Tuesdays with Gorney: Thoughts on Day 1 of All-American Bowl practice

SANT ‘ANTONIO – The first day of training at the All-American Bowl is in the books and there are many thoughts on Western and Eastern training. Here is the latest:

QUARTITORS

Drew Allar

The opening day of practice didn’t see the quarterbacks throwing too many 1-on-1 courses, especially on the western team which was under a lot of defenders, but there were still some remarks. Penn State player Drew Allar was most impressive with his size and arm strength, but on some deep balls the ball got stuck, so timing with his catchers will be important.

In the Western squad, Ohio State signer Devin Brown and Clemson signer Cade Klubnik were just as there as the top two. They both have great talent and accuracy on their arm and although that team didn’t pitch much because not many defenders trained, both Brown and Klubnik looked the part and confirmed their rankings.

*****

RUNNING BACK

Omarian Hampton

Omarian Hampton

Running backs don’t do much in all-star training, but North Carolina signer Omarion Hampton stood out most during early Eastern workouts. The 6-foot 220-pound four-star who ranked eighth in the position is muscular, ran well, and easily took steps while running courses.

Penn State signer Nicholas Singleton also watched the part as others did, but action was limited on the Western squad, so not much was seen there.

*****

WIDE RECEIVERS

Kevin Coleman

Kevin Coleman

Three Western receivers stood out the most on Day 1 as four-star CJ Williams was so consistent throughout the day and received the most passes. He opened regularly, showed great hands, and looked smooth with every drill. The most handsome receiver of the event is Notre Dame signer Tobias Merriweather, whose length stands out the most. The four-star has a huge catch range, good athleticism, and in addition to a drop, Merriweather impressed.

Four-star Kevin Coleman was also very good. He is dynamic, fast, athletic and time after time the standout of St. Louis (Mo.) St. Mary has starred. The wide receiver class is loaded, but Coleman made a statement on Day 1 which was tough because the practice was lighter.

The East squad is full of fast, undersized receivers with Isaiah Bond and Barion Brown looking the best, but he was close to the whole group.

*****

OFFENSIVE LINE

Kiyaunta Goodwin and Tegra Tshabola

Kiyaunta Goodwin and Tegra Tshabola

The western offensive lineman was impressive with four-star Earnest Greene and Josh Conerly in the spotlight, but Notre Dame signer Billy Schrauth led the way. The Fond du Lac (Wisc.) St. Mary’s Springs star played primarily as a right guard, appeared to be physically dominant and moved really well. Schrauth didn’t attend many events during his high school career so it was important to see him here and he was impressive on the first day of rehearsal.

On the East side, Alabama signer Elijah Pritchett has played primarily as an offensive guard, although the Crimson Tides want him as an offensive tackle. The four star was very good and consistent. Though Notre Dame signer Aamil Wagner is a bit light, he more than stood up to the defensive linemen and got off to an impressive start.

Kiyaunta Goodwin and Tegra Tshabola are absolutely huge and line up at tackle and left guard respectively, but both battled the speed rusher on Day 1.

*****

DEFENSIVE LINE

Dani Dennis-Sutton

Dani Dennis-Sutton

There are a lot of elite defensive linemen at this event and many showed up during the first practice. None have been better than Penn State signer Dani Dennis-Sutton and Georgia signer Mykel Williams, who both dominated on the edge with excellent speed and then power when needed. Dennis-Sutton was particularly impressive against five star OL Julian Armella and Williams was good against everyone.

Georgia signer Marvin Jones Jr. and Duke signer Vincent Anthony had their moments and in particular the signed Auburn Caden Story was a disruptive force down the defensive line and made tons of games.

On the Western squad, LSU signer Quency Wiggins and Florida signer Chris McClellan made a lot of plays and made an impact. Missouri signer Tyson Ford was one of the most beautiful prospects of the event, and Purdue signer Nic Caraway has enormous length and was an out-of-bounds force.

*****

LINEBACKER

Just like the running backs, the linebackers didn’t do much on the first day of training, especially since setup was a key goal of the coaches. However, Utah signer Lander Barton and LSU signer DeMario Tolan made a few plays, but it was a rather limited position.

*****

DEFENSIVE BACKRESTS

Xavier Nwankpa

Xavier Nwankpa

There aren’t many defenders training yet, but some are already standing out. Xavier Nwankpa, a five-star signed in Iowa, was outstanding, getting a pass in the afternoon session and being a really smart football player on every repetition. Four-star Davison Igbinosun, who announces the game on Saturday, had an interception. Texas A&M signer Deyon Bouie and Georgia signer Julian Humphrey showed exceptional speed on coverage.

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