Grading the 2014 Under Armour All-America Roster
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.
Top Defensive Backs:
- Marlon Humphrey, 5-star cornerback
- Adoree' Jackson, 5-star cornerback
- Tony Brown, 5-star cornerback
- Jabrill Peppers, 5-star defensive back (Michigan commitment)
- Jalen Tabor, 5-star cornerback
- Jamal Adams, 5-star safety
- Quin Blanding, 5-star safety (Virginia commitment)
- Laurence Jones, 5-star safety
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.
- Raekwon McMillan, 5-star inside linebacker (Ohio State commitment)
- Kain Daub, 4-star inside linebacker (Florida State commitment)
- Tre' Williams, 4-star inside linebacker (Auburn commitment)
- Dillon Bates, 4-star outside linebacker (Tennessee commitment)
- Christian Miller, 4-star outside linebacker (Alabama commitment)
- Rashaan Evans, 4-star outside linebacker
- Jacob Pugh, 4-star outside linebacker (Florida State commitment)
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.
Top Defensive Linemen:
- Da'Shawn Hand, 5-star defensive end (Alabama commitment)
- Myles Garrett, 5-star defensive end (Texas A&M commitment)
- Lorenzo Carter, 5-star defensive end
- Chad Thomas, 4-star defensive end (Miami commitment)
- Andrew Brown, 5-star defensive tackle (Virginia commitment)
- Thomas Holley, 4-star defensive tackle (Penn State commitment)
- Bryan Mone, 4-star defensive tackle (Michigan commitment)
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.
Top Offensive Linemen:
- Cameron Robinson, 5-star offensive tackle (Alabama commitment)
- Damian Prince, 5-star offensive tackle
- Kc McDermott, 4-star offensive tackle (Miami commitment)
- Roderick Taylor, 4-star guard (Ole Miss commitment)
- Ross Pierschbacher, 4-star guard (Alabama commitment)
- Jamarco Jones, 4-star offensive tackle (Ohio State commitment)
- Casey Tucker, 4-star offensive tackle
- Alex Bars, 4-star offensive tackle (Notre Dame commitment)
- Trevor Darling, 4-star offensive tackle (Miami commitment)
- Andy Bauer, 4-star offensive tackle (Missouri commitment)
- Braden Smith, 4-star guard
- Joshua Casher, 4-star center/guard (Alabama commitment)
- Juwann Bushell-Beatty, 4-star offensive tackle (Michigan commitment)
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.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
- Speedy Noil, 5-star receiver/athlete
- Malachi Dupre, 5-star receiver
- Ermon Lane, 5-star receiver (Florida commitment)
- Drake Harris, 4-star receiver (Michigan commitment)
- Travis Rudolph, 4-star receiver
- Cameron Sims, 4-star receiver (Alabama commitment)
- Tyler Luatua, 4-star tight end (Notre Dame commitment)
- Jeb Blazevich, 4-star tight end (Georgia commitment)
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.
Top Running Backs:
- Leonard Fournette, 5-star running back
- Dalvin Cook, 5-star running back (Florida commitment)
- Racean Thomas, 5-star running back (Auburn commitment)
- Bo Scarbrough, 5-star running back (Alabama commitment)
- Joseph Yearby, 4-star running back (Miami commitment)
- Jeff Jones, 4-star running back (Minnesota commitment)
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.
- Keller Chryst, 5-star pro-style quarterback (Stanford commitment)
- Deshaun Watson, 4-star dual-threat quarterback (Clemson commitment)
- David Cornwell, 4-star pro-style quarterback (Alabama commitment)
- Justice Hansen, 4-star dual-threat quarterback (Oklahoma commitment)
- Michael O'Connor, 4-star pro-style quarterback (Penn State commitment)
- Morgan Mahalak, 4-star dual-threat quarterback (Oregon commitment)
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.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Many of the top recruits playing the Under Armour All-America Game are featured on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!