Under Armour All-America Game Prospect Preview
John Garcia, Jr.
Who is the top college football prospect in the class of 2020?
As the New Year approaches that answer will become a bit clearer. The national all-star circuit is set to begin over the weekend as top talent arrives for the Under Armour All-America Game. While recruiting news won't be short, the performance aspect of the week should generate just as much discussion.
There isn't a deeper position on the UA All-America roster than the defensive line. South Carolina commitment Jordan Burch, an SI All-American, is the headliner but he will have plenty of top talent on his heels. Fellow SIAA selections Demonte Capehart (Clemson) and Gervon Dexter (Florida) are in competition for top overall and interior defensive line prospect in the country and we will see each on the same field for the first time. Georgia signee Jalen Carter, a local standout, has the physical tools to flash as much as anyone in the group. Clemson signee Tre Williams is among the more polished interior prospects in the class, too.
From a pass-rushing perspective, considering Burch plays outside as well, there are just as big a crop to be considered along with the future Gamecock. Among pass rushers also at the UA All-America event, Alabama signee Chris Braswell, Washington's SaV'ell Smalls and Georgia's Mekhail Sherman are among the worthy challengers. Don't count out long and lean North Carolina signee Desmond Evans or edge bender Chantz Williams (Miami) as speed rushers, either. Should the linebacker group get the chance to put their hand in the dirt on occasion, Alabama signees Demouy Kennedy (SIAA) and Drew Sanders could contend along with Clemson SIAA signee Trenton Simpson.
A sneaky good storyline comes on the other side of the ball at the offensive tackle position. The top three talents in the Sunshine State, SIAA pick Issiah Walker (Florida), polished state champion Marcus Dumervil (LSU) and Miami signee Jalen Rivers are each slated to compete. There are still some position projection questions surrounding Walker and Rivers, who have a floor at guard, and the week will make it that much clearer one way or the other. Dumervil was dominant against similar competition at The Opening Finals and a repeat performance could provide distance between he and the best in Florida.
Running back should be a treat for onlookers come game day. The week isn't necessarily built for the position but the roster is complete with head-turners as runners or receivers in the speedy Chris Tyree (Notre Dame), dynamic SI All-American Demarkcus Bowman (Clemson) and undeclared game headliner Zach Evans. Auburn signee Tank Bigsby may be the best of the bunch running behind his pads while Alabama's Jase McClellan and Miami's Jaylan Knighton are lethal in space. How will EJ Smith, the son of Emmitt now headed to Stanford, stack up?
Quarterbacks always factor into the discussion at these events and the 2020 UA game has a diverse crop of passing and running talent. Texas signee Hudson Card is probably the overall headliner coming in but Notre Dame's Drew Pyne and Oklahoma State's Shane Illingworth will provide polished passing to the group. Among the dual threats, Texas A&M signee Haynes King will have the most eyes on him after a hot and cold senior season while Oregon signee Robby Ashford and Georgia Tech's Jeff Sims also have the chance to impress. What about the only uncommitted passer in the game, Chandler Morris? The son of Auburn offensive coordinator Chad Morris will have plenty interested in his game and recruitment alike.
Plenty of additional future stars are slated to compete in Orlando January 2. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
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