Texas Vs. The Nation Game Pairs NFL Draft Talent And Jerry Glanville At Last

The NFLPA's Texas vs. The Nation game in San Antonio features former Falcons coach Jerry Glanville, a few Dawgs, and plenty of NFL Draft sleepers.

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2011 Texas Vs. The Nation Game Rosters Include Kris Durham, Josh Davis, And Vance Cuff

How many more college football all-star games can there possibly be? The Texas vs. The Nation game, put on by the NFLPA and played in San Antonio on Feb. 5, doesn’t feature as many big names as the East-West Shrine Game or Senior Bowl, meaning only the purest of NFL Draft fiends will need to tune in, but at least the Southeast is well-represented.

Yes, it’s an all-star game that pits players with college or high school ties to Texas against those without. It’s like a secessionist International Bowl. And yeah, Texas has actually won two of four.

Here’s a link to the official rosters page, which somebody thought would be a good idea to cut into six pages.

Three Georgia Bulldogs players will play in the game: WR Kris Durham, OL Josh Davis, and CB Vance Cuff. The latter two are going to have a busy February, as they’re also invited to participate in the NFL Combine on Feb. 23.

Also, the coach for Team Not Texas: former Atlanta Falcons maniac Jerry Glanville.

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2011 Senior Bowl: Noel Devine, Clint Boling, Ryan Kerrigan Star

The South has opened it up in the 2011 Senior Bowl, leading 17-0. The new assortment of offensive talent took a little bit longer to reach the end zone than did Miami Hurricanes WR Leonard Hankerson’s crew, but Alabama Crimson Tide QB Greg McElroy and company did manage to score a touchdown.

West Virginia Mountaineers RB Noel Devine ran in the fourth-down score after running up the gut. Hey look, Chan Gailey sent a little back up the middle a few times in a row. Devine was a big part of this drive, as was Kentucky Wildcats RB Derrick Locke at points during the first quarter.

Georgia Bulldogs OL Cling Boling threw in the block of the afternoon on a screen from McElroy to Devine, blasting Notre Dame Fighting Irish DT Ian Williams off his feet. And those are some really big feet.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RB Anthony Allen toted the ball a time or two, looking about the same from seven yards deep as he did from three.

TCU Horned Frogs QB Andy Dalton took over for the final drive of the half, and the farther west we travel for quarterback talent the less productive the South is. Purdue Boilermakers DE Ryan Kerrigan sacked Dalton to basically kill the South’s last drive, and then forced a flagrant hold on the next play by Arkansas Razorbacks RT DeMarcus Love.

Dalton couldn’t even get the ball to Leonard Hankerson! Everybody gets the ball to Hankerson! I’m kidding. Dalton did OK.

Clemson Tigers CB Marcus Gilchrist, Baylor Bears DT Phil Taylor, California Golden Bears DE Cameron Jordan, the two Boise St. Broncos receivers, and Kerrigan are a few of the players Mike Mayock listed as especially impressive near the end of the half.

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2011 Senior Bowl: Christian Ponder, Leonard Hankerson Connect For Sunshine State Score

At the end of the 2011 Senior Bowl’s first quarter, the South has a lead over the North, with the two big plays an out near the goal line from Florida St. Seminoles QB Christian Ponder to Miami Hurricanes WR Leonard Hankerson and a 49-yard lob hauled in by Hankerson on the game’s first play.

If Hankerson’s name seems to be coming up in every update this week, welp — it pretty much is. The big Canes receiver is making himself some money at this event.

The North really hasn’t had the ball very often at all. On the second drive Texas Longhorns DE Sam Acho barreled through Colorado LT Nate Solder to bring down Washington Huskies QB Jake Locker.

The next play ended with a Falcons fan favorite, Boise St. Broncos WR Titus Young, getting popped over the middle and nearly coming down with a tough catch. Two three-and-outs for the North.

Alabama Crimson Tide QB Greg McElroy and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RB Anthony Allen are among the South players in the game as the first quarter ends.

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2011 Senior Bowl Rosters: NFL Draft Prospects Chart For Atlanta Falcons Fans

Complete Senior Bowl rosters here, but a quick look at some potential NFL Draft picks at some key positions for the Atlanta Falcons below. You can't focus on everybody, so here are a few names to monitor. The list of needs has been largely agreed-upon at this point -- and most seem to think the team's biggest need is a pass-rushing complement for John Abraham, not to mention Abe's eventual replacement.

They're also going to need some help in the offensive weaponry department, with Roddy White being the only long-term sure thing in the entire receiving corps, Tony Gonzalez' career drawing to a close, and the running game having no change-of-pace back.

The Falcons are also likely to need offensive line help, as three starters are up for new contracts. It'll be tough to keep all three of them, and somebody's going to have to refresh the lower part of the depth chart as a new starter steps up.

And, as the Green Bay Packers were delighted to point out, that secondary is not quite complete yet. The team is set at safety, but cornerback is another story. I wouldn't expect a first-round selection of a cornerback, but it's hard to imagine there not being at least one new body in camp this summer.

A couple of these first-rounders would be considered slight reaches at this point, but there isn't a lot of first-round senior talent at Atlanta's need positions this year:


First round Rounds 2-4 Rounds 5-7
Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue Sam Acho, Texas Brooks Reed, Arizona
Wide receiver N/A Leonard Hankerson, Miami Dwayne Harris, East Carolina
Offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo, Boston College Marcus Gilbert, Florida James Carpenter, Alabama
Running back N/A Noel Devine, West Virginia Derrick Locke, Kentucky
Tight end D.J. Williams, Arkansas Weslye Saunders, South Carolina Mike McNeill, Nebraska
Cornerback Johnny Patrick, Louisville Shareece Wright, USC Jalil Brown, Colorado
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2011 Senior Bowl Rosters: Leonard Hankerson, Christian Ponder, D.J. Williams Among Week's Practice Stars

Complete rosters for the 2011 Senior Bowl are right here, and here are a few players from around the SEC and ACC who have impressed scouts and observers throughout the week of practices:

Based on raves and reviews, it’s hard to think any player helped his NFL Draft stock more than Miami Hurricanes WR Leonard Hankerson. The six-foot-three, 205-pound wide out was never a superstar in college, though he did put up over 1,000 yards this season. But he’s come on this week, displaying excellent hands and becoming what Mocking The Draft thinks of as the ideal No. 2 receiver.

Shutdown Corner likes Florida St. Seminoles QB Christian Ponder, Alabama Crimson Tide QB Greg McElroy, and Arkansas Razorbacks TE D.J. Williams.

LSU Tigers CB Patrick Peterson is being talked about as a potential No. 1 pick. He’s not playing in the game, but he’s meeting with teams like the Carolina Panthers who — hey, they have the No. 1 pick. He’s also promising eye-popping NFL Combine numbers.

North Carolina Tar Heels CB Kendric Burney and Tennessee Volunteers TE Luke Stocker faced each other in this year’s Music City Bowl. MTD says Burney may have practiced his way into a first-round grade this week, while Stocker could have moved into the second round.

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2011 Senior Bowl Practices: Leonard Hankerson, Derrick Locke Up; Anthony Allen Down

After Wednesday’s Senior Bowl practices, a few clear NFL Draft winners and losers are starting to emerge among the many SEC and ACC players in Mobile. Shutdown Corner lists Miami Hurricanes WR Leonard Hankerson as a very solid performer, meaning the receiver from the U has been impressing all week long.

Mocking The Draft still thinks Hankerson is the second-best receiver at the Senior Bowl behind Boise St. Broncos WR Titus Young.

Kentucky Wildcats RB Derrick Locke gets a Shutdown Corner nod for being a good pound-for-pound blocker, while Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RB Anthony Allen earns a ding for his blocking.

That’s not a huge surprise, as Allen wasn’t thought of as a terrific blocker even in Paul Johnson’s offense, so adjusting back to pro-style reads is going to be harder for him than most. He’s sort of admitted so on Twitter. This isn’t to say he can’t find himself in a more conventional offense — after all, this is the guy who put up 849 total yards as a sophomore at Louisville.

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2011 Senior Bowl Practice Highlights: Christian Ponder, Leonard Hankerson, Ahmad Black Impress

Day 1 is in the books in Mobile and some interesting tidbits of ACC and SEC schools

-Florida State QB Christian Ponder – Has passed every medical test with flying colors. He continues to prove to be the most NFL ready QB in Mobile and will make an NFL GM look very, very smart in late April. He’s an ideal fit in a West Coast offense and has even been compared to current NY Jet Mark Sanchez.

-Miami WR Leonard Hankerson is getting rave reviews. While his height was a mild question mark (apparently he was 2 inches shorter than what was listed in the "U"’s Media Guide), Leonard caught everything thrown in his general vicinity. He could really improve his stock and shake his inconsistent label.

-Boston College Mark Herzlich continues to make plays and will prove a GM very wise. He’s rarely out of position and was called “the best combination of size and instincts” of any player on the field. He showed well and moves around the field to make plays.

-Alabama QB Greg McElroy – Tough day for Mac. He lacks ideal zip on his throws and nearly got former Tennessee TE Luke Stocker’s head take off. Good QBs make throws where their receivers can make plays after the catch. Average QBs try to fit the ball in very tight spaces and don’t “throw their receivers open.”  McElroy would looked very average today.

-LSU CB Patrick Peterson and Alabama WR Julio Jones are not participating in practices but is making the rounds speaking with NFL GMs and personnel guys.

-Florida S Ahmad Black – Black has been called very one dimensional at UF as a Rover run first type player. He’s adding to his resume and flashing strong cover skills and may see his draft stock continuing to creep up the Draft boards.

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2011 Senior Bowl Weigh-In Notes Are The Creepiest Things Ever

One of the best things about college football all-star games like the 2011 Senior Bowl is that NFL teams get a chance to evaluate player physiques on an equalized scale. Up until all-star game season, player measurements are left up to college staffs, meaning you get official claims as wild as a six-foot-eleventeen Georgia Tech safety running a 3.9 40-yard dash.

Thus, Senior Bowl weigh-ins are always a big deal. One of the best sources for this kind of thing, Draft Countdown, lists player heights, weights, and arm and hand measurements, but also includes helpful descriptions of each young man’s shirtless body. So yeah, creepy.

Reading through the list, the first one that jumps out and makes you think, “Oh, so we’re really going there,” is the “Great definition with a six-pack” given to Florida St. Seminoles QB Christian Ponder. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RB Anthony Allen gets just about the same note.

Offensive linemen are credited as having manboobs and bubble butts, Miami Hurricanes DL Allen Bailey is gawked at as an “Adonis,” and LSU Tigers kicker Josh Jasper “looks like a grocery store stock boy.”

(My favorite: Boise State WR Austin Pettis has “extremely average” definition.)

It’s certainly all critical information, yes. But … OK, so there’s no real objection to be made. I read the whole thing like it was the most important news in the world, and I’m not ashamed.

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2011 Senior Bowl Rosters: Anthony Castonzo, Allen Bailey, and Mark Herzlick Headline ACC Players

Head to SB Nation's College Football headquarters to have all your 2011 Senior Bowl questions answered.

The ACC has an impressive 18 players in the 2011 Senior Bowl, coming in second to the SEC's 20 representatives. Headlining the group are OL Anthony Castonzo, DL Allen Bailey, and LB Mark Herzlick. Of the 18 players, 12 are ranked in Mocking The Draft's Top 200

According to SB Nation's mock draft, two of the ACC's Senior Bowl players (and five ACC players total) are expected to go in the first round. Their picks, and reasons:

19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College. The Giants need to begin grooming a better long-term replacement for David Diehl at left tackle; William Beatty has been a disappointment. Tom Coughlin's BC connection is well-known, and Castonzo is a sound technician that could start on either side - but perhaps not right away.    

30. New York Jets: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami (FL). This is the type of player that the ultra-creative Rex Ryan would find ways to use; Bailey is a 285-pound end-tackle 'tweener with the speed to play outside and the strength to play inside. He'd be a jack-of-all-trades in Ryan's system.    

Mocking Dan lists 10 intriguing players, two of whom are from the ACC playing in the Senior Bowl:

Rodney Hudson | G | Florida State: At just under 290 pounds, some don't think Hudson has the bulk to placard in the NFL. We'll find out if the paid professionals think the same if he's lined up at center this week. If he isn't, Hudson will have o display his athleticism to secure his spot in the second round.    

Allen Bailey | DE/DT | MiamiBailey is somewhat of an enigma. He's excellent as a blitzer, but only out of the defensive tackle spot. However, at 285 pounds, Bailey may not have the size to player tackle in the pros. Bailey is a good  3-4 end prospect, but will need to show he can anchor.    

And finally, he has five storylines to watch for, including the battle for top offensive lineman in the draft including Castonzo, the fight for middle linebacker notoriety featuring Nate Irving, and Mark Herzlick and the play of the outside linebackers. 

Two former ACC players were picked to play in the Senior Bowl, but will not be able to due to injuries: North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant and Virginia defensive back Ras'I Dowling. 

Below is a handy chart if you want to follow the ACC players in the game. The rank listed is from SB Nation's Mocking The Draft. It is not a projected draft order, but a rank done by overall talent. 

Team

No.

Name

Pos.

HT/WT

School

Rank

North

74

Castonzo, Anthony

OL

6-7 / 308

Boston College

28

South

57

Bailey, Allen

DL

6-3 1/4 / 278

Miami

29

South

56

Irving, Nate

LB

6-1 1/4 / 242

NC State

42

South

62

Hudson, Rodney

OL

6-2 1/4 / 291

Florida State

44

South

2

McDaniel, DeAndre

DB

6-0 1/8 / 213

Clemson

65

South

99

Jenkins, Jarvis

DL

6-3 7/8 / 309

Clemson

66

North

44

Herzlich, Mark

LB

6-4 / 244

Boston College

75

South

86

Hankerson, Leonard

WR

6-1 5/8 / 205

Miami

82

South

7

Ponder, Christian

QB

6-2 1/8 / 222

Florida State

87

South

46

McCarthy, Colin

LB

6-1 1/4 / 235

Miami

120

North

8

Burney, Kendric

DB

5-9 / 190

North Carolina

132

North

21

Carmichael, Rashad

DB

5-11 / 186

Virginia Tech

144

South

82

Aiken, Danny

DS

6-4 1/2 / 246

Virginia

South

18

Allen, Anthony

RB

5-11 3/4 / 223

Georgia Tech

South

12

Gilchrist, Marcus

DB

5-9 7/8 / 193

Clemson

North

33

Scott, Da'Rel

RB

5-11 / 200

Maryland

North

22

Searcy, Da'Norris

DB

6-0 / 215

North Carolina

South

16

Van Dyke, DeMarcus

DB

6-1 / 185

Miami

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2011 East-West Shrine Game: Marvin Austin Dominates, East Roll 25-8

Not suprising to many, former North Carolina DT Marvin Austin made his presence felt big time in Orlando. He could not be stopped. From our friends at Stampede Blue who describe Austin’s Day and a potential landing spot for the 1st round:

Austin, a North Carolina defensive tackle who was dismissed from the team for his involvement in a messy agent situation, absolutely took this game over. He created havoc up the middle for the entire afternoon, drawing multiple blockers and freeing up other players to tally sacks. Austin also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He was all over the place and the West offensive line absolutely could not block him.

The Colts will have an interesting decision to make with Austin, particularly if they trade down from 22. As a general rule of thumb, the Colts avoid any player with red flags in the character department, and you would certainly think being dismissed from a football team would be one gigantic red flag. But Austin is absolutely first-round talent — he was being touted as one of the top defensive tackles in the nation prior to his dismissal from the Tar Heels’ program — and the Colts could certainly use a player of his caliber in the defensive trenches. Further, as far as I can find, the recruiting scandal is the only knock against him. He doesn’t have any arrests or past violations that I can find on a quick Google search, so it leaves the Colts with an interesting question: are the concerns around Austin, a top defensive talent at a position of need, significant enough to drop him from their draft board?

It will be interesting to see if Austin receives a Senior Bowl invite as of yesterday he had not heard from the folks in Mobile.

Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor was the most impressive East QB and completed 4 out of his 5 passes for 59 yards and had 11 yards on the ground on 3 carries.

Auburn’s Wes Byrum took a step back in the game connecting on only 1 of 3 attempts and missing a 27 yard FG badly.

The East delivered a ceremonious Gatorade bath to former Falcons Coach Dan Reeves who was victorious on Saturday.

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2011 East-West Shrine Game: Jeff Maehl, Bruce Miller, Joseph Barksdale Potential Falcons Draft Picks

The 2011 East-West Shrine Game isn’t loaded with first-round talent, but there are several players the Atlanta Falcons fan should keep an eye on. None of these players are likely to be very highly drafted, but IT’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL ON A SATURDAY and it is precious. (Complete East-West Shrine Game rosters here.)

Defensive backs: Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel; Mario Butler, CB, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The Falcons have been trying to fix their defensive backfield for three years now. It’s made big strides, with William Moore and Brent Grimes having mini-breakout years after an excellent 2009 by Thomas DeCoud, plus Dunta Robinson’s decent year in solo coverage, but the Green Bay Packers exposed the team’s lack of cornerback depth.

Defensive linemen: Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona Wildcats; Bruce Miller, DE, Central Florida Knights; Martin Parker, DT, Richmond; Aldrick Robinson, DE, SMU Mustangs

The pass rush needs some help, especially with John Abraham’s career winding down. This draft isn’t deep in many areas, but the East-West game is full of good value defensive linemen.

Offensive linemen: Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU Tigers; Jah Reid, OT, UCF

With at least one starting offensive lineman likely to move along in free agency, the Falcons are going to have to add depth to make up for Mike Johnson, Joe Hawley, or Garrett Reynolds taking a starting job.

Receivers: Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon Ducks; Cecil Shorts, WR, Mount Union; Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State

Let’s face it: that passing game is one-dimensional. Tony Gonzalez won’t be around forever, and the only young receivers the Falcons have are all highly unproven.

Running backs: Da’Rel Scott, Maryland Terrapins

If the Falcons are able to re-sign Jason Snelling, they’ll have the big back thing on lock, with Michael Turner and Ovie Mughelli also on board. Jerious Norwood is presumably gone, so the team is going to have to either hope Gartrell Johnson is the answer or grab that dual-threat change-of-pace back during the offseason. Most of the backs in the East-West Game are big bros, so it should be easy to pick out Scott.

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2011 East-West Shrine Game: Terrance Toliver, Wes Byrum Impress During Practice Week

We’ve taken a look at the ACC alum, now let’s look at the former SEC names and how they’ve fared this week:

Georgia LB Akeem Dent – Dent has played physically and has been very strong this week. He is making everyone feel his presence and I expect to be all over the field today for the East.

LSU WR Terrance Toliver – Has had a very big week. Showed impressive skills blocking and catching the football. He’s very physical at 6’5, 210lbs and was the best WR on the East squad. He will serve a primary target today and could have the Dwyane Bowe type of pre-draft rise in this year’s draft.

LSU OT Joseph Barksdale – Another former Bayou Bengal who has seen his stock soar. He struggled a little at RT this week but is very comfortable at LT which is where I believe he will stay on the NFL level. NFL Scouts look for technique and work ethic and Big Joe has both.

Auburn K Wes Byrum – One of the heroes of the BCS Title game, Byrum could see his stock continue to improve by showing leg strength and strong kick offs as the week wore on. When NFL Scouts see this kind of improvement, they put more value on him.

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2011 East-West Shrine Game: Marvin Austin Dominant In Practice

Prior to today’s East-West Shrine Game, we’ll take a look at the ACC alum in today’s game and how they’ve performed in practice this week:

Georgia Tech DB Mario Butler – Butler had a decent start to the week but faded. This is the type of inconsistency that Yellow Jacket fans grew weary of on The Flats. Butler needs a good game to shake this label.

Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor – Easily the biggest name QB on either roster and after a stellar ACC Championship game performance and rough outing vs. Stanford in the Orange Bowl, Taylor has plenty to prove this week. He has struggled to see over the Offensive Line and has done very little to dispel notions that he is more than a late round pick or undrafted FA candidate.

North Carolina DT Marvin Austin – Another big name but for all the wrong reasons. Marvin Austin did not play a single snap this season after being suspended for his interaction and benefits received from agent. He’s a very productive week and has shown the power, speed and explosion that made him a Preseason All-America candidate. At stretches, he had to be double teamed because he was so dominant. I look for Austin to have a very big game for the East squad and be a name that continues to rise as his conditioning improves.

Clemson CB Chris Chancellor – Has proved that he is the top Corner on the East squad and has been dominant in pass coverage. The words “Chancellor Island” were actualy uttered. Seriously. I’m interested in seeing how many times Chancellor and BCS Title standout Jeff Maehl of Oregon go at it.

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Senior Bowl Rosters: Anthony Allen Added, Chan Gailey Coaching

Anthony Allen was officially named to the Senior Bowl today. The game is at 3 p.m. on January 29, 2011 in Mobile, Alabama and will be broadcast on the NFL Network.

Allen, a senior running back for the Jackets, transfered from Louisville and took over the B-Back position from Jonathan Dwyer. The Florida native ranked second in the ACC and 18th nationally with 1,316 yards rushing, and finishes his career with 3,036 yards on the ground. He helped the Jackets lead the nation in rushing at 323 yards per game. 

The coach of the south team for the Senior Bowl? None other than Chan Gailey, currently of the Buffalo Bills and former Georgia Tech coach. 

The two southern conferences will have a huge presence in the game, ranking first and second with most players honored. The SEC has 22 total, and the ACC has 18. For the full rosters, head to the Senior Bowl website

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2011 Senior Bowl Rosters Include Greg McElroy, Christian Ponder, And Half The SEC

The 2011 Senior Bowl — or, as we’ve chosen to call it, the SECnior Bowl — will take place Jan. 29 in Mobile, Ala., televised at 2 p.m. ET on NFL Network. This is the big one for future NFL stars and outgoing college heroes, and this year’s set of rosters is riddled with local conference players, including Georgia Bulldogs OL Clint Boling.

Other SEC Senior Bowlers: Alabama Crimson Tide OL James Carpenter, TE Preston Dial, and QB Greg McElroy; Arkansas Razorbacks OL DeMarcus Love and TE D.J. Williams; Auburn Tigers LB Josh Bynes and OL Lee Ziemba; Florida Gators safety Ahmad Black, OL Marcus Gilbert, punter Chas Henry, and OL Mike Pouncey; Mississippi St. Bulldogs DL Pernel McPhee, OL Derek Sherrod, LB Chris White, and LB K.J. Wright; LSU Tigers DT Drake Nevis, kicker Josh Jasper, and LB Kelvin Sheppard; and Tennessee Volunteers TE Luke Stocker

The ACC doesn’t field quite as impressive a list as it will for the East-West Shrine Game, sending only Florida St. Seminoles OL Rodney Hudson and QB Christian Ponder; Miami Hurricanes DE Allen Bailey and WR Leonard Hankerson; and Virginia Cavaliers special teamer Danny Aiken.

These rosters are still in flux — in fact, Boling was added between to the online roster at some point this weekend.

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2011 East-West Shrine Game Rosters Feature Tyrod Taylor, Akeem Dent, Mario Butler

The 2011 East-West Shrine Game will be played Sat., Jan. 22 at 4 pm ET in Orlando, Florida. One of the nation's biggest college football all-star games, the Shrine Game includes Canadian players and is one of the most popular viewing options for NFL scouts professional and amateur alike.

This year's set of rosters includes Georgia Bulldogs ILB Akeem Dent and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets CB Mario Butler, both on the East team.

Other SEC players slated to play: Auburn Tigers kicker Wes Byrum, Florida Gators DE Justin Trattou, LSU Tigers OT Joseph Barksdale and WR Terrence Toliver, Mississippi Rebels DT Ted Laurent, and South Carolina Gamecocks FB Patrick DiMarco and DE Cliff Matthews.

The ACC will also be repped by Clemson Tigers OT Christian Hairston, Maryland Terrapins RB Da'Rel Scott, Miami Hurricanes RB Graig Cooper and CB Demarcus Van Dyke, and Virginia Tech Hokies QB Tyrod Taylor.

Barksdale, DiMarco, Laurent, and Scott are on the West team with all the Canadians, for some reason. There is absolutely nothing west about College Park, Maryland.

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