LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida – Two Under Armor All-America Game practices are in the books, and some players have really caused a sensation for one reason or another. Here are just a few of the players who have excelled so far and have won various awards for their performances.
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Wall of bricks
One of the best uncommitted prospects on both rosters, Campbell could be an immediate contributor to any team he chooses. An offensive inside lineman, Campbell is as strong as he comes and plays with great leverage. He beat several five-star defensive tackles during one-on-one. Campbell has very strong hands and controls the defensive linesman until the whistle blows. He showed the ability to slide to stay ahead of the defender and restore hands when needed. As a stroke blocker, Campbell also had no problem pushing defensive linesmen around.
Perkins should play linebacker to the next level, but he has the athleticism to play across the field. He starred in running back during his senior season and could see ball-in-hand time to the next level. Perkins spent Wednesday training playing the linebacker, but with his team’s depleted backfield he switched to attack on Thursday and worked as a running back.
Clemson is really excited about what he’s getting in Williams in the receiver position, and rightfully so. The Rivals250 prospect dominated the competition in one-on-one and team exercises. Her performance so far deserves praise and other prospects with her level of success would be celebrating and putting on a show for the cameras. Williams doesn’t. After burning a defensive back for a touchdown, he quietly returns the ball to the quarterback and gets back on the line for another repetition.
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Anderson proved to be nearly impossible to cover during the first two tests. Alabama hopes it can be the next Jaylen Waddle and there are many similarities. Anderson gave the quarterbacks plenty of room to get the ball to him, but they weren’t able to connect. Tuscaloosa quarterbacks will love his speed on the open court and the large windows he is able to offer them.
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The Team Legends defensive line group may be the most dominant group in both teams, and is pegged at three to five stars. Nolen was an absolute beast during the first two rounds, and future Texas A&M Aggie is playing as the most motivated player in attendance, even though he’s already number 2 in Rivals250. Alexander, a signer from Georgia, has been playing with a lot of energy and is proving too fast for most of the internal linemen. Shaw, a future Tar Heel from North Carolina, is a little upset, but he looked good in training on Wednesday. His athleticism and size make him a mismatch against many of the linesmen present.
The Icons team is loaded with linebackers, but Campbell stands out. The Alabama signer is one of the more physical linebackers and moves very well in space. During team drills at the end of Thursday’s practice, Campbell took a pass and returned it for a touchdown. The game looked eerily similar to James Harrison’s interception in the Steelers’ victory over the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Saunders was one of the protagonists of Wednesday’s free practice, continuing to prove that he is one of the best receivers in this class. The Penn State signer had no trouble opening up, but everyone saw how big his hands were. Saunders did a few catches of the highlights during one-on-one, but what everyone saw was a one-handed catch along the sidelines. It is not the largest receiver but it opens up and its capture range is so large because it can take whatever is thrown at it.
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There are a lot of huge prospects on the roster, but none casts as big a shadow as Oatis. Officially priced at 6 feet-5,320 pounds, the Alabama signer showed up in Orlando with a much larger appearance. Oatis moves quite well for its size and it is very clear that it will be effective as a space eater in the middle of the Alabama defensive line. Alabama’s conditioning program will help him a lot, but it may take some time for Oatis to see regular play time.
It’s not surprising to see a five-star mentioned in the awards file, but Johnson certainly looked the part through the first two trials. Future Michigan Wolverine has an exceptional build and he used it to his advantage whenever he could. What stands out the most about his performance so far is his instincts. Johnson did a great job of jumping courses and using his long arms to break passes across the pitch. He had a couple of plays where he broke passes early but dropped the ball otherwise he would have had at least a choice 6.
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Spears-Jennings may be the biggest surprise yet, and her performance has a lot to do with her speed. The Oklahoma signer won the fastest competition, beating well-known sprinter Evan Stewart, and was able to cover most of the receivers he encountered during drills. When it comes to judging these defensive shoulders based on their physical talent, Spears-Jennings tops the list.
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