The 67th Shrine Bowl of the Carolina’s week kicked off on Saturday as the players gathered in Rock Hill, SC. Saturday is a day in which the players get fitted for equipment for practice and game bowl gear. Some positions met with their coaches then as well. Room assignments and free time are also a part of the schedule.
Sunday is one of the highlights of Shrine Bowl week as the players and coaches visited the Shriners Hospital in Greenville, SC for over two hours. This year the buses arrived around 10:00 am. The South Carolina team made an impression on many at the hospital when South Carolina’s head coach Tommy Davis had all of his players remove their hats as they entered the facility.
Davis is excited about the opportunity to work with in this environment and with this staff. He also indicated that there was a tremendous amount of work that needed to be done on the field, but he wanted to give his players a chance to take in as much as possible with the activities around the Shrine Bowl.
We interviewed 12 players Sunday after their visits with the children and several made a big impression on us. Each day this week we will provide a diary filled with evaluations, recruiting news and information surrounding each practice. On our radio show, “The Overdrive” (WCCP-FM 104.9 3-5PM) we will broadcast live each day from Rock Hill and have interviews with coaches and players daily. However, today we wanted to give you a different viewpoint. Today we want to give you an opinion of several of the young men we met and give you details of their personality.
William Richardson of Sumter, SC is a super nice kid and a credit to Sumter High School. He was selected to attend Boys State, one of the highest honors for South Carolina students, during the summer. Richardson helped Sumter to an undefeated regular-season and a number-one ranking. Sumter lost in the state championship in a thriller to Gaffney. He says that he will set up official visits to Clemson and Memphis in January. Richardson is quiet and soft-spoken, but very intelligent and a true pleasure.
Sinclair Cannon of Greer, SC is another impressive looking prospect for the South Carolina squad. Cannon told us he will play in the secondary this week, but could also play wide receiver at the next level. He actually said he was more comfortable on the offensive side of the football, but will do whatever it takes to win on Saturday. Cannon said he was firm to Tennessee, but he may visit Clemson and Maryland in January. Cannon is also a nice young man who presents himself well in front of the microphone.
Jeremy Burgess of Loris, SC is another extremely impressive personality. Burgess helped Loris to the state playoffs once again this season. He said he played offensive tackle for Loris, but could play tackle or guard next season. Burgess indicated that he would not mind red-shirting at USC next season. He said that Coach Paul Loudsberry has taken over his recruiting for Chris Cosh at USC and he is now firm with the Gamecocks. Burgess is much like many of the prospects from the Pee Dee area in that they seem very genuine.
James Thompson is a Sumter, SC, native. He will take four visits in January to North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson and Florida State. Thompson played left tackle for Sumter this past season and said he is looking at his major and playing time next season. Thompson is another likable young man with a good sense of humor.
Davon Drew of New Bern, NC is an athletic quarterback that could play other positions at the next level. Drew says he is interested in visiting N.C. State and East Carolina. He is playing for his high school coach, Chip Williams, who coached him at New Bern High School. Drew is a little more reserved at first, but he opened up and showed good people skills.
Rod Council of Charlotte, NC is one of the top cornerbacks in the country. Council has already taken visits to Virginia Tech, Virginia, Notre Dame and Michigan. He says he will make a decision in early January. Council had 12 interceptions as a senior at West Charlotte High School. Council is a polished speaker who comes across as another bright young man.
Rafael Little of Anderson, SC is a very shy young man who lets his touchdowns do his talking. Little told us that he is still committed to Kentucky, but he may take an official visit to South Carolina and Kentucky. Little says he hopes to have an impact in the return game this week for the South Carolina squad. Those close to Little say he has great character and has not seen any trouble in his high school days.
Dannell Ellerbe of Rockingham, NC is another of the nicest young men we met on Sunday. His personality made for a pleasant interview. Ellerbe says it is his speed that makes the difference in his game. He will play outside linebacker at the next level. Ellerbe says he will take official visits to Clemson, N.C. State, Georgia and Tennessee.
Jamar Bryant of Rockingham, NC says some schools like him as a defensive back, but he had a very successful year as a wide receiver in 2003. Bryant joked that he and Ellerbe had never raced because they both knew who the fastest was between the high school teammates. He will trip to Clemson, N.C. State and Georgia in January. Bryant was fun to get to know and another very bright prospect.
C.J. Barber of Rock Hill, SC will be making a hometown appearance this Saturday. Barber says that playing in his hometown will add some pressure, but he is looking forward to having friends and family there to support him. Barber will play in the secondary this week. Like many of the prospects we interviewed on Sunday, Barber must have thought it was a television interview because he could not stop smiling. This is yet another very likeable young man with a great personality.
Dorel Scott of Columbia, SC reminds us of some of our favorite personalities from this game in recent years. He could not stop smiling throughout the entire day. He will visit Clemson and South Carolina in January. Scott says he is wide open between both in-state schools.
Terrence Brown of Summerville, SC is perhaps the most impressive person we met all day. He is originally from Utah and has committed to BYU. Brown will enroll as a part-time student at BYU in the fall so his athletic clock will not start. He then will do his mission work with the Morman faith and will not start playing football for a few years at BYU. He is very intelligent and was one of the most interesting people we met on this day.
We will have all the above player interviews on our radio show, “The Overdrive” (WCCP-FM 104.9 3-5PM) beginning Monday, and continuing throughout the week.
The teams will practice twice on Monday at different practice sites. We will have a practice report with player evaluations each day from Rock Hill. We will broadcast each day from Rock Hill throughout the week on “The Overdrive” and will feature over 25 interviews throughout the week including interviews with coaches from colleges like Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee, N.C. State and East Carolina. We will also have interviews with both head coaches from the team in the Shrine Bowl and interviews with players including Leon Hart, Corey Lambert, Lawrence Timmons, Robert Ayers, Brooks Foster, Michael Hamlin, Matt Raysor, Sidney Rice, Kendrick Lynch, Alonzo Middleton, Tremel Kline, Jomar Wright, Vernell Jones, Jamaal Edwards, DeMario Pressley, Marque Hall, and Matt Deese.