to several on-the-money throws from Worley, we were equally unimpressed at his showing during Shrine Bowl practices and the game itself. It is going to be very interesting to follow Worley’s career at Tennessee. We think there’s a chance he shines in Jim Chaney’s offense, but that we also may never hear from him.
Julius Pendergrass is a versatile athlete that can help a college program in a number of ways.
Jerrell Armstrong, CB, New Bern (N.C.)
Armstrong had some excellent moments in coverage during the first half of the game on Saturday, particularly against Top247 receiver Charone Peake (Roebuck, S.C./Dorman), who is one of the best receiver prospects in the country. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder is gritty and good in coverage.
De’Edward Burris, ATH, Gaffney (S.C)
Burris played quarterback for his high school team, but projects best as a safety or receiver at the next level. The 6-foot, 175-pounder has good size and speed and is a winner. He will make whatever college takes a chance on him happy.
Julius Pendergrass, CB/RB, Chester (S.C.)
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Pendergrass may have found his position during the week of practice and the game- cornerback. He’s been considered a running back prospect for most of this recruiting cycle and is very good on offense, but could be a potential difference-maker on defense. He flies to the football, is not afraid to help in run support and has excellent hips, feet and ball skills.
La’Quavas Watt, S, Abbeville (S.C.)
It looks like five-star Stephone Anthony will play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Will he be a Hokie or Tiger?
Watt is a Division I talent. He has size and ball skills and is not afraid to be physical. His high school film also checks out. Look for schools to start checking up on him now that his name is out a bit. He was consistently good for the entire week of practice.
Recruiting bottom line
-At this point, Clowney is a projection to South Carolina over Alabama. The buzz during Shrine Bowl week was that it was still one of those two schools, despite visit to Florida State and Clemson on the schedule.
-Five-star linebacker Stephone Anthony (Wadesboro, N.C./Anson) at this point is a lean to Virginia Tech over Clemson. Most of the buzz around the practice field is that he is 60-40 Hokies over Tigers at this point.
-Anthony’s teammate, defensive back Brandon Ellerbe (who we like and think is more than just Anthony’s teammate), still has visits remaining and though he is committed to North Carolina, it’s not etched in stone he ends up there.
-Unless there is some sort of new news that comes out about the NCAA investigation or changes on the staff, the talented defensive tackle duo of Shawn Underwood (Fuquay-Varina, N.C.) and Devonte Brown (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) are still Chapel Hill-bound.
-Four-star athlete Jerell Adams (Summerton, S.C./Scotts Branch) and four-star defensive tackle Phillip Dukes (Manning, S.C.) are likely to end up at South Carolina over Clemson at this point, but official visit to both schools remain in January.
Best group of commits
The Tar Heels had the best group of commits at the Shrine Bowl with Brown, tight end Eric Ebron (Greensboro, N.C./Ben Smith), Ellerbe, running back Travis Riley (Kannapolis, N.C./Brown), offensive guard Jarrod James (Pikeville, N.C./Aycock), Thorpe, Underwood and Williams. If South Carolina can close with Clowney, Dukes, Adams and linebacker Lateek Townsend (Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County), then the Gamecocks will have the better group, but just going by the players who are committed now, North Carolina had the best bunch.