Under Armour All-American game notes
Here are some notes from the fourth annual Under Armour All-American game in St. Petersburg, Fla., a 24-22 victory for the Red team over the White team as Taylor Bertolet of Reading (Pa.) Exeter Township kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. Linebacker Lawrence Thomas of Detroit Renaissance actually blocked the initial go-ahead field goal attempt by Bertolet, but the referees called an illegal, all-star-game blitz. So Bertolet nailed it the second time around from 26 yards out. Thomas, by the way, committed to Michigan State last winter.
Florida commit Jeff Driskel showed off his running skills Wednesday night.
Will Florida have a future star under center?: Quarterback Jeff Driskel, a Gators commit, wowed the Florida crowd when he put Red in front 21-9 with a 63-yard touchdown run. The 6-4, 225-pounder finished with 93 yards rushing on six carries. The Maxwell Player of the Year is a candidate to break off a long run every time he tucks the ball away, and the Oviedo Hagerty product has been compared more than once to former Gators legend Tim Tebow. Fellow Orlando native Ha’sean Clinton-Dix of Dr. Phillips, who is committed to Alabama, remarked from his bench view that “He's going to be just like Tebow.”
Driskel, who enrolls at Florida on Monday, laughs off the comparison. Based on his 4.5 40-yard-dash numbers, however, he’s actually faster than No. 15. “I'm not scared to take off [running],” Driskel said about his long touchdown run. “Like I said, I have some big play potential.” He finished 2-of-8 passing for 18 yards with an interception that left the receiver's hands after he was hit. He was also sacked twice.
Florida also received some good news when Miami Monsignor Pace safety Jabari Gorman donned a Gators hat, making him one of five SEC commitments on the night. Gorman is UF’s 16th commitment in the Class of 2011, and he chose the Gators over Ohio State and rival Miami. It’s a big gain for new head coach Will Muschamp as he looks to replenish his thin secondary.
He’s a Trojan man: USC commit Max Wittek of Newport Beach (Calif.) Mater Dei helped the White team stage a rally. He threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry and hit Malcolm Mitchell for a 49-yard score that made it 22-21 White with 1:47 left. He finished 14-of-24 passing for 146 yards and Landry had eight catches for 70 yards. However, the White defense could not hold onto the lead. Wittek, who will enroll at the school and begin taking classes on Monday, showed poise, was sharp with his passes and displayed a stronger-than-advertised throwing arm.
Yes, Florida State will truly be loaded: FSU fans may have seen Karlos Williams for the first time Wednesday night, but they saw him at his best. The Davenport Ridge safety had an interception and ran it back through numerous tacklers for a 47-yard touchdown. Williams is expected to make an impact early in his Seminoles career, and head coach Jimbo Fisher had to be thrilled with Williams’ performance.
Other commits: Auburn landed two commits in Miami Jackson safety Robenson Therezie and Troup County (Ga.) WR Quan Bray, while Tennessee received a commitment from Vero Beach guard Marcus Jackson, a previous commitment to Miami. Griffin (Ga.) defensive end Xzavier Dickson will attend Alabama, wide receiver Devon Blackmon of Fontana (Calif.) Summit chose No. 2 Oregon, Greg Towsend Jr. of Los Angeles Beverly Hills chose to stay home with Lane Kiffin’s Trojans and defensive back Doran Grant of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary chose to stay in state with Ohio State.
The next big stage on the recruiting trail will be Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and I'll be sure to post some notes on that contest on Sunday at the NFP.
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