Find out everything you need to know about Saturday's East-West Shrine game that that will be played at Tropicana Field later today. What players should be on your radar as you watch the game? Get the answers here.
The 89th annual East-West Shrine Game takes place on Saturday after a week of practice in St. Petersburg. NFL executives and personnel from all around the country have been on had to see some the talent from the latest crop of college football seniors. Here is everything you need to know about this year's game.
4:00 P.M. ETWHERE:
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FloridaTV:
The East-West Shrine Game is the longest running college all-star game in the country. A staple in college football since 1925, the game has consistently proven to be a launch pad for players seeking professional careers in the NFL. More than 100 players from the 88th East-West Shrine Game signed with professional football teams in 2013. On average, more than 275 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters each year.
The game has produced players such as running back Zac Stacy, defensive end Michael Bennett, tight end Jordan Cameron, running back Alfred Morris, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, tight end Julius Thomas, wide receiver Cecil Shorts, and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer in recent years.
Following a week of practice preparing for today’s game, the following players should be on your radar as you watch the game Saturday. EASTERN ILLINOIS QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO
One of the players draft pundits were most excited about heading into the week of practice was Jimmy Garappolo, a quarterback from Eastern Illinois. Following an outstanding senior season where he threw for 53 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions and a good week of practice in St. Petersburg, Garappolo has really improved his draft stock. A good performance in the Shrine Game could push him into day two of the draft. LINDENWOOD CB PIERRE DESIR
A player not hyped up a great deal heading into the week was Lindenwood’s, Pierre Desir, but draft pundits and talent evaluators will know his name coming out of the Shrine Game. Gifted with good size (6-0, 197) and athleticism, Desir is a moldable player that an NFL coach would love to get his hands on. FRESNO STATE OL AUSTIN WENTWORTH
Standing 6-foot-4, and weighing 315 pounds, Wentworth has the ideal size and frame for an NFL guard. The Fresno State lineman possesses wonderful footwork and has a nasty attitude as a blocker. Watch for Wentworth as he tries to open up running lanes for the Shrine Game tailbacks. UCLA DE CASSIUS MARSH
Marsh is a high effort player with limited athleticism, but he consistently made his way into the backfield all week long in St. Petersburg. The UCLA senior is a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, but he’s the kind of player that coaches like to have on their squads because of his excellent motor. His best fit is as a defensive end in a 4-3 base defense. Look for him to make plays when the lights come on in Tropicana Field. MISSISSIPPI STATE RB LADARIUS PERKINS
Perkins is a short but shifty back who has been flashing in St. Petersburg this week. The senior running back is a nice receiver coming out of the backfield and is capable of running in between the tackles because of his superb vision. The Shrine Game has produced starting NFL backs in two straight years in Alfred Morris and Zac Stacy, perhaps Perkins or another running back can be 2014’s stud.
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