January 3, 2008

Under Armour: Thursday Silver Hot 11

ORLANDO, Fla. - It is pretty much impossible for Blake Ayles not to stand out on a daily basis in Under Armour practice sessions. He found another place to shine on Thursday. See who joins Ayles on the Thursday Hot 11.

Under Armour All Star Game Silver Hot 11

Blake Ayles, TE, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran

It is pretty much impossible for the 6-foot-4, 245-pound USC tight end commit not to stand out on a daily basis. With the Silver team practicing goal line sets, Ayles was a favorite target over the middle for all three quarterbacks. In the two-minute drill, he also moved the chains on each of the first three plays.

Andrew Sweat, LB, Washington (Pa.) Trinity Senior

Though the Ohio State linebacker commit is known as a punishing hitter, he excelled on Thursday even without pads. He showed that he was good in coverage by blanketing the tight ends and slot receivers and stopped several quarterback draws from turning into touchdowns.

A.J. Green, WR, Summerville (S.C.)

As with Ayles, it is hard to not notice Green every day. The Georgia commit runs his routes so effortlessly and makes difficult catches look routine. On a badly underthrown deep ball, Green managed to change direction and dive in between three coaches on the field to reel in a 45-yard reception.

Dee Finley, S, (Ala.)

The Florida safety commit has had a somewhat quiet week. However, he stood out on goal line defense, providing help over the middle. He had pass breakups on three successive plays that showed his natural instinct for the ball.

Spencer Adams, S, Matthews (N.C.) Butler

It is hard to find a flaw in Adams' game. Though naturally a free safety, the Silver coaches have him rotating at cornerback as well. He has more than held his own against the top receivers and kept A.J. Green from even coming close to a fade route pass in the corner of the end zone.

Rod Davis, DT, Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower

While it is hard for defensive linemen to truly impress without pads, the big Texas A&M commit had his best day of the week. While playing end, Davis rushed around the tackle and got his hands up to tip a pass from the quarterback. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound lineman then reeled in the tipped ball for an interception.

Chase Thomas, DE, Marietta (Ga.) Walton

Once again, it's tough to get a great read on a defensive lineman without pads, but the undersized end had a very good day on Thursday. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Thomas was able to consistently beat the much bigger offensive linemen off the ball and had several sacks on the day.

E.J. Manuel, QB, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside

With the defensive line getting pressure on him throughout practice, the Florida State quarterback commit had a chance to show off his running abilities. Manuel scrambled for several first downs and ran some successful quarterback draw plays as well. He also threw the prettiest pass of the day when he rolled right and hit D.J. Grant on a 15-yard out route.

Andre Ellington, RB, Moncks Corner (S.C.) Berkeley

The Clemson running back commit has been pretty quiet most of the week, as have the rest of the backs with the focus being on the passing game. On Thursday, however, he showed why he is in the all-purpose back category as he took a toss around the left edge for a big gain and also caught a swing pass out of the backfield that he ran in for a touchdown.

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington

The Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington product occasionally is hard to notice at cornerback. However, that's not his fault as the quarterbacks tend to stay away from his side of the field. It was apparent on Thursday that he is making a huge impact when Manuel had to take a sack instead of trying to force the ball to a receiver Harris was covering.

Daniel Franklin, LB, Mt. Airy (Ga.) Habersham Central

Although nobody has truly been able to stop Blake Ayles on routes over the middle, the Oklahoma linebacker commit had more success than anybody else at trying. He kept up with the athletic tight end and made good breaks on the ball to limit the yards after the catch. Franklin also defended the quarterback draw very well.

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