January 3, 2008

Under Armour: Best by position

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons has been scouting all of the all-star action this week in Florida as players prepare for the Under Armour and Offense-Defense all-star games.

Here is Simmons' breakdown of the best of the best at each position for the Under Armour all-stars along with some of the week's rising prospects.

Under Armour Best of the Best


E.J. Manuel, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside, Florida State Commit

In the pocket, E.J. Manuel hasn't separated himself from the competition like you would expect from a five-star prospect. However, he has shown great speed and athleticism out of the pocket, both on designed plays and when the play breaks down. He also plays the role of field general and team leader well.

Fast Riser: Kyle Parker, Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail, Clemson Commit


Jamie Harper, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian

With a powerful frame, Harper is the most physically developed back in Orlando. However, he has shown soft hands this week coming out of the backfield. He has the size and speed to either run you over or take it to the house.

Fast Riser: De'Anthony Curtis, Camden (Ark.) Fairview, Arkansas Commit


A.J. Green, Summerville (S.C.), Georgia Commit

Wide receiver is the deepest and most talented position in the game. Green just edged Joshua Jarboe for the top spot because of his size and his great body control. Both Jarboe and Green played the most consistently throughout the week, though several others stood out as well.

Fast Riser: T.J Lawrence, Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen


Blake Ayles, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, USC Commit

Ayles is a mismatch waiting to happen. He has tremendous athleticism and hands and runs routes like a skilled wide receiver. He was one of the most impressive players at the event regardless of position.

Fast Riser: Dwayne Allen, Fayetteville (N.C.) Terry Sanford, Georgia Commit


Tyler Love, Mountain Brook (Ala.), Alabama Commit

Love impresses among all-stars with his physical stature. He is put together extremely well for a kid of his size and he moves well, particularly in pass blocking where smaller ends don't hold much of a chance. He is one of several other monstrous and impressive offensive tackles on the Red Team.

Fast Risers: Zebrie Sanders, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont


Khaled Holmes, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, USC Commit

Holmes is light on his feet and really locks onto defenders, often driving them all the way to the boundary. Another potential pick here would be John Michael Boswell, an offensive tackle that has been playing guard. He has adjusted well to the switch and has shown that guard may be a better fit in college.

Fast Riser: Ricky Barnum, Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson


DaQuan Bowers, Bamberg (SC) Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Clemson Commit

It doesn't take long for Bowers to stand out even in an all-star setting. His size, strength and athleticism are rare at any level and he has been a major challenge to deal with playing at his true position of defensive end.

Fast Riser: None


Omar Hunter, Buford (Ga.)

It has been a joy watching Hunter get after offensive linemen in practice. He maintains great leverage, is extremely active with his hands and has quick feet. There isn't much not to like about Hunter who should be a good one at the next level.

Fast Riser: None


Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern, Miami Commit

He is certainly not the biggest linebacker in Orlando, but Sean Spence may just be the most tenacious tackler here. He has a great motor and has excelled getting to the ball and playing physical.

Fast Riser: Uona Kavienga, Los Angeles (Calif.) Leuzinger, UCLA Commit


Brandon Harris, Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington

Harris really showed off this week against top competition and has cemented himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the country. He is as fluid as they come in his backpedal and in his hips and he has make up speed as well. With the level of cornerback play that was taking place, Harris standing alone says a lot.

Big Risers: Janoris Jenkins, Pahokee (Fla.), Florida Commit; Charles Whitlock, Chester (S.C.), South Carolina Commit


Will Hill, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep, Florida Commit

Hill is impressive on so many levels. He has tremendous lateral quickness and good strength which makes him very disruptive against receivers at the line of scrimmage. He also is a quick accelerator coming out of breaks. He is extremely versatile and one of the top all-around players on his Red Team.

Fast Risers: Spencer Adams, Matthews (N.C.) Butler; Terrance Parks, Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside, Florida State Commit

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