Under Armour All-America Game 2013: Winners and Losers After Friday's Signings
As is usually the case, what transpired on the field was of secondary concern at last night's Under Armour All-America Game.
The hodgepodge of high school all-stars looked, at times, to be confused and out of sync playing with guys they'd only known for a few days. But that's to be understood.
The real action occurred (I can't believe I'm saying this) on the sideline, where some of the biggest recruits in the nation declared where they'll play college ball.
Let's look at some of the winners and losers from those announcements:
Winner: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Brian Kelly's been steadfast in maintaining his focus is 100 percent fixed on Monday's National Championship. And good for him. But there's no way he didn't give himself a quick pat on the back after last night's game.
One of the biggest commits of the night went the Irish's way when athlete Max Redfield declared his intention to play in South Bend. Redfield, a former USC commitment, was thought by some to be considering a return to the Trojans' 2013 class.
Versatile in every sense of the word, Redfield should settle into one of the safety positions at Notre Dame. He may not be ready to make an impact as a freshman, but it won't be long before he becomes an impact player.
Pilfering him from the team's biggest rival only serves to make this sweeter for the Irish.
Loser: Florida Gators
The night was only a modest loss for the Gators. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III put on a show en route to Player of the Game honors and could soon be considered the top recruit in the nation. They didn't exactly need to gain any commitments Friday, either; ESPN.com already has them ranked as the third-best incoming class.
Having said that, no team got a shorter end of last night's announcements than the Gators. They thought themselves in the mix for both defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko (who committed to Clemson) and linebacker Trey Johnson (who committed to Ohio State). Both players are capable of coming in and becoming stalwarts for years to come.
If Florida's defense plays as they did all season, the loss could turn out to be negligible (especially with Hargreaves III locking people up on the outside). But if they play as they did against Louisville, these two misfires could come back to bite them.
Winner: LSU Tigers, Loser: Alabama Crimson Tide
This one gets split down the middle since both pertain to the same recruit: Kendell Beckwith.
Ranked 19th overall in ESPN.com's rankings, Beckwith projects as a DE/OLB but even has the ability to translate to linebacker. He's an athlete in every sense of the word, coupling a massive frame with a smooth ability to glide around the field.
Alabama was the tentative favorite in his sweepstakes, so watching him don the purple and gold was a little bit of a shock.
Not only did the Tide lose out on an impact player; he went to their second biggest rival. Conversely, LSU didn't just add a superstar to their defense; they took one away from Alabama.
That's a pretty huge swing.
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