Friday, December 18, 2009

NC Shrine team secondary crowded with stars

While just about everyone agrees that South Carolina’s Shrine Bowl team has more talent than the N.C. squad, the Tar Heels are loaded in the defensive backfield—particularly at safety.

That’s where Northern Guilford’s Keenan Allen, possibly the best prospect in the state, and Greensboro Dudley’s David Amerson cover the back end of the NC defense like a blanket.
Allen is bound for Alabama and Amerson for N.C. State. The two are so good that they pushed another remarkable safety, Wake Forest commitment A.J. Marshall of Southern Durham, over to cornerback, which is a plus for the North.
All three of these guys are long, lean and remarkably athletic. And, stopping after practice earlier this week, Allen said he’ll help out at CB as well.

“I’ll play both in the game,” he said, and then talked about lining up at safety with former area rival Amerson.

“We’re real friendly. It’s pretty cool. We’ve both covered about the same amount of ground on the field.”

He added that he, Amerson and Marshall have been working on a celebration dance together if it comes to that. Allen wouldn’t give us an early peek, though.

I believe one of the reasons these monster safeties will get corner time is Butler safety Nate Charest, not a big guy but one scrappy football player.

My bet is that South Carolina—which has two remarkable receivers in Clemson commitments DeAndre Hopkins and Martavis Bryant--will have to focus on a short and quick passing game to avoid too many one-on-one deep confrontations with the big boys.

--Stan Olson

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