December 11, 2006

Shrine Bowl: Monday S.C. impressions

SPARTANBURG, S.C.- The first day of practice for the 70th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas featured many outstanding showings by the prospects on either team. The following is a look at some of the more noteworthy showings on the South Carolina squad from the morning and afternoon sessions on Monday.

Cheraw defensive end Cliff Matthews was the best prospect on the field Monday. In addition to being quick off the edge in pass rush, Matthews is equally skilled and working his way down the line and stopping the dive play. What stands out about the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder beyond his tremendous athleticism and playmaking ability is the fact that he goes hard every play and approaches the game with a great enthusiasm.

Matthews, a Rivals100 prospect who rates as the country's No. 3 weakside defensive end, is committed to South Carolina.

Rivals250 linebacker prospect Scotty Cooper is playing strong safety this week and the 6-foot, 200-pound speedster looked right at home at the position, intercepting three passes during the course of the day. Like Matthews, Cooper approaches the game with a high level of intensity, which allows him to be a big hitter. He also has excellent ball skills and is fast enough to sneak into passing lanes.

West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez attended the afternoon workout session to personally scout Cooper, who is committed to Clemson. Cooper is the nation's ninth-ranked outside linebacker prospect.

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