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Rivals.com recruiting analyst Chris Nee breaks down the top 10 players who have put together the most impressive week of practices at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in Mobile, Ala. The players have been in Mobile, Ala., all week for practices and other festivities in preparation for Saturday's showdown.
The Mississippi State commitment exhibited good hands but displayed his true value once he caught the ball, showing great speed and elusiveness. He wasn't a one-trick pony either, as he showed an ability to go across the middle, vertical or be used on reverses. He is an explosive player who can change a game on every touch.
The all-purpose back was a key component of the Alabama offensive attack in practices. He can hurt you in a number of ways. When he runs the ball, he isn't scared of going between the tackles but he displays great speed on the edge. He is an outstanding receiver for quarterbacks to dump down to. He is a player that can be put in motion and used as a slot receiver. In space, he is an explosive player capable of making a defender miss with his moves and then running away from defensive backs.
The U.S. Army All-American may just be the best player in Mississippi. He made his case this week in practices, despite missing some of Friday's final practice. Johnson is a physical specimen who has a strong, thick, chiseled body. In motion, he is very smooth when moving laterally but is a wrecking ball when he is able to simply attack downhill. Johnson is incredibly athletic for an inside linebacker and can easily cover backs out of the backfield and downfield. He is great on the attack as his instincts allow him to put himself in the right spot at the right time.
Fosselman doesn't possess great size (5-10/182), but his ability at the position allows him to play bigger than his measurements. Throughout the week of practice Fosselman was consistent at catching the ball, even poor throws from his quarterback saw him give extra effort and make some highlight reel grabs. He is quick off the line of scrimmage and when he catches a pass he moves downfield with a purpose. He isn't scared of being physical when challenged by a defensive back.
The Auburn commitment had a good week of practice, but possibly turned in the single best practice performed on Wednesday at Foley High School. Coates, who is slender on a long frame, used his speed to regularly get behind a talented Alabama secondary easily stretching the field. When the ball was thrown his way, he did a great job snagging it. Coates isn't solely a quick receiver, as he also regularly won jump balls against physical, big defensive backs.
Collins is one of many outstanding defensive backs at the event on both teams but what may separate him from his peers is his competitive level. Collins wants to guard the best wide receiver and he regularly wins matchups. A tall, long defensive back that is comfortable as a cornerback, he can turn and run with wide receivers and when the ball is in the air he plays it like a wide receiver. LSU has landed a defensive back that should excel in the SEC.
Dismukes was above and beyond the talent level of any of his teammates on the Alabama offensive line. The Auburn commitment was outstanding snapping the ball all week, quickly getting on the same page with his two quarterbacks. Dismukes has a wide, thick frame that carries good weight but he moves well on his feet. He has plenty of room to add girth at the next level. When taking on defensive tackles, he is technically sound staying in his stance and establishing leverage. He has an excellent back lean that allows him to sustain a block for an extended period of time.
The best offensive lineman on the Mississippi squad is a tall, lean monster who has nimble feet and is very good at getting down the field on screens. Morris is a solid blocker in both run and pass situations, as his lateral movement is smooth but he will need to work on the quickness of his first step. When he is able to lock his long arms on a defender, he keeps them at bay and is able to establish position with his strength.
Shinn is a difficult matchup for any defensive back. He possesses great height, a strong upper body, outstanding athleticism and speed. He can beat you at the line of scrimmage or quickly get down the field and make a big catch in the air. A very acrobatic wide receiver, he is also capable of going across the middle and making the difficult catches. He is a wide receiver that is physically prepared to play early in his career and has the understanding of how to play his position that should earn him a lot of positive reviews at Alabama.
There were numerous players that could claim a stake to the final spot. Coker got stiff competition from his teammate, fellow quarterback Stephen Rivers, throughout the week of practice and beat him by the slimmest of margins for the final spot. Coker has a strong arm but displayed excellent touch on passes downfield and across the middle. He has a refined, quick throwing motion that allows him to get rid of tight spirals that are well-placed to his receivers. His tall, long frame allows him to easily gaze over his offensive line. He has prototypical size and a frame to add significant weight when he gets to Florida State.