Graduated seniors Chris Brown, Romeo Okwara and Elijah Shumate are all participating in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday afternoon, hoping to impress NFL scouts and put themselves in position to be drafted. The game takes place at 4 p.m. ET, televised on the NFL Network from Tropicana Field.
Brown was the team’s second leading receiver this season, catching 48 passes for 597 yards and four touchdowns. Okwara led the Irish in sacks while Shumate’s 70 tackles paced the secondary. All three will play on an East roster coached by Charlie Weis, with former Irish quarterback Brady Quinn serving as Weis’ QB coach. (Jon Bon Jovi is also hanging around the East squad, a perk of being buddies with the former head coach.)
Shumate, who is keeping a draft diary for the South Bend Tribune’s NDInsider page, said Notre Dame’s former head coach had plenty of fun with the Irish alums.
My head coach for the East team is Charlie Weis, who used to be the head coach at Notre Dame before I got there.
I had never met him before this week, but he’s riding the Notre Dame players — Chris Brown, Romeo Okwara and me — really hard. In fact, we had a meeting after the first practice, and he made the three of us sing the Notre Dame fight song in front of everybody.
(Don’t ever change, Charlie…)
All three were weighed in and measured at the Shrine game. Brown checked in at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. Okwara came in at an impressive 6-foot-4.5 and 266 pounds, while Shumate measured in at six-foot, 210 pounds.
Sheldon Day and Nick Martin begin their Senior Bowl experience early next week in Mobile, Alabama. It’s one of the key evaluation weeks for NFL teams as they look at top-tier draft candidates. Day could fight his way into the late first-round conversation with a strong evaluation season. Martin will make his bid to be viewed as one of the best centers in the draft.