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December 18, 2012

Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas awards

MORE SHRINE BOWL: What we learned

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Last week, Rivals.com analysts Adam Friedman and Woody Wommack were in Spartanburg, S.C., for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, which included multiple practices leading up to Saturday's game. Here are their awards:

Best of the Shrine Bowl
Fastest Player
T.J. Logan, RB, Greensboro (N.C.) Northern Guilford:
Easily the fastest player on either team, Logan can go from a standstill to full speed in seemingly no time. His explosiveness and ability to accelerate were noticeably better than every other player's, especially when returning punts and kicks.

Cornerback Chocolate Wilson also deserves to be mentioned because opposing receivers rarely got past him.

STRONGEST PLAYER
D.J. Park, OL, Dillon (S.C.):
Park neutralized almost every defender he got his hands on. One of the biggest and most imposing linemen on the field, Park's impressive strength was on display all week, whether he was pass blocking or run blocking.

Defensive tackle Greg Gilmore was a close second. He was pushing around offensive linemen on almost every snap.

BEST HANDS
Mike Williams, WR, Santee (S.C.) Lake Marion:
Williams caught most of the catchable balls thrown his way. Whether it was short, intermediate or deep routes, Williams was very sure-handed throughout all of the practices and really gained the trust of the quarterbacks.

Malcolm Green showed good hands this week and deserves a mention.

BEST FEET
Tramel Terry, ATH, Goose Creek (S.C.):
Terry was great off the line and ran very crisp routes throughout the week of practice. The future Georgia Bulldog can make cuts on a dime and make defenders miss. On more than one occasion this week in practice, Terry caught a pass in the flat, dodged a would-be tackler and tightroped the sideline.

Mykal Moody was also a great route runner. The way he cut while running his routes caused defenders to hesitate because they were unsure of where Moody would go.

BEST AFTER THE CATCH
Pharoh Cooper, ATH, Havelock (N.C.):
Cooper was all but untouchable with the ball in his hands. Whether he got the ball on a handoff, as a wildcat quarterback or a receiver, he was a threat to take it to the house. He had a 45-yard touchdown run in the game. The South Carolina commit made would-be tacklers look silly in open space.

Tramel Terry was also elusive and took a few catches the distance in practice.

BEST ARM
Noah Suber, QB, Asheville (N.C.) T.C. Roberson:
Suber continually took deep shots and fired lasers to wide receivers during practice. Sometimes the ball would go through the receiver's hands because it was thrown so hard.

Keiston Smith also showed his arm strength, launching some deep balls.

MOST ACCURATE
B.J. Beecher, QB, Concord (N.C.):
Beecher was the most accurate this week, and it was mostly because of his footwork and the timing he developed with wide receivers. Beecher was able to take the snap, drop back and deliver the ball to where it needed to be, putting it in a spot where it was easy for the receivers to catch.

Michael Julian was a little less consistent than Beecher but was still completing many of his passes.

BEST VISION
Romelo Doctor, RB, Summerville (S.C.) Ashley Ridge:
Doctor had a solid week of practice and excelled in the game. He had 27 yards and a touchdown and showed he can see holes before they open. Doctor was good at running inside and outside and finding the cutback lanes.

Larenz Bryant was almost always in the right position and read his keys well. They way he flew to the ball all week made it seem like he knew the play before it happened.

MOST PHYSICAL
Ben Boulware, LB, Anderson (S.C.) T. L. Hanna:
Boulware was the most physical player. Normally, at all-star practices, there isn't any full contact, but the future Clemson Tiger was playing until the echo of the whistle. Players joked on the sideline that they should duck him so they don't get hurt.

Gilmore was aggressive on the defensive line and made sure the offensive linemen knew what he is capable of.

BEST TACKLER
Ben Boulware, LB, Anderson (S.C.) T. L. Hanna:
He may have looked lost at times in practice, but Boulware was all over the field during the game. He had nine tackles and an interception, making his presence felt. Boulware needs to work on his open-field tackling, but he had a solid overall effort.

If Boulware was the best tackler, Larenz Bryant was a close second. He really laid the wood, especially on the kickoff team.

TOUGHEST TO BLOCK
Lewis Neal, DE, Wilson (N.C.) Hunt:
Simply put, Neal is a beast. He was easily the toughest assignment for any offensive lineman, especially in the game. His size, strength and quickness at the snap made him almost unstoppable, and he was disruptive the majority of the time.

Tyquan Lewis played out of position at outside linebacker but shed blocks and made plays plenty of times.

BEST BLOCKER
Tyrone Crowder, OL, Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County:
Though Crowder may not look like a BCS lineman, he plays like one. He had good technique when pass blocking and was very strong when run blocking. Crowder even showed mobility when he pulled on traps and counters.

Fellow North Carolina offensive lineman Patrick Roane showed the physicality, technique and mobility of a BCS lineman.

BIGGEST SURPRISE
Pharoh Cooper, ATH, Havelock (N.C.):
We knew about Cooper's speed and playmaking abilities before Shrine Bowl practices started, but his ability to make defenders miss in space and make catches downfield were much better than anticipated. His athleticism and versatility were a shocker.

After the week of practice that Tramel Terry had, there were high expectations coming into the game. He never lived up to those expectations after fumbling and getting hurt on the opening kickoff.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
Greg Gilmore, DT, Hope Mills (N.C.) South View:
Gilmore was a beast all week in practice but laid an egg in the game, not recording a single tackle. He was pretty much a nonfactor, unable to get off his blocks. Gilmore was very aggressive all week but seemed to get tired and complacent as the game went on.

Devante Covington has a big frame and a lot of potential but was not able to make many plays.
IN THREE YEARS COULD SHOCK
Carlis Parker, QB, Statesville (N.C.):
Parker says he wants to be a quarterback but when he lined up as a wide receiver or defensive back, his natural abilities were easy to see. Parker is a great athlete and, with some work on his technique and footwork, he could become a really good cornerback.

Devante Covington's big frame, quickness and athleticism will serve him well at the next level but he needs to get stronger and study the game more. He's definitely one to watch for as a junior or senior.



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