Under Armour All America Game 2015: Grading the Top 10 Recruits

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystJanuary 3, 2015

Under Armour All America Game 2015: Grading the Top 10 Recruits

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    5-star QB and Alabama commitment Blake Barnett was one of the headliners in action in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.
    5-star QB and Alabama commitment Blake Barnett was one of the headliners in action in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.USA TODAY Sports

    The 2015 Under Armour All-America Game showcased a number of the most talented prospects from the 2015 class.

    Ten players ranked among the nation’s top 20 prospects overall were in action during Friday’s contest—in which Team Highlight defeated Team Armour by a score of 46-6.

    The lone bright spot for Team Armour was 5-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack—who was perhaps the most dominating player on the field.

    How did the rest of the top prospects competing in the Under Armour All-America Game fare?

10. Daylon Mack

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    Wherever 5-star running back Damien Harris lands at the college level, he’s likely hoping he never has to see Daylon Mack coming full steam at him ever again.

    Harris was the most frequent victim on the receiving end of a punish tackle from Mack—who made a living in Team Highlight’s backfield.

    The nation's No. 19 overall prospect even recovered a fumble in the third quarter that thwarted a scoring drive. In addition to netting a turnover, he notched seven tackles during the game—including three for loss.

    Despite his team being on the losing end, Mack can easily make a case as the game’s most dominant performer. 

    As ESPN’s Derek Tyson notes, Mack’s game performance capped a great week in which he also dominated during the practices.

    Grade: A

9. Kendall Sheffield

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    One of the most surprising developments from the 2015 Under Armour All-American Game was 5-star corner Kendall Sheffield's commitment to Alabama.

    His commitment marks the second consecutive year Nick Saban has earned a commitment from a 5-star corner from the state of Texas, joining Tony Brown from a year ago.

    During the game, Sheffield—who is ranked as the No. 18 player overall in the 2015 class—was beaten on a deep pass by 3-star receiver Brandon Martin.

    However, Sheffield was solid in run support as he finished with five tackles, which tied for the team's best in that category. 

    His commitment gives Alabama another talented piece to build around in the secondary. 

    Grade: B

8. Terry Beckner Jr.

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    Terry Beckner Jr. is listed at defensive end on his 247Sports profile, but the No. 17 player overall in the 2015 class slid inside to play defensive tackle this week.

    The 6’4”, 293-pounder—who has schools such as Missouri, Florida State and Ohio State among his top choices—made a statement about his ability to be an elite player along the interior with his performance in practices, as noted by JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.

    However, aside from a quarterback pressure during the third quarter, Beckner was mostly quiet during the game.

    In fact, he failed to register any stats. It was a disappointing performance for a player regarded as one of the nation's top talents along the defensive line.

    Grade: C

7. Malik Jefferson

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    Malik Jefferson arrived this week as the nation’s top outside linebacker prospect and the 14th-best recruit overall in the 2015 class. 

    The 6’3”, 215-pounder had a solid effort for Team Highlight’s defense. He was impressive when he dropped into coverage and showed that he could run downfield with athletic tight ends.

    He recovered a third-quarter fumble and displayed his strength by dragging 4-star quarterback and Notre Dame pledge Brandon Wimbush for about 10 yards to set up a score.

    He recorded one tackle for loss and a pass breakup in what was a strong performance from the top player in the state of Texas.

    Grade: A

6. Calvin Ridley

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    It was a mostly quiet day for 5-star receiver and Alabama commitment Calvin Ridley.

    However, he took a short pass from Blake Barnett in the fourth quarter and darted away from future teammate Minkah Fitzpatrick for a 28-yard reception. Even though it was his only catch on the day, it was the type of catch-and-run that showcases his explosiveness in the open field.

    He wasn’t able to duplicate the performance Amari Cooper had in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game.

    However, the nation's No. 13 overall prospect in the class of 2015 will get a chance to likely succeed Cooper in Tuscaloosa next fall.

    Grade: B

5. Blake Barnett

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    Alabama is used to having its share of studs at every position. However, in Blake Barnett, Nick Saban finally has a dynamic passer who possesses the tools to be an All-American-caliber passer. 

    Barnett showed off his athleticism as a runner early on and displayed great touch and accuracy on short passes.

    He threw a couple of accurate back-shoulder throws early in the third quarter—the second of which resulted in a touchdown to Florida State receiver pledge Da’Vante Phillips.

    Barnett—who ranks as the nation's top dual-threat quarterback and the No. 12 player overall in the 2015 class—didn't make any highlight-caliber plays. But, he was efficient and made good decisions while leading his club to a victory. 

    Grade: B

4. Kevin Toliver II

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    LSU pledge and 5-star corner Kevin Toliver has all the attributes any college coach could want when looking for a lockdown corner.

    The 6’2”, 185-pounder is a physical corner who showed the tendency to come up and deliver a blow in run support.

    However, the nation's second-best corner prospect lost a battle on a fade stop route to Phillips in the third quarter.

    Despite that blemish, Toliver was consistently in good position in coverage and showed why he’s a candidate to become an early contributor in Baton Rouge next season.

    Grade: B

3. Derwin James

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    Florida State commitment Derwin James promised to “bring the pain” earlier this week, as noted by Josh Newberg of Noles247.

    The nation’s top safety and No. 6 player overall in the 2015 class certainly delivered a huge block that sprung defensive tackle Christian Wilkins into the end zone on a blocked point after touchdown in the second quarter. 

    He also showcased his range on a near-interception where his feet landed out of bounds on a pass thrown by future college teammate and quarterback DeAndre Johnson.

    He finished with four tackles, which was tied for second-best among the defenders on Team Highlight.

    He was solid in run support, and his overall body of work during the week showed why he is billed as an elite prospect in the 2015 class.

    Grade: A

2. Byron Cowart

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    Byron Cowart was praised all week long as one of the most consistently dominant performers during this week’s practices.

    The nation’s No. 1 defensive end and fourth-best prospect overall was nearly unblockable from the outset, as noted by Warchant.com.

    He flashed a burst off the line of scrimmage and caused an interception when he tipped a fourth-quarter pass. He was even stout in run support as he forced a fumble from 5-star running back Soso Jamabo in the second quarter.

    He finished with four tackles, including one sack, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and a pass breakup.

    Overall, Cowart put an exclamation point on a strong week and cemented his status as the nation’s best defensive end prospect in the 2015 class.

    Grade: A

1. Iman Marshall

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    Considering that Iman Marshall—who is the nation's No. 3 overall prospect and the top-rated player at the game—wasn't tested much given Team Armour’s struggles on offense, he still managed to make an impact on the game in special teams.

    He had an impressive day notching a slew of punishing tackles as a gunner on kickoff coverage. 

    He was also sticky in coverage for the most part, as his third-quarter pass breakup on 5-star receiver Tyron Johnson illustrated. 

    He finished tied for the most tackles on the team with five stops. 

    His performance was enough to serve as a solid reminder of why he’s valued as the nation’s top cover corner in the 2015 class.

    Grade: A

    Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. 

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