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Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas: Takeaways from check-in day

Zacch Pickens
Zacch Pickens

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Year 82 of the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas kicked of on Sunday as players from North and South Carolina converged for check-in and registration. While no on-field action happened, plenty of newsworthy items came out of the day’s media availability. analysts Woody Wommack and Adam Friedman share their takeaways from the first day of the event.



Sam Howell isn’t the highest-ranked prospect at the Shrine Bowl but he is the headliner this week because of the drama surrounding his recruitment. The Rivals100 quarterback committed to Florida State in the spring and he said on Sunday that he remains committed to the Seminoles despite the departure of offensive coordinator Walt Bell, his lead recruiter.

That hasn’t stopped North Carolina from pulling out all the stops to get Howell to flip. Howell has been very impressed with Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown and really likes the assistant coaches. Tommy Thigpen and Dre Bly have very strong relationships with Howell but the biggest question he has about North Carolina is who the offensive coordinator will be. Howell has the same question for Florida State.

Both schools have missed out on their top targets for the position and it seems like that could be what pushes him in one direction or the other. One school that appears to be on the outside looking in for Howell is Miami, which made a late push to get in the mix but is likely to far from home for Howell to consider at this point.


Auburn tight end commit Luke Deal said he paid no mind to the rumors surrounding Tigers head coach Guz Malzahn and the departure of offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey won’t impact his plans to sign with the school later this month. When Deal chose Auburn over Clemson earlier this year, some thought the door might be open for the local Tigers to get back into the mix but Deal said Sunday he’s more than ready to make his pledge to Auburn official.


South Carolina’s in-state recruiting efforts continue to impress under head coach Will Muschamp and that was evidenced even further on Sunday as the Gamecocks had several in-state commitments check-in. Five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens, the state’s No. 1 player, is participating in this year’s game, as is four-star Gamecocks commit Cameron Smith. All-told, Clemson has just one commit on either team, while the Gamecocks have four total. Obviously given the Tigers success recruiting nationally, some local players might not have a spot at Clemson but Muschamp and company are clearly taking advantage.


The North Carolina roster was stacked with impressive prospects but the snowstorm that hit the state made it really difficult for players to make it to Spartanburg. About half the North Carolina roster hasn’t made it to Spartanburg yet and the schedule for the week has already been altered. Players like Rivals250 Syracuse commit Lee Kpogba, Duke commit Tony Davis, NC State commit Savion Jackson and many others are expected to make the drive at some point on Tuesday as long as the roads have been cleared enough.


One school that is surprisingly represented at the event this year is UCF, with the Knights holding two three-star commitments from the state of South Carolina in defensive end Dallaz Corbitt and wide receiver Deonte Stanley. Both are intriguing prospects who passed up Power Five options to commit to the Knights, showing the school’s recent on-field success has caught the eye of prospects outside of the Sunshine State. Corbitt, a long athlete with great upside who is new to football after starting his career on the hardwood, said Wake Forest continues to try to get him on campus for a visit but he’s not sure if he will check out Winston-Salem before the early signing period begins.