The 2013 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game is scheduled for Friday, January 4 at 5 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Florida State commitments and targets will be well represented at the 6th annual game. Warchant.com breaks down the All-Americans you should keep an eye on.
Prospects to watch
The prospects in the trenches aren't typically a position to watch, but in this case, one of the biggest to watch for Seminole fans is how Rivals100 guard Ira Denson does against furious defensive tackles like Montravius Adams, Caleb Brantley, Maquadius Bain and Greg Gilmore. Denson more than held his own against Brantley last summer after a dominating one-on-one match-up during the Tallahassee Nike Camp. Now it's time for the final round in St. Petersburg.
Five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas will be another intriguing match-up to watch as he will be joined by the nation's No. 1 linebacker Rueben Foster, Notre Dame commitment Alex Anzalone, Florida commitment Matt Rolin and the nation's no. 2 linebacker prospect, Trey Johnson, who is currently uncommitted. Thomas might have the most versatility out of any linebacker in being able to play all three linebacker positions (Mike, Sam and Will). But a key factor to watch is how Thomas matches up with the speed at running back like Alvin Kamara and FSU commitment Ryan Green.
Four-star Stacy Coley is another player to watch. Throughout the season, his Northeast team (Oakland Park, Fla.) had issues finding ways to get Coley the ball. But that won't be a problem this week. Coley will be challenged with the likes of cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves (Florida commitment), Shaq Wiggins and Priest Willis. But the challenge for those corners might be containing Coley's speed and elusiveness on a consistent basis.
Ready to make an impression
FSU running back commitment Ryan Green will have an opportunity to put on a big show in front of his hometown. He probably has the most to prove after a shoulder injury kept him off the field for a majority of his senior year. How physical fit will he be? If his work ethic during his rehabilitation is any indication, it's going to be a tough night for the defense that has to deal with Green's speed and change of direction.
"I can't wait, this is a dream come true to play in front my hometown," Green said. "I'm just going to have a lot of fun with it and enjoy the week with the other players."
Defensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La.), also has plenty to prove for this big game and will be one to watch throughout the week. It will be interesting to see how he measures up against some of the bigger tackles in the nation. The one critique of Williams is his size (6-foot-4, 225), but his quickness off the edge is going to be one of the fastest this weekend. How will Williams handle the bigger, physical players? FSU and Miami fans also want to see is how well Williams does against the run in staying level and fighting off blocks to consistently make plays. His pass rushing skills should standout during most the week, but how rounded is the rest of his game? Williams is ready to make that statement this weekend.
"I'm ready and focused. I can't wait to go against the best. That's what every great player wants," said Williams.
Late season push
Although Florida State was always in the mix for cornerback Priest Willis, it wasn't until after his football season that his interest started to peak, especially after he took an official visit to FSU during the Florida game. He told Warchant.com that he was 'blown away'.
The big question for Florida State is if it still has a chance, especially since Willis' lead recruiter was Mark Stoops. However, FSU's new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has already made a good impression on Willis and his family after a recent phone call. Willis anticipates an in-home visit from FSU in the second week of January according to his step father Mike Walker.
Another name to keep an eye on is Maryland offensive tackle commitment Derwin Gray, who is from the same school as FSU freshman Eddie Goldman. Gray told Warchant.com on Thursday that he wants to make sure of his decision and Florida State is one school he's looking hard at. Gray still considers himself a firm commitment to the Terrapins.
Who will be the top performer?
Stacy Coley and Ryan Green should have a big week. Then there is Priest Willis on the defensive side of the ball. However, our choice is five-star safety Leon McQuay. He is a ball hawking freak at free safety - basically a corner playing the safety position with his speed.
McQuay should give a lot of opportunities to be that center fielder in the middle of the field. If you haven't gone against the type of speed of McQuay (in closing on the football), it's an adjustment. He should have a big performance.
Targets to watch for FSU in Under Armour game
Here is a list of Under Armour players that have FSU offers and have shown interest in the 'Noles:
DE Carl Lawson
TE Tim Williams
LB Matthew Thomas
CB Vernon Hargreaves (Florida commit)
DT Montravius Adams
WR Stacy Coley
S Leon McQuay
DE DeMarcus Walker
RB Alvin Kamara
CB Priest Willis
RB Ryan Green
OB Ira Denson
DB Artie Burns
Ath Jalin Marshall
WR Earnest Robinson
OT Denver Kirkland
OT Derwin Gray
LB/DE Yannick Ngakoue
* Here is a complete roster
Warchant.com Under Armour coverage
Staring on Monday, Warchant.com will have live updates from each practice (Monday-Thursday), a daily practice wrap, photos, video interviews and more.
On game day, we'll have a live blog, post-game interviews and game notebook.
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