FRISCO — Practices for the 99th annual East-West Shrine Bowl continued at the Ford Center at the Star on Monday as the East and West teams continued their preparation for Thursday’s college football all-star game in front of respective NFL coaches, agents, and media.

The Shrine Bowl is being played in Frisco for the first time this year after spending the last few years in Las Vegas.

With both teams practicing in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) and shorts, it can be difficult to tell who really stands out, but here are a few who made some big plays during Monday’s practice.


Elijah Klein, OL, UTEP

Not a ton stood out from the offensive line on Monday, but Klein held his own in a one-on-one pass-rushing drill against  Florida State defensive tackle Fabien Lovett. As a Group of Five prospect, Klein has a significant opportunity to boost his draft stock, and continuing to play like that against the enhanced competition is a great start.


Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State

Holker stood out as a reliable receiver on Monday. During seven-on-sevens and full team periods, he seemed to always be open, catch everything thrown his way, and even display great speed for the tight end position.

“He’s special,” Air Force safety and Frisco Lone Star High School alumnus Trey Taylor told The Dallas Express of Holker. “He’s quick, and he knows how to block well. He reminds me of like a little George Kittle. I feel like he can do something like that in the league, especially if he gets a little bit more strength on him.”


Drake Stoops, WR, Oklahoma

Stoops had a great day on Monday, making some tightly contested grabs and showing the hard work and grittiness he’s been known for. At times, he was the best receiver on the field, and he seems to be adjusting well to a rapidly installed version of an NFL offense.

“It’s been good to get around physical competition and just compete and get around NFL coaches and learn the systems,” Stoops told The Dallas Express. ” I feel like it’s been going good, and it’s just a good experience.”


Maema Njongmeta, LB, Wisconsin

Njongmeta made a great play during the East’s team drills, fighting through a receiver to come up with an interception.



Joshua Cephus, WR, Texas-San Antonio

UTSA’s top receiver is out to show he belongs in the NFL. His 6-foot-3 frame should be enough to get teams interested, but his practices have highlighted his potential. He’s had one of the best outings and even made a spectacular one-handed grab with a defender draped all over him.

“He’s a really good player,” West team offensive coordinator Davis Webb told the media after practice. “Knowing that Jeff Taylor tribe growing up as a Texas high school coach’s kid, just seeing what he did at Gilmer, and seeing what he’s done at UTSA, it’s not surprising to see how many good players come out of there, and Josh is another one.”


Tahj Washington, WR, USC

Washington is another receiver who stood out on Monday. He has the speed to get behind defenses, and it helped him make a few great catches, including a leaping grab on a deep pass.


Jabari Small, RB, Tennessee

It seemed like every time the offense called a running game, Small would make a play. They were not necessarily long runs, but he was difficult to stop and seemed to play with another gear.


Ja’Quan Sheppard, CB, Maryland

The Maryland cornerback had a productive day, giving receivers fits as they tried to break past him and breaking up several pass attempts.

“The cornerback from Maryland, he’s a good player,” Cephus told The Dallas Express.