The college football season may be over but there is still some work left to do for some NFL hopefuls. On Thursday night, we had the East/West Shrine Bowl in Frisco where we saw a total of 24 Big 12 players display their skills.
For those who aren’t familiar, these events are primarily used as camps as players practice for an entire week in front of NFL scouts before playing in a game. It is identical to a bowl game except the teams don’t get weeks of practice before playing the game.
The game was a little one-sided as the West team won 26-11. In fact, if not for a punt return for a score, the East team wouldn’t have even scored a single touchdown. Outside of the two Big 12 quarterbacks playing in this game, there weren’t many skill position players from the conference. Despite that, I wanted to share my top four Big 12 performances from the East/West Shrine Bowl.
1. UCF QB John Rhys Plumlee
Outside of Taulia Tagovailoa, I thought that John Rhys Plumlee was the best quarterback in this game. Plumlee got his opportunity later in the game and on his first possession led the offense to a six-play 78-yard touchdown drive. He finished the drive off with a short touchdown run. Plumlee showed his athleticism on Thursday night and made a couple of nice throws. On one particular pass, he rolled out to his right and threw a beautiful pass right on the money. I am not exactly sure about his draft stock, but I do know that he helped himself by playing in this game. He was also listed as one of the practice players of the week for the West team.
2. Houston DL David Ugwoegbu
I didn’t hear a ton about David leading up to the game, but he certainly made an impact on Thursday night in Frisco. He had a sack and then followed that up with a big tackle for loss on fourth down to give his team the ball back. On that play, David squeezed down on the zone read by John Rhys Plumlee and tackled the running back for a loss. No matter where that football was going, David was all over it.
3. West Virginia OL Doug Nester
It’s not often people talk about offensive linemen during these all-star games, but I felt like Doug Nester deserves a shoutout. He got the chance to get some quality reps at right tackle for the west team. Doug is a guy who has over 40 collegiate starts under his belt and his experience shows in his game. He’s tall and lengthy and got some great push in this game. I know everyone loves to talk about his teammate Zach Fraizer but don’t sleep on Doug Nester.
4. Oklahoma WR Drake Stoops
His stat line may not be the most impressive, but I liked what I saw from Drake Stoops. You could see his effort even when the ball wasn’t going to him. Drake caught a nice two-point conversion for his team and then had a catch late in the fourth quarter. You can say what you want about him, but this guy can play football. Someone is going to get a steal.