The Under Armour High School All-America Game has certainly grown up since its inaugural game held ten years ago at Orlando’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Today it brings together some of the names that many college football fans already know. However unlike years past, many of the participants have already signed with the colleges of their choice. The Crimson Tide will have five signees and one committed player participating.
Below are the five players who signed with Alabama during the Early Signing Period (ESP) with the jersey numbers and team.
9 Highlight (black uniforms) - Eyabi Anoma DE Baltimore, MD 6'6'' / 223 ***** - freak of nature.
4 Spotlight (white uniforms) - Xavier Williams WR Hollywood, FL 6'0" / 180 **** - 37 rec 585 yds 8 TD as a senior. 32.6 vertical jump.
75 Spotlight - Tommy Brown OL Santa Ana, CA 6'7" / 315 **** - Three year starter for State Champ team. Father was a Tide shot-putter in the 1980s.
90 Spotlight - Stephon Wynn DE Anderson, SC (IMG) 6'5" 285 **** - Benches 340, Deadlift 455. Can play three or five technique.
18 Spotlight - Jordan Davis DE Memphis, TN 6'5" 225 **** - Rangy edge rusher, projects as a Jack LB. #2 player from the state of Tennessee.
4 Spotlight - Quay Walker OLB Cordele, GA 6'3"/218 **** - He did not sign early despite being committed since June. He has planned official visits to UGA, Fla, Aubie. It’s possible that Jeremy Pruitt’s departure has played a role and he wants to see how the staffing changes unfurl. Teams are allowed to to add a 10th assistant coach, effective Jan. 9, 2018.
FBS is currently in a Dead Period in which no contact is allowed. The contact period reopens January 12, 2018. It is believed that Nick Saban would like to add another wide receiver to the class, perhaps two. Among the prospects are the following uncommitted pass catchers:
5 Highlight - Jacob Copeland WR Pensacola, FL 6'0'' / 192 **** - Decommited from Florida after Dan Mullen was hired in Gainesville but has not eliminated the Gators just yet. Bama looks like the favorite and will receive an OV on Jan. 26. He is also scheduled to visit Fla on Feb. 2. If he cancels that, consider him a lock.
5 Spotlight - Justyn Ross WR Phenix City, AL 6'4'' / 197 **** - Appears to be favoring Clemson with Alabama and Aubie trailing. Bama OV on Jan. 19.
1 Highlight - Justin Watkins WR/ATH Clermont, FL 6'0'' / 173 **** - Committed and decommitted from LSU. Committed and decommitted from FSU. Committed and decommitted from Texas. Looked like an LSU lean but now looks like Florida. He had originally planned on committing during the U-A game but who knows what this kid is gonna do? It could be too much drama for Saban’s blood. If he does his hat switcheroo tonight, it likely won’t be a crimson hat with a script ‘A’. Jacob Copeland and Jaylen Waddle (playing in the US Army game) are probably higher priorities.
The Tide is always looking for good linemen. One in their crosshairs is this 5-star tackle:
78 Spotlight - Nick Petit-Frère OT Tampa, FL 6'5'' / 260 ***** - Also considering Florida and Notre Dame.
None of these players are expected to announce during the game but they are teenagers. Ya never know.
- The Spotlight quarterbacks will be UGA’s Justin Fields (jersey #1), Stanford signee from Sarland, AL, Jack West (#12), and future Jeremy Johnson Trophy winner, Joey Gatewood (#2). Among others, Highlight will be led by Emory Jones (#6) who spurned Ohio State for Florida during the ESP.
- Also of interest will be Tyrese Johnson-Fisher (#96 for Highlight) who hails from England. The unsigned running back prospect has never played organized football but has dominated rugby and track in his homeland and hopes to land a scholly with his showing today. He has been clocked at 10.73 seconds in the 100 meters, recorded a 4.4 in the 40 yard dash, and stands at 5’10/194.
The coaching staffs are headed by former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci (Team Spotlight) who has coached several U-A games since its inception, and former NFL player Deion Sanders (Team Highlight) who takes over the role frequently filled by Herm Edwards. Fortunately, most of the Tide players are playing for Spotlight and might actually get instructions rather than pep talks and catch phrases.
The game will be played Thursday, Jan. 4, at 5pm CT live on ESPN2.