The South Carolina Shrine Bowl coaches took 14 members of our S.C. Top 25 prospects list, a total similar to the 13 taken by their N.C. brethren.
And again, it was a matter of who is a great high school player now—and, according to head coach Lewis Lineberger, who had a strong senior year.
“Some kids who didn’t make it will be great college players in two or three years,” he said today. “But we don’t have two or three years to wait. We have one week.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise absence from the S.C. roster was Calhoun County offensive guard Eric Mack, a 6-foot-3, 325-pound behemoth already committed to South Carolina.
Lineberger would not comment on kids who didn’t make it, but a source close to the selection process said it was primarily because the coaches were looking for smaller, quicker linemen.
Lineberger did say, “We worked awfully hard on our selection process. If a player wasn’t chosen, it wasn’t because we didn’t look at them.”
N.C. coach Jim Oddo felt the same way.
“We probably looked at more than 900 kids, at the combines and on film,” he said.
Finally, each coaching staff narrowed their lists to 44.
Meaning a whole lot of players had to be left off, and possibly ticked off as well.