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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.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.