Hopefully you have been following my practice reports all week and have some ideas of what to watch for this afternoon. But at the risk of shooting myself in the foot let me start the gameday coverage with some projections and other last minute observations.
The good news for most fans is that I still expect both Head Coaches, CHARLIE WEISS and JUNE JONES, to open things up quite a bit with their offenses today. Even though none of the elite QB prospects are on hand here it is a very solid group overall. I would still maintain that with BRANDON DOUGHTY and NATE SUDFELD in tow the West has a potential distinct advantage in this contest offensively. Those tow can really spin the ball and I guarantee JONES has some plays dialed up to take the top off of the East Defense. Even though practice injuries have depleted any semblance of depth within his receiving corps JONES has been effusive in his praise of DEVIN CAJUSTE, JRED DANGERFIELD and especially GERONIMO ALLISON. Out of the backfield DANIEL LASCO and DEREK WATT have also done a solid job all week slipping out to make some nice catches and display serious run-after-catch ability.
For the EAST JOEL STAVE/QB/WISCONSIN has looked like the best overall QB option with good mobility and solid field vision to find his open receivers. STAVE appears to have made solid progress as a QB prospect in 2015 under new Badgers Head Coach PAUL CHRYST. HIs main target should be WR/RASHAWN SCOTT of MIami, who may be the best overall prospect in the game based on practices this past week. He and TAJAE’ SHARPE are likely to lead the East Offense. Meanwhile TE/DARION GRISWOLD has been very impressive with his size, reliable hands and the ability to run over defenders after the catch. JOSH FERGUSON/RB is exceptional as a receiver with soft hands and elusive running after the catch.
A big help to offensive production could also come from some outstanding OT prospects on both squads, which could mitigate pass-rushing DEs, in contrast with last year’s game where Edge Rushers ran wild in the offensive backfields.
From what I saw in practices another contributing factor to more scoring could be a fairly mediocre group of S for both teams. Receivers for both teams were torching secondaries deep all week in practices. The S group simply could not keep up with the receivers in most practices.
So without knowing what the Vegas lines are for this game let me just say, I’d bet the over relative to the final score.
PS Let me add that it may be interesting after the game to see where Colin and I agree and disagree on Top Performers.
Here are some more names to watch for today:
#35 JOHN LUNSFORD K
#71 BRANDON SHELL OT
#74 FAHN COOPER OT
#5 CRE’VON LEBLANC CB
#97 JAVON HARGRAVE DT
#44 TERRANCE SMITH LB
#24 BRIAN POOLE CB
#71 ALEX LEWIS OT
#69 TED KARRAS OG
#86 KIVON CARTWRIGHT TE
#38 DREW KASER P
#67 CJ JOHNSON DT
#97 EBUKA ONYEMATA/DE
#13 PAUL GIONNI LB