Each day in preparation for the 76th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, Blue Ridge’s Corey Dogan stares across at the likes of Tramel Terry of Goose Creek and Akia Booker of Byrnes.
“They give me a hard time,” the soft-spoken Dogan said following Thursday’s practice at Spartanburg High School.
“He’s got some very talented people he’s trying to cover,” Wade Cooper, Dogan’s coach at Blue Ridge and the Sandlappers’ wide receivers coach, said of a group that includes Terry, the state’s Mr. Football and a Georgia recruit; Booker, who has an offer from Florida; and Lake Marion’s Michael Williams, who has committed to Clemson.
And yet Cooper said the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Dogan has held his own.
“He’s getting used to the speed of things, but he’s doing real well. I’m proud of him,” Cooper said. “He’s starting to get used to the system and the terminology, and once you don’t have to think as much, you can react better, you play a little faster, and he’s picked up in it very well.
“He’s got to be a fast guy, and he’s got to be a real physical guy, and he has both of those qualities, so he should be fine.”
Dogan flashed his speed in April in front of the Shrine Bowl coaches at the combine, where Cooper said Dogan was timed at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and Dogan returned to his hard-hitting self during the season after recovering from right shoulder surgery in the spring.
“With all the things I’ve done over the course of my high school football (career), I think I belong here,” Dogan said. “I didn’t have quite the senior season I wanted to have, but hopefully somebody will pick me up.”
“He’s getting a lot of interest,” said Cooper. “A lot of (FCS) and Division II (schools) are looking real hard at him. They want to see how he performs against this level of talent. I think he’s going to have some opportunities.”
* The teams will have two practices today before the awards dinner, during which the featured speaker will be Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College. Tickets are $15.