Top Performers from Florida vs. Georgia All-Star Game
John Garcia, Jr.
MIAMI -- The return of the border battle all-star event between perhaps the top two states in football talent returned on Sunday with some fireworks.
The Florida vs. Georgia All-Star Game featured more than 30 seniors already committed to and/or signed with FBS programs, with many shining brightest among the players in action during the 26-10 Georgia victory.
Most of the game was a defensive struggle and it fittingly was decided by a pair of Team Georgia pick-sixes with less than a minute to play.
SI All-American lays out its top performers from the classic all-star game, back for the first time since the 1990's.
DE Neto Okpala
Flashing on the edge, the Boston College signee registered multiple pressures to stop Florida’s best first quarter drive, including a sack. Okpala combined for another in the second quarter with speed and power off the edge. He drew a holding penalty during Florida’s attempt to get points just before the end of the first half and ended the team’s first drive of the second half with a third-down tackle in space. His 11.2 second mark in the 100-meter dash was apparent in chasing the passer on this night, part of the reason Okpala was named defensive MVP.
WR Leo Blackburn, Jr.
The Georgia Tech signee may have been the most talked about prospect in practices this week and he showed why on Georgia’s second drive of the second half. The 6-foot-4 or better wide receiver showed stride and ball skills on a pretty over-the-shoulder catch for 38 yards to get the team in the red zone. Then the full skill set was on display on the very next snap, using his length and mitts to snatch a back-shoulder ball away from a defender in the end zone. It was the only offensive touchdown by Georgia in the game.
DL Cameron Ball
The Arkansas signee flashed power up the middle and created a consistent push to get Florida QBs off their spot, including on a third-down sack in the second quarter. Not only is the powerful future Razorback strong in the trenches, but Brown showed some awareness and clutch play-making ability in securing an interception return for a score with the game in the balance under a minute to play.
OL George Jackson
Listed at 350 pounds, Jackson was perhaps the biggest prospect on the field and he was rock solid in the phone booth, as one would expect. But the unsigned tackle also made some plays on the move. He even got out to the second level and got the better of SI99 Maryland linebacker signee Terrence Lewis on a reverse. Jackson looks relatively in shape and worked well in a few kick sets while working at left tackle later in the game, too.
LB Jomel Robinson
The uncommitted linebacker looked like one of the fastest players on the field at any position, patrolling from sideline to sideline. Robinson, from the Atlanta area, was credited with several tackles and a sack of Kiael Kelly while working in space but the biggest impact play he made sealed the win for Georgia. Ahead of Ball intercepting Florida with the game in the balance, it was Robinson who pressured Colin Blazek to rush the ill-advised throw.
WR Yulkeith Brown
The Texas A&M signee flashed his speed, quickness and ball skills all evening in the return game and out wide at receiver. Brown's biggest flash play was a 9 route in which the ball was a bit inside. He adjusted to the football, decelerated and out-leaped a bigger Georgia defensive back to haul it in. He did it again later in the first half despite a flag bringing the ball back. There wasn’t a better pound-for-pound athlete on the field than Brown, who would top 100 yards and also draw two pass interferences on deep balls in the second half. He was named MVP for his effort.
OL Marquez Bargman
A compact blocker headed to Georgia State, Bargman worked like a grunt up front. At 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds he carries quite well, the Port St. Lucie native flashed booth power and made his mark through each whistle in the run game. Bargman has good length and athleticism on his side to aid the transition to the Peach State, too.
QB Kiael Kelly
The pro baseball legacy headed to MAC Champion Ball State started by showing some wheels and quick decision-making as the third Team Florida QB to get work. Kelly was the most successful passer on either roster from our vantage point, especially when it came to pushing the football down the field. He connected with Texas A&M signee Yulkeith Brown on a pair of deep shots to energize the home team and crowd. The first was on the outside but Kelly’s best ball of the night was a rope over the middle, allowing Brown to keep stride in getting behind the Georgia secondary.
RB Jaquez Moore
The Live Oak (Fla.) Suwanee star athlete signed with Duke in December and proved decisive and effective Sunday at tailback. While the yardage wasn’t gaudy, thanks to a great Georgia defensive line, he showed the ability to make defenders miss in tight windows with some grit and contact balance along the way. Moore scored Florida’s only touchdown on the night despite first contact inside the 5 yard line.
DE Stefan Young-Rolle
A true sleeper, the edge prospect won with speed off the left side on some third down situations. Young-Rolle has tweener size that enables him to pressure with quickness and power. The on-site coaching staff raved about him throughout the week after helping Miami (Fla.) Central to a state championship in registering 20 tackles for loss in a condensed season. Young-Rolle, who had a key fourth-quarter tackle for loss, also reports a 4.0 GPA to boot.
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