The University of Utah was represented by a pair of players in Thursday night’s East-West Shrine Bowl, which ended in a 12-3 win for the West.
Former Ute running back Tavion Thomas played for the East team, while linebacker Mohamoud Diabate suited up for the West, giving the pair the chance to line up against each other several times throughout the game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
What did Tavion Thomas do at the East-West Shrine Bowl?
Thomas finished unofficially with four carries for 26 yards, while adding one reception for 9 yards.
His top play came early in the third quarter.
With the East facing a first-and-10 on its opening drive of the second half, Thomas found a seam up the middle and used a quick burst to rattle off a 29-yard run that crossed midfield.
“Tipping the scales at 247 pounds was a shock to see, but once he took the field, it was easy to see that Thomas carries that weight rather well. He looked like a throwback big back with quick feet, à la Bam Morris and guys of that ilk. I thought he looked both quick and shifty during the week of practices,” CBS Sports’ Emory Hunt wrote of what Thomas showed during the week.
Tavion Thomas with a terrific 29-yard run. An absolute tank! Love that guy’s game.— Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) February 3, 2023
Tavion Thomas RB Utah is putting off some Rhamondre Stevenson x LeGarrette Blount vibes @ShrineBowl— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) January 30, 2023
.@CecilLammey and I recap East practice Day 1 from Las Vegas at @ShrineBowl!— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 28, 2023
Some players who caught our eyes Saturday:@Utah_Football RB Tavion Thomas@WakeFB WR A.T. Perry@FerrisFootball DL Caleb Murphy@TexasFootball DL Moro Ojomo pic.twitter.com/TNQ4dLtXvH
What did Mohamoud Diabate do at the East-West Shrine Bowl?
Diabate had a pair of tackles unofficially for the West in earning the win.
His best stop came in the second quarter when the East was driving deep inside West team territory.
With the East inside the red zone, Diabate made a nice tackle in space on the edge, dropping former Fresno State running back Jordan Mims for a 1-yard loss. That play helped lead to a field-goal attempt a few plays later.
“On the defensive side, versatility will be a strong theme as well, particularly for Utah’s Mohamoud Diabate. The Utah linebacker took reps both as an off-ball LB and as an edge rusher in one-on-ones throughout the practice week,” Pro Football Network’s Ian Cumming wrote of Diabate’s week in Vegas.
“... With his size and athleticism, Diabate has the potential to be a true chess piece — something that’s become very valuable in the modern NFL. He got a lot of experience at different spots throughout the week.”
The Shrine Bowl broadcast said Utah LB Mohamoud Diabate was a player the Patriots coaching staff "singled out" for his performance in practice this week.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) February 3, 2023
Really a big fan of how Utah linebacker Mohamoud Diabate reads this play, gets down hill quickly and gets skinny to avoid the fullback and stuff this play for a TFL. #ShrineBowl pic.twitter.com/0oAqXZPb9N— Joe Cammarota (@jcamo4) January 31, 2023