For the 83rd time, the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas met, as the best from the states of North and South Carolina collide in the annual all-star event down in Spartanburg, SC. Seven Tar Heel signees took the field at Gibbs Stadium on Saturday after a week of practice and special visit to the Shriners Hospital. Here are some important notes surrounding those seven players from the week at the Shrine Bowl.
Ja’Qurious Conley and Tylee Craft Shine in Practices
Both of these guys were standouts for their respective teams throughout the week, both of which were pointed out as one of the players of the day for their teams on Monday by 247Sports writer Charles Power. Conley was all over the field, causing issues for the North Carolina offense all week and making plays on the football all week. While he wasn’t as dominant during the game, Conley still finished with three total tackles and found the end zone on a scoop-and-score on a blocked punt in the second quarter. Craft had a quiet day on Saturday as well, as he was targeted just twice and caught one pass for six yards. During the week of practice, though, Craft was the standout among South Carolina receivers, showing off his ability to create separation with his acceleration off the line of scrimmage and his ability to go up and get the football, something we want to see him do at 6’4. Both of these guys had a big week and showed plenty of upside that should excite Tar Heel fans for their arrival to campus.
Elijah Burris Wins North Carolina Offensive MVP of the Shrine Bowl
Burris was the only Tar Heel commit to not sign early on Wednesday, but he was the star on the field amongst the future Tar Heels on Saturday. Burris carried the ball 21 times for 73 yards and also adding 17 yards on three receptions. Burris looked good and was able to showcase his hard-nosed running style that will counteract the other two running styles of the two early signees the Tar Heels brought in a running back. He was also able to show that he can be a weapon out of the backfield, something that was a bit of a question mark for him heading in. Burris had a strong performance on Saturday and showed that, even though he is ranked lower than the other two running backs in the class, he will be able to compete when he gets on campus.
Ray Rose Makes Nice Impression
One of the most complete performances of the entire week came from wide receiver signee Ray Rose. He had a nice week of practice, having the best overall week of all the receivers in attendance for the state of North Carolina. Rose caught three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown and the lone receiving touchdown on five targets, the most for a North Carolina wide receiver on Saturday. Throughout the week of practice, Rose was able to haul in plenty of receptions over the middle of the field and created good separation with good routes quick acceleration. This was a big week for a receiver that was a bit of a question mark because of the offense he played in at the prep level.
Malik McGowan and Jonathan Adorno Piece Together Nice Performances
The two offensive linemen had solid outings in their week down in Spartanburg. While they weren’t talked about a lot during the week of practice, both guys looked good on Saturday. McGowan played out of position once again at left tackle, but had a great day, looking strong in both running and passing situations. Adorno was able to showcase his athleticism and looked good in run blocking situations. Tar Heel fans should definitely be excited about the future of this offensive line, especially these two in-state additions.