December 11, 2007

Scouting the Shrine Bowl: N.C. prospects

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Practice has begun for the 71st annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and the top prospects in North Carolina are preparing to take on the best from South Carolina. Recruiting Analyst Barry Every took in North Carolina's afternoon session and gives his thoughts on some of the top line prospects at the practice.

Expert's View of North Carolina Prospects

R.J. Mattes, 6-6, 260, OT, Robinson

Assets: He is tall and has long arms.

Areas for improvement: Continue to add quality size and strength.

What was most impressive in practice: He truly looks like a technician out there the way he comes out of his stance shooting those arms out and locking onto the defender.

Conclusion: If he continues to add good weight, he will be a superior lineman at the D-I level.

Michael Via, 6-6, 261, OT, Northeast Guilford

Committed to Virginia Tech

Assets: He is very tall for a guard and has begun to add good size to his frame.

Areas of improvement: Continue the trend of adding more size in order to take the pounding he will receive playing in the ACC.

What was most impressive in practice: He really looked good in pass protection, and looks nimble for a big guy when he pulls.

Conclusion: This kid is really making great strides on getting bigger and stronger, if this continues, he will be a real steal for Virginia Tech.

Dwayne Allen, 6-4, 245, TE, Terry Sanford

Committed to Georgia

Assets: Is extremely athletic and catches the ball with his hands.

Areas of improvement: Needs to add some lower body weight. His legs seem a little thin.

What was most impressive in practice: He made an over-the-shoulder catch where he originally looked over his right shoulder, saw the ball wasn't there and adjusted to make the catch.

Conclusion: He will be a mismatch for linebackers to cover in college.

Alex Johnson, 6-2, 300, OG, Sun Valley

Assets: He is already around 300 pounds and looks good holding that weight on his 6-foot-2 frame.

Areas of improvement: Needs to use his arms and hands more at the point of attack.

What was most impressive in practice: He was pulling in a drill and almost pancaked the coach holding the hand shield.

Conclusion: Haven't watched his film yet, but watching him in person it is hard to believe he does not have a D-I offer. His coach said that he is already qualified.

Nick Becton, 6-6, 300, OT, New Hanover

Assets: Not to sound redundant but, GIANT, GIANT, GIANT, and he moves well for a big guy.

Areas of improvement: Only been playing football for a couple years still has a lot to learn about the game.

What was most impressive in practice: That a guy that big can move so well.

Conclusion: The program list him at 6 feet 6, 300 pounds, that has got to be wrong he is closer to 6-8, 330. He has tremendous upside, I don't think he will make an early impact, but if he takes to football, he could be like former Florida State offensive tackle Tra Thomas who was a first round draft pick for the Eagles.

Barry Every is a Football Recruiting Analyst for He comes to after working in recruiting offices for Mark Richt at the University of Georgia, Bobby Bowden at Florida State University and Mack Brown at the University of North Carolina. He can be reached at [email protected]

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