While both Alabama and Florida State crashed and burned in the semifinals of the inaugural College Football Playoff, Friday's 2015 Under Armour All-America Game proved the future is extremely bright in Tuscaloosa and Tallahassee.
Even though the start of the new year brought disappointment for both Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, their pain was likely temporarily numbed after witnessing the display put on by their recruits.
The Crimson Tide and the Seminoles combined to have 21 total commitments represented during Friday’s game—in which Team Highlight defeated Team Armour by a score of 46-6.
Overall, it was a showcase for the two clubs who have the nation’s top two recruiting classes in the 2015 cycle and have combined to win the last three national titles.
Multiple standouts from Florida State's No. 2-ranked class flashed their talents during Friday's game.
Fisher's acumen at evaluating quarterbacks was once again on display—even though his latest proteges were the lowest-ranked passers coming into the game.
Deondre Francois—one of three quarterback pledges the 'Noles had in the game—was the most consistent passer on either team. The 4-star prospect hit all four of his passes for 103 yards and a 24-yard touchdown pass for Team Highlight.
De’Andre Johnson—a 3-star FSU pledge who led Team Armour with 72 yards of total offense—accounted for his squad's longest play from scrimmage and was the lone passer on his team who didn't throw an interception.
Even Kai Locksley—who is committed to Florida State as a quarterback but played receiver during this week’s game—wowed onlookers during practices and with a 36-yard reception in the game.
Locksley was Team Highlight’s third-leading receiver in the game, behind future teammates 5-star George Campbell (two catches for 68 yards) and 4-star Da’Vante Phillips (three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown).
Phillips was on the receiving end of a scoring strike from 5-star quarterback and Alabama commitment Blake Barnett.
The 6’5”, 200-pound California native turned in an efficient performance by completing five of his 10 passes for 66 yards with the one touchdown toss.
While future Tide studs such as Barnett and 5-star receiver Calvin Ridley were making noise on the field, the Tide were also the biggest winner on the sidelines as 5-star corner Kendall Sheffield and 4-star defensive tackle Daron Payne announced their commitments to Alabama.
Even a former Tide pledge—4-star receiver Daylon Charlot—ignited Team Highlight’s rout by scoring on a 53-yard punt return in the second quarter.
Per Sonny Shipp of Geaux247 (subscription required), in spite of his recent decommitment, Charlot still could end up back in the Tide’s 2015 class.
"Alabama is still my favorite," Charlot told Shipp. "The receivers that they are losing and with LSU getting more receivers. Alabama’s only offered like three receivers so that gives me a little better opportunity."
The performance from each team's group of commitments was a reminder that neither Florida State nor Alabama are ready to fade from the national spotlight anytime soon.
Considering the wealth of talent Saban and Fisher are bringing in, fans of the Tide and the 'Noles can take solace in that their programs will be well equipped to compete for national titles in the years to come.
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.