2014 East-West Shrine Game: Practice Report



2014 East-West Shrine Game: Monday’s West Team Practice Report

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

The second practice of the East-West Shrine was held in St. Petersburg, Fla. under cloudy skies with temperatures in the 60s. The West team is being coached by former Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel. Unlike the East squad led by Jerry Glanville, Crennel had the players in a non-contact practice as they played in shorts, jerseys and helmets. There were also portions of practice dedicated to loosening up, installation, individual position work and special teams. It was a terrible practice for evaluation purposes and perhaps the worst I’ve seen over the past six years.

The West team doesn’t have as much quarterback talent as the East, but Ball State’s Keith Wenning was impressive. He showed off a strong arm with the ability to fire some fastballs into tight windows. Wenning (6-3, 220) doesn’t look as big as his listed measurements, but he had an impressive first day. Scouts and general managers were overheard praising Wenning’s arm strength, so he did his job by commanding the attention of the talent evaluators.

The other player who really stood out with an excellent practice was Baylor tight end Jordan Najvar. He was tremendous and made a number of receptions in the deep part of the field for long gains. Najvar (6-6, 255) had a few catches running deep posts towards the sideline. He showed good body control and concentration to make receptions over defensive backs after they closed when the ball was in the air. Najvar ran some good routes on posts and deep outs.

Najvar and Wenning connected on a few occasions. On one play, Najvar made a leaping grab over BYU safety Daniel Sorensen. Najvar needs a strong week of practice to get noticed. The senior only had eight receptions for 85 yards in 2013. He missed seven games and Baylor’s offense worked the ball to other players. Najvar got his week off to a good start and needs to show some blocking potential in the days to come.




Along the lines, there were a few players who stood out. USC right tackle Kevin Graf had a good debut. He did well in some scrimmage plays against UCLA defensive end Cassius Marsh. On one play, Marsh tried a speed rush to the outside, but Graf rode Marsh around the pocket and into the turf. Late in the practice, Marsh came back to beat Graf with a speed rush to get a sack. Still, the 6-foot-6, 304-pound Graf had a good start to his week.

Marsh’s practice mirrored his senior season in that he started slowly but came on strong to close it out. Marsh received a lot of attention from the scouts after the practice.

Another defensive player who stood out was Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo. He had a good run fill to stuff a carry. Shembo also had an interception on a deflected pass. College teammate Tommy Rees forced a pass into tight coverage, and Shembo was in the right place to catch the deflection. Shembo lacked consistency in his college career, so it is important for him to play well all week.

WalterFootball.com will have more recaps from the East-West Shrine practices on Tuesday and Wednesday along with a run-down of the post-practice team interviews. Follow @walterfootball for updates.



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2014 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's East Team Interviews - 1/15
2014 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's West Team Practice Report - 1/14
2014 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's West Team Interviews - 1/14
2014 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's East Team Practice Report - 1/14
2014 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's East Team Interviews - 1/14
2014 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's East Team Practice Report - 1/13
2014 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's West Team Practice Report - 1/13
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2014 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's West Team Interviews - 1/13













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