Under Armour All-American Game 2013: Studs That Will Make Impact as Freshman

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 4, 2013

Photo Credit 247 Sports
Photo Credit 247 Sports

The Under Armour All-American Game is exciting because we get an opportunity to see some of the best high school players in the nation compete against each other.

It also serves as a preview of players that have a shot at making a significant impact as college freshman. The game takes place on Jan. 4 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at 5 p.m. ET.

It will be televised by ESPN.

Here are six players that will make an immediate impact for their universities as freshman.


Christian Hackenberg, QB committed to Penn State

What Makes Him a Stud

Hackenberg is 6'4", he has a big arm and good accuracy. He already possesses acceptable throwing mechanics, and he has advanced understanding of progressing through his reads after the snap, and at the line of scrimmage.

He has future NFL QB written all over him.


Why He'll Make an Immediate Impact

The Nittany Lions have to have a sentimental attachment to Hackenberg. Amid all the turmoil the university endured after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Hackenberg was among the most highly-touted recruits the school had, and he never wavered on his commitment to Happy Valley.

As a high-profile QB prospect, his commitment and success is extremely important to the program moving forward. The Nittany Lions will give him every opportunity to excel.

Beyond that dynamic, the program is losing Matthew McGloin to graduation and possibly the NFL. That leaves Steven Bench as the only real competition for Hackenberg for the starting spot.

From a talent standpoint, Bench can't compare to Hackenberg. Look for the freshman to start, possibly from day one.

Even if Bill O'Brien bolts for the NFL, as has been reported as a possibility, per NFL.com, you would have to think Penn State will replace him with someone that'll maintain a Pro-Style offense. 

Hackenberg will flourish in that format.


Robert Nkemidiche, DE undeclared

What Makes Him a Stud

The kid is an absolutely freakish athlete with advanced pass-rushing skills at the age of 18. He's 6'5" 265 pounds and considered nearly as good against the run as he is against the pass.

This skill-set makes him No. 1 on the ESPN150 high school player rankings.


Why He'll Make an Immediate Impact

Though he has yet to make his college choice known, Nkemidiche's skill-set and physical ability will be difficult to keep off the field. He compares well with Jedeveon Clowney of South Carolina, another freakish and young defensive end prospect.

Nkemidiche is very similar to Clowney in stature and potential. As a freshman, Clowney had eight sacks and five forced fumbles. Nkemidiche is capable of having the same type of impact in his first season.

Obviously, the depth at defensive end on the team he joins plays a role. If playing early and often is important to Nkemidiche, it would seem that Ole Miss may be the spot for him.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Rebels are in the lead for Nkemidiche, as the blue-chipper's older brother, Denzel also plays LB for the program.

C.J. Johnson, the leading pass-rusher for the Rebels in 2011 had only 6.5 sacks. There is no reason why Nkemidiche wouldn't see substantial playing time as a freshman at Ole Miss.


Jeryl Brazil, DB committed to LSU

What Makes Him a Stud

In a word: speed. Brazil is blazing fast, ESPN (insider account) lists his 40-time as 4.32. Speed isn't his only quality, though.

His play-making ability makes him a threat to take the ball to the house anytime he touches it. That versatility will likely land him on the field as a return man—if not as a position player on offense, defense or both.


Why He'll Make an Immediate Impact

As a return man, he can be incredibly explosive and valuable to a defensive team like LSU.

The Tigers' secondary figures to be quite youthful next season, and that will give Brazil a better chance to get on the field as a corner. He has the athletic ability to be a special cover man, and with the support of other great athletes on the Tigers' defense, he will shine in 2013.

Les Miles had on-field success with another youthful and athletic playmaker in Tyrann Mathieu. Brazil's ceiling is even higher than the Honey Badger's.

He's stronger and he hasn't had the off-field issues that curtailed Mathieu's career. He reminds me of Devin Hester with more of a defensive instinct and aggressive edge.


Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR committed to Washington

What Makes Him a Stud

Stringfellow isn't blazing fast, but he is a big-bodied receiver with excellent hands. His 6'3" 203-pound frame and leaping ability makes him a big target.

He's obviously an option in the red zone, and in jump-ball situations down the field.


Why He'll Make an Immediate Impact

Though Stringfellow can better develop his route-running skills and his overall field awareness, he will be a big-play threat from day one. His ball-skills are advanced and his size and dexterity is a weapon.

He should start, or at least see substantial playing time with Washington. The Huskies struggled to get production from more than one receiver in 2012. Instead, they threw to tight ends and running backs often.

Kasen Williams led the team with 77 receptions, but the next-closest receiver had just 20 receptions.

Stringfellow, Williams and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will provide a big set of targets for QB Keith Price in 2013.


Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on YouTube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games

Subscribe on YouTube

Follow @BrianMazique

Follow @franchiseplay

Like us on Facebook