Everything You Need to Know About 2014 Under Armour All-America Roster
Many of the nation's most impressive high school seniors are expected to compete at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2, 2014, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The event has been held annually since 2008 and its alumni include current NFL and college stars A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery, Jadeveon Clowney and Braxton Miller.
The 2014 game features several of the premier prospects in this recruiting class. We take a closer look at key components of a talent-packed roster, which you can see in action at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
Rankings courtesy of 247Sports.
There's an Abundance of Elite Running Backs
Some of college football's next great ball-carriers are featured on the Under Armour roster, including a dynamic pair of teammates from Florida. Miami Central High School stars Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby have spent their careers dominating defenses together.
Cook, a 5-star recruit, is committed to Florida. However, he is still strongly considering Sunshine State rivals Miami and Florida State.
Yearby, a 4-star prospect, pledged to the Hurricanes in February. It's doubtful that he will actually suit up for this game after suffering a broken ankle on Sunday.
Leonard Fournette is listed as the nation's No. 1 overall prospect by 247Sports. The New Orleans native appears to have narrowed his decision down to Alabama and LSU, two schools he'll visit this month.
Expects Some Serious Battles in the Trenches
There is plenty of beef on both sides of the ball. Offensive and defensive linemen are turning out in droves for the event, providing an opportunity to watch them operate against worthy counterparts.
Top-ranked tackle Cameron Robinson (commitment to Alabama) highlights the offensive line, but he is hardly alone as a dominant blocker up front. Kc McDermott (Miami) and Ross Pierschbacher (Alabama) are both 4-star tackles, while uncommitted Maryland prospect Damian Prince is a 5-star tackle considering Florida State, South Carolina and Miami, among others.
Those bookends must contend with some seriously skilled pass-rushers, including 5-star defensive ends Da'Shawn Hand (Alabama), Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) and Lorenzo Carter, who is still weighing offers from Florida, Alabama and Georgia.
The action inside should be furious.
Top offensive guards Damien Mama—who is considering USC, UCLA, Alabama and BYU—and Roderick Taylor (Ole Miss) will go toe to toe with some of America's most explosive defensive tackles. 5-star prospects Andrew Brown (Virginia), Lamont Gaillard (Georgia) and Gerald Willis (considering LSU, Florida and Texas A&M) will provide a major push up the middle.
New Orleans Is Well Represented
Louisiana is loaded with talent this year, especially from the great city of New Orleans. Many of the Bayou State's best are set to compete at the event.
Willis, a defensive tackle, is focused on Florida, LSU and Texas A&M. Noil, arguably the nation's top wide receiver prospect, is strongly considering the same trio of programs.
5-star running back Leonard Fournette (St. Augustine High School) is among the game's headliners and seems set on either Alabama or LSU. His teammate Jermaine Roberts, a cornerback committed to Texas, is also on the roster.
Wide receiver Malachi Dupre is a coveted 5-star pass-catcher. He is still weighing offers from LSU, Alabama, UCLA, Florida State and Clemson, among others.
The Defensive Secondary Is Simply Super
Even an All-American crop of wide receivers will have their hands full at Tropicana Field. The level of talent in the defensive secondary is astounding and promises to produce future professional players.
New Jersey defensive back Jabrill Peppers (commitment to Michigan) is probably the most heralded member of a backfield bunched with 5-star prospects. Cornerbacks Tony Brown (considering LSU, Texas and Alabama), Marlon Humphrey (considering Florida State, Alabama and Mississippi State) and Adoree' Jackson (considering USC, Florida and LSU) could each stake a claim as the best player at their position.
Athleticism is at a surplus at safety as well.
Several Players Will Announce Long-Awaited Commitments
National signing day is fast approaching and we've entered crunch time for collegiate coaching staffs to make their final pitch to coveted recruits. Several nationwide recruitment processes will come to a close in St. Petersburg.
The following players are expected to announce their intentions during the event:
5-star running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La.) - LSU and Alabama
5-star cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C.) - Alabama, Arizona, Florida and Maryland
5-star cornerback Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas) - LSU, Texas, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Texas A&M.
5-star defensive tackle Gerald Willis (New Orleans, La.) - LSU, Florida and Texas A&M
5-star wide receiver Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La.) - LSU, Florida and Texas A&M