When the nation's top high schoolers meet in the Under Armour All-American Game, some will still be deciding where they'll play their college football.
The showcase at Tropicana Field represents one of the toughest levels of competition in high school football. How prospects play in St. Petersburg will be a good indicator of how they will perform at the next level, which is especially significant if they have not committed to a college football team yet.
The uncommitted players will be the most intriguing to watch. This game is all about potential and possibility, more so for the guys with undetermined futures than for anyone else on the field.
Tony Brown, CB
Whether a receiver tries to run by him or jump over him, Tony Brown can keep up and make plays.
The cornerback out of Beaumont, Texas stands 6'0", 188 pounds and runs a 4.35 40-yard dash, per 247 Sports, giving him the athleticism to cover just about anyone who lines up across from him. According to ESPN, Brown hopes that elite speed will translate into collegiate track success as well.
ESPN also reports that Brown suffered a shoulder injury in Under Armour practice, though the 18-year-old still wants to play. That determination should be attractive to the big-time schools he's considering—Alabama, Ohio State, Texas and USC are all under consideration, but 247 Sports puts LSU firmly in the lead.
Whether or not Brown gets targeted often in St. Petersburg, he's too fast and too strong to be denied on defense. He might not collect any picks, but he'll find his way to the ball and make tackles.
Lorenzo Carter, DE
If you see someone swoop around the edge and take down the quarterback, odds are it's Lorenzo Carter.
At 6'5", 232 pounds, the Norcross, Ga. native runs a phenomenal 4.63 40 from the defensive end position, per 247 Sports. Rushing off the weak side, even if Carter doesn't get all the way to the QB and record the sack, he'll at least obscure the passing lane and impact the play.
He'll have to put on some more weight to succeed as an every-down defender at the next level, but Carter certainly has the frame to support it. If 247 Sports is correct, the Georgia Bulldogs would reap the benefits of their local prospect's development, though LSU and Florida, and to a lesser extent Florida State and Alabama, are in the hunt.
For now, Carter has the physical abilities to get the job done, and that's terrifying for whoever is under center.
Speedy Noil, WR
Actually, Speedy Noil knows exactly where he's going to go to school; he just won't tell anyone until the All-American Game.
“I made my decision about a week ago,” Noil said. “I looked into the schools a lot, and I talked to my mom and she said choose what’s best for me. I just made the decision on my own, and nobody knows yet, not even my mother or my family. I’ll tell her when she gets down here for my decision.”
247 Sports gives the edge to LSU, but whichever school lands Speedy will get a guy who lives up to his name. He's just 5'10", 176 pounds, but he runs a 4.40 40 and can employ that speed all over the field; though he projects best as a college wideout, Noil played QB in high school and has the athleticism to play just about any skill position.
Just how good is Noil? He's already 247 Sports' top wide receiver prospect without regularly playing the position yet.
Marlon Humphrey, CB
Though Brown and Noil could face off at Tropicana Field, 247 Sports' best cornerback will unfortunately be on Noil's team.
No matter; no one would want to throw at Marlon Humphrey much, regardless of the receiver going against him.
Though Humphrey doesn't have a 40 time on record, his athletic gifts are not in question. His highlight reel backs up his ranking, and at 6'1", 175 pounds, he has the size to compete with professional-caliber receivers even at age 17.
Humphrey won't name his future team quite yet. Matt Scalici of AL.com reports Humphrey will reveal his decision at the Alabama indoor track championships on February 1, where the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles will be neck and neck for the corner's services, per 247 Sports.
Mississippi State is a dark horse, but expect Humphrey to commit to an elite program.
Leonard Fournette, RB
The top running back in 247 Sports' composite rankings is also the site's best prospect overall.
Leonard Fournette is the total package. He's 6'1", 226 pounds, giving him the strength to run through most linebackers he'll face, let alone defensive backs. And you don't have to see a 40 time to know he has the speed to match; just watch the tape of him shaking off defenders, then breaking away.
Jerit Roser of The Times-Picayune reports Fournette is also set to announce his commitment at the All-American Game. A Louisiana native like Noil and Brown, Fournette is considering mainly between LSU and Alabama, according to 247 Sports, with Texas a distant third in the running.
On his future decision, Fournette told Roser: "Somebody's gonna be happy, and somebody's gonna be sad at the end of the day," he smiled. "We just have to wait and see."
Best-case scenario, Fourette commits to your favorite team at this All-Star game, but at the worst, he'll still put on a show for everyone watching.
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