This year's East-West Shrine Game is heavy on running back prospects. While many of them have dealt with injuries in the past, they'll get a chance to prove they're worth a pick in the 2013 NFL Draft with practices starting today.
The Shrine Game this year won't exactly be a showcase of great quarterbacks. None of those participating – Alex Carder, Colby Cameron, Seth Doege, Collin Klein, Matt Scott and Nathan Stanley – projects as a top 100 choice. Duke's Sean Renfree was to play in the game but won't due to injury.
Here's a look at the most notable players on offense at the Shrine Game:
Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State (East roster)
The biggest "name" player in the Shrine Game is Klein, but he's nowhere near being the top prospect. The Shrine Game will be Klein's best and possibly last chance to show he has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. Klein has poor throwing mechanics and doesn't time his throws particularly well. But he'll catch the eye of an NFL team with his attitude.
Matt Scott, QB, Arizona (West)
Stuck behind Nick Foles at Arizona, Scott took advantage of his only year as a starter as a senior. That was never more evident than when he threw for almost 500 yards against Stanford. For teams looking for a quarterback that can throw and pass, Scott could be worth a mid-round pick. He's fast and has a strong enough arm to make most throws. He'll need some time in the NFL to add bulk to his frame, though, and learn how to read defenses.
Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt (East)
Vanderbilt's career rushing leader, Stacy is a compact runner who is difficult to take down on first contact. He topped 1,000 yards rushing the past two seasons and finished fifth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing this season. Stacy's stellar season came in spite of a nagging knee injury that knocked him out of a game earlier this season. He's the kind of running back who can power through a hole between the tackles, but has just enough speed to break runs outside. Of all the running backs in the Shrine Game this year, he has the most potential to be a lead back.
Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh (East)
Until he missed the BBVA Compass Bowl because of a hamstring injury, Graham was finally looking healthy at the end of his senior season. Graham started the season slowly after tearing his ACL midway through the 2011 season. When he's healthy, Graham is hard to tackle because of his agility and quick feet. Because of his ability in the pass game, Graham could make for a nice third down back in the NFL.
Montel Harris, RB, Temple (East)
In 2009, Harris looked like an early round choice rushing for 1,457 yards and 14 touchdowns for Boston College. But injuries derailed his path to the NFL before he landed at Temple this season. Harris was inconsistent this season and is at his best when he can play between the tackles. He's a one-cut runner who may be suited best for a zone scheme in the NFL.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M (West)
Michael didn't have quite the season some expected and didn't rush for more than 75 yards in a single game. While part of that was due to the A&M offense with Johnny Manziel, Michael has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He tore his ACL as a junior and had a hamstring injury as a senior. He even got kicked out of a game in 2012 after throwing a punch. Michael has impressive size (listed at 5-foot-11, 220 pounds), but unless he impresses this week he'll be waiting a while to hear his name called.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State (West)
As one of the stars of the bowl season (235 rushing yards against Toledo), Williams is on quite the roll going into Shrine practices. Until this season, Williams was stuck behind Robert Turbin and Michael Smith. In his only season as the main back for Utah State, Williams ran for 1,512 yards and 15 touchdowns. Perhaps more impressively, he caught 45 passes for 697 yards this season. The knock on Williams is his size. He's the kind of running back that has to make people miss and won't break a lot of tackles in the NFL.
Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA (West)
While Fauria is listed as a tight end, he's basically a plus-sized wide receiver. He rarely plays with his hand down and is typically split out wide. He's the kind of receiving threat who can attack the seam and force safeties to not sit on the deep pass.
Manase Foketi, OT/G, West Texas A&M (West)
Foketi was the best offensive lineman on Kansas State in 2010 before transferring for his senior season. He played left tackle throughout his college career but projects to the inside in the NFL. He's a powerhouse blocker who graded out at 95 percent this season and was a Gene Upshaw Lineman of the Year finalist.
Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas (West)
On a poor Kansas team, Hawkinson often gets overlooked. But Hawksinson has been a steady four-year starter who was a second-team all-conference choice this season. The former tight end excels as a run blocker. He can get out on the second level and finishes off blocks nicely.
Players on offense that need to stand out:
Theo Riddick, RB/WR, Notre Dame (West)
Bottled up in the BCS National Championship Game, NFL evaluators are probably wondering where Riddick fits best in the NFL. As a junior, he showed glimpses of upside as the Irish's No. 2 wide receiver opposite Michael Floyd. Used more as a running back in 2012, Riddick's top games against Southern California and Boston College were negated by iffy showings against Stanford and Michigan State.
Jasper Collins, WR, Mount Union (West)
The growing Mount Union wide receiver factory continues with Collins, who follows Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts. Collins put together impressive numbers as a senior with 92 receptions for 1,694 yards and 22 touchdowns. Because it was against Division III competition, how he fares this week will determine his draft slot.
Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech (East)
On the surface, Davis looks like an impressive prospect. He has excellent size at 6-foot-4, 232 pounds and good downfield speed. But Davis' has inconsistent hands doesn't have good body control to catch outside of his frame. There are obvious tools with Davis, but he'll need to be coached up in the NFL.
Note: Colorado's Nick Kasa, an intriguing tight end, was scheduled to play in the Shrine Game but was bumped up to the Senior Bowl.