The annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas will be held on Saturday, Dec. 20 in Spartanburg, S.C. pitting the best of the best from North Carolina against the top players from South Carolina. Defense could be the name of the game as North Carolina and South Carolina are led by defensive ends Donte Moss and Malliciah Goodman, both national top 50 prospects.
Moss, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound five-star prospect from Jacksonville (N.C.) Northside, is listed as a linebacker on the North Carolina roster so it will be interesting to see if he stands up the entire time or if he's used as a down lineman in passing situations. Either way he has the speed and athletic ability to dominate. Moss, a North Carolina commitment, is joined on the North Carolina defense by numerous standouts.
Cornerback Josh Hunter from Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek is also a UNC commitment and highlights the North Carolina secondary. The 6-foot-2, 172-pounder can play cornerback or safety and is a ball hawk. Joining him in the secondary will be Norwood (N.C.) South Stanly cornerback Terry Shankle, yet another UNC commitment, who has arguably the best ball skills in the country for a defensive back. Statesville (N.C.) West Iredell standout Quan Rucker, a Wake Forest commitment, will also be in the secondary.
In addition to Moss, the North Carolina front seven is formidable. Joining Moss at linebacker is fellow UNC commitment Hawatha Bell from Matthews (N.C.) Butler and Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County 'backer Justin Jackson, a Wake Forest pledge. Big linebacker Spencer Shuey from Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg will also be interesting to watch. And up front, UNC commit Jared McAdoo from Chapel Hill, N.C. and Windsor (N.C.) Bertie star Travis Bond are a solid 1-2 punch. Bond. A 6-foot-7, 330-pounder, Bond projects as an offensive tackle in college but will apparently start the week on defense.
Not to be outdone, the South Carolina defense is impressive as well. In addition to Goodman, a Clemson commitment, the defense is deep at numerous positions. The front seven will be led by Goodman and fellow defensive end Sam Montgomery from Greenwood, S.C.. Like Moss, Montgomery is listed on the roster as a linebacker so the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder will likely play some up and some down. South Carolina commitment Justice Cunningham from Pageland (S.C.) Central will be on the defensive line and Florence (S.C.) West Florence star Avery Murray, a Maryland commitment, will line up with Montgomery at linebacker. Tennessee offensive line commitment JerQuari Schofield from Aiken (S.C.) South Aiken will line up along the defensive line for the South Carolina team as well.
The South Carolina defensive backfield appears to be the strength of the defense. Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes safety Justin Bright and Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman safety Walt Canty will patrol the middle while Beaufort, S.C. athlete Jimmy Legree and Greenwood, S.C. stud D.J. Swearinger anchor the outside. Central (S.C.) D.W. Daniel cornerback Jerrodd Williams adds depth to the secondary. Bright is committed to Florida State, Canty is headed to Duke and Williams is a Virginia Tech verbal. Both Legree and Swearinger are South Carolina Gamecock commitments.
Both defenses will be testing by plenty of talent on the offensive side of the football. The North Carolina offense is led by quarterbacks Everett Proctor and Brett Mooring. Proctor, from Fayetteville (N.C.) Jack Britt, is committed to NC State and is a superb athlete while Mooring, from Vanceboro (N.C.) West Craven, is a big pocket passer.
Both quarterbacks will certainly try to get the ball to Rivals100 wide receiver Jheranie Boyd from Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook. The UNC commitment is one of the fastest players in the country and could also impact on special teams. He's joined at wide receiver by Durham (N.C.) Hillside athlete Corey Gattis and Durham (N.C.) Southern Durham wide out Kendrick Wiggins. Gattis will play his college ball at Duke while Wiggins is undecided. Duke commitment Perry Simmons from Raleigh (N.C.) Sanderson will be a big target at tight end.
At running back, North Carolina boasts Lewisville (N.C.) Mount Tabor athlete Hunter Furr, a North Carolina commitment, and Shelby, N.C. speedster Larry Raper. Connellys Springs (N.C.) East Burke athlete Tyler Shatley, a Clemson commitment, will line up at fullback.
And the North Carolina team is very strong along the offensive line. Asheville (N.C.) T.C. Roberson guard Nick Allison, who is committed to South Carolina, Rocky Mount, N.C. lineman Whit Barnes, a Wake Forest commitment, and Bunn, N.C. center Ty Howle, a Penn State commitment, will anchor the middle of the line. Kernersville (N.C.) East Forsyth tackle David Collins, who is committed to North Carolina, joins Rivals100 tackle Xavier Nixon from Fayetteville (N.C.) Jack Britt on the outside. Ahoskie (N.C.) Hertford County big man Will Simmons adds depth. He is committed to East Carolina.
The South Carolina offense might not be as strong up front as the North Carolina offense, but they have plenty of playmakers. Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe athlete Stephon Gilmore will be playing quarterback for the South Carolina squad. The Gamecock commitment will try to hook up with Rivals100 wide out Alshon Jeffrey from St. Matthews (S.C.) Calhoun County as often as possible. Gilmore will have Bennettsville (S.C.) Marlboro County wide receiver Kinsman Thomas and Rock Hill, S.C. star Asa Watson as targets as well.
At running back, Sumter, S.C. speedster Roderick McDowell leads the way. One of the fastest players in the nation, McDowell could be hard for the North Carolina defense to keep in check. McDowell is committed to Clemson.
Up front, Greenville (S.C.) Christ Church tackle J.K. Jay, also a Clemson commitment, leads the way for South Carolina. He is joined by Gaffney, S.C. tackle Denzelle Good, a 6-foot-6, 325-pound NC State commitment and St. Stephen (S.C.) Timberland guard Quinton Washington.
The North Carolina team will be coached by Clayton, N.C. coach Gary Fowler while the South Carolina team will be coached by Anderson (S.C.) Westside coach Ted Luckadoo.