December 22, 2012

Under pressure: Under Armour All-America Game

MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Here is a look at the 10 players (listed alphabetically) who enter the Under Armour All-America Game under heavy scrutiny.

UNDER ARMOUR ALL-AMERICA GAME: JAN. 4
DE Joey Bosa, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, four stars
Bosa has been hampered by injuries and off-the-field issues that caused him to miss time during his senior year. His performance in the state finals against Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln was what many came to expect for the entirety of his senior year, but the promise was not delivered upon.

CB Gareon Conley, Washington (Ohio) Massillon, three stars
One of the lower-ranked players in the game, Conley can earn an extra star (or more) by showing that he can keep pace with the other cornerbacks and by locking down receivers. Conley was a victim of the "no official visits" policy at Michigan and can look to show the country that the Wolverines coaches should have had more faith in him.

WR Robert Foster, Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley, four stars
Foster, who just committed to Alabama, has fallen each of the past three rankings periods from No. 26 to No. 74 as he continues to confound. His talent is obvious, but he appears not to care about football when he is on the field. It would be nice to see passion from him instead of watching an uber-talented player going through the motions.

OT Derwin Gray, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate, four stars
Gray has been tumbling down the rankings, and this could be a final opportunity to showcase his ability or potentially fall from the Rivals250. He has gone from No. 70 to No. 170, and there are major questions surrounding his pass blocking. If he isn't getting it done in Orlando, he will quickly be exposed by the defensive line opponents he will see.

QB Christian Hackenberg, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, four stars
Hackenberg came out of the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in a real debate for the top pro-style quarterback in the country, but he has slid to No. 4 in the position rankings. His stock could move either way with his performance in Orlando. The real question is if his decision making has improved because the regular-season evaluations were not what were expected coming out of the summer session.

S Marcell Harris, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips, four stars
Harris has been steadily impressing analysts with his play in the summer and throughout the season. He is one of the best ballhawks in the class -- especially at the safety position. The local talent has been dealing with lingering injuries, and it will be good to see him well rested and close to 100 percent.

DE Chris Jones, Houston (Miss.) High, three stars
Jones is unranked on any level, including within his own state, but that figures to change in a big way. He was dominant in the Alabama-Mississippi Classic and took home the MVP award. There is potential for a major move into the rankings if he can follow through on the buzz he generated in his last all-star outing.

DE Carl Lawson, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton, five stars
There was talk coming out of the summer that Lawson was the best player on the circuit. He followed that with a stellar season, making the talk even louder. The only knock against Lawson has been his size, but he has shown that not to be a limitation. Seeing Lawson and the current top-ranked player, Robert Nkemdiche, side by side will help put the argument to rest.

DE Robert Nkemdiche, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, five stars
The uncommitted Nkemdiche was tabbed as the top player in the country coming off an impressive junior year, and then he went underground. Nkemdiche did not participate in any events in the summer and did not have the statistically impressive season that most anticipated. There will be no place to hide in Orlando, and many will be evaluating him against Lawson for the top spot in the position group and maybe the country.

CB Priest Willis, Tempe (Ariz.) Macos De Niza, four stars
The uncommitted Willis is a player who could be poised for a major boost if he plays well. While not seeing many challengers in Arizona, Willis looks the part of a shutdown cornerback. With the class of players at his position it could be hard to stand out, but if he does it will be duly noted. He took a slight slide back in the last rankings period but could skyrocket based on his performance in Orlando.




 

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