|College stars making impressions at East-West game|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 16 January 2009 08:50|
Daniel is among the college stars in Houston for Saturday's East-West Shrine game, a showcase for players to make an impression on NFL scouts.
Most of the players have been in town all week, mixing practice time with casual meetings with team representatives and prospective agents.
``It's like a job interview,'' said Daniel, who ranked 10th nationally in pass efficiency with a 159.4 rating. ``I think I've had a pretty good week, I think our coaches would tell you that. I just want to go out there Saturday, do my job, show what I can do and hopefully help us win.''
Penn State receiver Deon Butler, Nebraska running back Marlon Lucky, Oklahoma receiver Manuel Johnson, Southern Cal defensive back Kevin Ellison, Rice receiver Jarett Dillard and Houston defensive end Phillip Hunt are among other notable players competing.
Butler likened the game to an audition for a role in a movie or play.
pportunity on a big stage to play against a lot of great players,'' said Butler, the Big Ten's fourth-leading receiver this season. ``It's kind of stressful, knowing they (the scouts) are watching everything you do and not only that, but how you do it - how do you jog to the huddle, how do you catch the ball, stuff like that. You have to have faith in your habits.''
Bobby Ross, who coached the San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions in the 1990s, is guiding the East squad this week. He's put the players through NFL-style practices to give scouts a better feel for what they can do and said he'll give all of his players significant minutes Saturday.
``It's their game, this is their chance,'' he said. ``What we've tried to do is introduce them to the pro game as best we could. They came to this game for that purpose and we've tried to expose that to them.''
The Shrine game has been played every year since 1925, the longest running showcase for college football all-stars. Former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams represented Grambling in 1977 and was inducted into the game's Hall of Fame this week.
Now a personnel executive with Tampa Bay, Williams said the Shrine game remains relevant and required viewing for most NFL scouts.
scouts to really see what they can do.''
If a player makes a good impression in the Shrine game, Williams said, his stock can skyrocket and send scouts scrambling for more information in the month leading up to the combine on Feb. 20. On the flip side, he can damage his profile with a bad performance.
``A kid could jump out at you in this game and you now want to put a little more time in evaluating him,'' Williams said. ``Or some of the kids you might have valued high, in a game like this, might go down. You never know.''
The teams have practiced on the fields next to Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, but the game will be played at Robertson Stadium, on the University of Houston campus.
Proceeds from the game will benefit the Shriners' Hospitals for Children.