Grading the 2014 Under Armour All-America Roster

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 27, 2013

Grading the 2014 Under Armour All-America Roster

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    The 2014 Under Armour All-America Game will take place in Florida next Thursday, Jan. 2, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. This is always one of the most exciting national all-star games for high school football as it features many of the nation's top recruits.

    Speaking of the talent on the field, several elite prospects will be making a commitment during the game. However, do not forget the main objective of this game is to see the country's best players showcase their skills.

    A talented roster of players is set to star in this contest. It's time to see exactly how much talent each position group has.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Defensive Backs

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    Top Defensive Backs:

    With eight 5-star defensive backs set to play in this game, it will be tough for either offense to make plays through the air. Any of these guys can claim they are the best player at their position in the nation, as size, speed, instincts and quickness are the top traits of this group.

    It will be interesting to see if Peppers plays cornerback or safety, while Jackson could also ask for several snaps at receiver. Plus, 5-star athlete John Smith could choose to work as a safety.

    Grade: A+


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    Top Linebackers:

    This is a solid group, especially on the inside. McMillan leads the way, but keep an eye on Williams. Watching to see how Daub looks in space will also be one of the most interesting things to cover during the game.

    The outside linebacker roster is a bit confusing, however. Bates can ball with anyone, but Miller, Evans and Pugh are actually more like defensive ends who fit better as pass-rushing outside linebackers in a 3-4 scheme. They'll need to be put in specific roles to be able to display the full skill sets.

    Ronnie Clark, a 4-star athlete who is committed to Alabama, also is scheduled to play.

    Grade: B

Defensive Linemen

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    Top Defensive Linemen:

    The defensive trenches will be full of talent all night long, as the above mentioned recruits are just the tip of the iceberg. Hand, Garrett, Carter and Brown are the 5-star studs in the group, but the entire unit is full of outstanding talent.

    For evaluation purposes, it would be great to get a chance to look at Hand and Carter rush the passer while standing up. Also, keep an eye on how Holley performs, as he is a raw prospect who will be playing against the best competition he's faced in his short career.

    Grade: A

Offensive Linemen

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    Top Offensive Linemen:

    Depth in the offensive trenches is always needed, and this game has a lot of it. It starts with Robinson, who may be the best overall player in the country. Taylor is an excellent guard prospect, while Bauer has the makings of an All-SEC right tackle.

    Casher, Smith, Darling and Pierschbacher all offer versatility, as they can play across the front. Bushell-Beatty is underrated among this group.

    Grade: A- 

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

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    Top Prospects:

    Noil is the focus of this group, as he the most exciting and versatile offensive player in the nation. Dupre and Lane are 5-star studs who will be looking to use their size and deceptive speed to make plays, while Harris and Sims should display their impressive ball skills.

    Also, 5-star athlete John Smith could play receiver during the game. 

    In the seams, Luatua and Blazevich are the headliners. Both will be covered by great safeties and linebackers but they're skilled and athletic enough to make a few plays.

    Grade: A

Running Backs

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    Top Running Backs:

    With four 5-star recruits at this position, this game will not be void of talented running backs. Fournette is the total package as a runner, while Cook may have the highest ceiling of any player in this group.

    Yearby is among the quickest running backs in recent memory, while Thomas catches the ball well out of the backfield. Scarbrough could get a few snaps at receiver, while Jones is no slouch.

    Grade: A


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    Top Quarterbacks:

    There will be no shortage of available arms during the game, as the quarterback position has great depth and talent. Among the group, Chryst is closest to being a complete passer, but Watson isn't far behind.

    Cornwell has the strongest arm, while Hansen and O'Connor are also impressive on tape. Finally, it's time to get a good look at the enigmatic Mahalak.

    Grade: A

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Many of the top recruits playing the Under Armour All-America Game are featured on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.