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Under Armour All-America Preview


Under Armour All-America GameJan. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

The 2012 Under Armour All-America Game kicks off tonight at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Here's a look at several players and recruiting developments to watch.

DE Mario Edwards, Ryan (Texas) -- A Florida State legacy and commit, Edwards emerged as a dominant force during practice this week. The 6-foot-3, 297-pounder lined up at both defensive end and tackle, the latter where he's been virtually unblockable in pursuit. Expect him to make a major impact in the backfield.

DE Dante Fowler, Lakewood (Fla.) -- Another Seminole commit, Fowler displayed an explosive first step and created mismatches for opposing linemen during workouts. His footwork is the most polished of any defensive end on either roster -- a trait that should become very evident after kickoff.

QB Zach Kline, San Ramon Valley (Calif.) -- A Cal-bound prospect, Kline stated his case as the top pro-style quarterback in the country this week. Despite athletic limitations, he possesses tremendous pocket awareness and arguably the best arm in the '12 class. Look for him to connect on at least one deep ball.

OT Isaac Seumalo, Corvallis (Ore.) -- Seumalo, quite simply, has been the best offensive linemen on either roster. He's technically advanced beyond his years, a characteristic that should translate well to the next level. He committed to Oregon State -- where his father, Joe, is defensive line coach -- in June, but plans to visit USC on Jan. 13.

QB Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.) -- While Winston didn't have a consistent, or even mildly impressive, week of practice, the prime-time setting should serve as an ideal opportunity to showcase his coveted skill set. It'll be interesting to see if the Florida State commit favors his arm or his legs, as he's been the nation's premier dual-threat quarterback in '11 (2,424 passing yards, 1,063 rushing yards).

S Landon Collins, Dutchtown (La.) -- The third-ranked prospect according to 247Sports, Collins has lived up to expectations. His ability to defend the run should emerge in game action (there's been no tackling to the ground in practice) and more important, he'll announce his long-awaited commitment to Alabama or LSU. He should make an immediate impact in the SEC next season.

DT Malcom Brown, Brenham (Texas) -- A Texas commit, Brown served as the top defensive tackle on either team during practice. The five-star's ability to speed and bull rush sets him apart in the 2012 class.

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RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas) -- Perhaps the most accomplished high school running back in Texas state history, Gray has been at less than 100 percent because of fluid buildup in his knee. It hasn't slowed him. He continues to torch defenders with game-changing speed and field vision, skills that should translate well to Thursday's game and beyond.

ATH Davonte Neal, Chaparral (Ariz.) -- Neal has been the most valuable prospect at practice thus far, doubling as a cornerback (where he's been the best on his team) and receiver while also handling return duties. He should make an impact on both sides of the ball, and is considering Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC, among others.

DE Noah Spence, Bishop McDevitt (Pa.) -- Urban Meyer's first five-star commit since taking over at Ohio State, Spence has justified his lofty billing this week. His strength and edge-rushing ability overwhelmed offensive linemen, traits that should allow him to thrive both Thursday and next year in Columbus.

Six prospects will declare their intent on Thursday night, with Alabama having the most at stake in their decisions. Two prospects, Landon Collins and Cyrus Jones, are considering adding to Nick Saban's ever-expanding top-ranked class in Tuscaloosa.

• Collins -- The top safety in the nation will decide between Alabama and LSU in the most highly anticipated announcement of the night. It's been too tough to call for most of the process, and very likely could come down to his 11th hour lean. For now, the Crimson Tide hold a slight edge over the in-state Tigers.

• DE Channing Ward, Aberdeen (Miss.) -- A prized pass-rusher, Ward originally seemed bound for LSU or Auburn. It now appears he'll head to either Mississippi State or Ole Miss, potentially becoming Hugh Freeze's first major triumph for the Rebels.

• S Chaz Elder, Banneker (Ga.) -- Elder is thought to be a border battle between Georgia and South Carolina, though Vanderbilt and Arkansas remain in consideration to a lesser extent. The three-star defensive back has been in constant contact with Gamecocks' defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, and Steve Spurrier and staff seem to maintain a slight edge.

• S Lucas Thompson, West Orange (Fla.) -- After weighing the pros and cons of East Carolina, Louisville and Miami (Fla.), among others, Thompson visited the former's campus in December and returned with glowing reviews. The Pirates are now clear frontrunners to land his commitment.

• ATH Cyrus Jones, Gilman (Md.) -- A do-everything athlete out of the Baltimore area, Jones can play slot receiver and cornerback at a BCS level. He'll declare to either Virginia Tech or Alabama, with the Crimson Tide clinging to a slight advantage.

• RB Wes Brown, Good Counsel (Md.) -- A late addition to the list of forthcoming declarations, Brown amassed 1,382 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior. Vanderbilt remains in position to land him, but Maryland made a hard charge in recent weeks. Don't be surprised to see him select Randy Edsall and Co. in a last-second switch.