- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Senior cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) was presented his honorary game jersey at his school on Thursday, during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of the three-month tour.
Tabor, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh-annual Under Armour All-America Game presented by American Family Insurance, a nationally televised competition spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 Under Armour All-America Game is set for 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
“Thank all of y’all for coming out,” Tabor said. “It’s truly a blessing for me. I want to thank my parents, coach [Aazar Abdul-]Rahim, all the coaches … this is just a very special moment. I want to thank God. I want to thank all my teammates, y’all come in every day and fight with me.”
Abdul-Rahim says his star player's work ethic sets him apart.
“What makes Jalen special is one, he has God given ability," the coach explained. "He’s got great ball skills. And the main thing and most important thing is his work ethic. He’s a tireless worker. He’s been a consistent worker on and off the field. From weight training to individual DB work to work on his own.”
Tabor is always looking to test himself, and selecting the UA Game was the best way for him to do that.
"I decided to accept the invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game because I definitely wanted to play against the best kids from around the country, to test my skills, and to let the whole world know who I am," Tabor said. "In the game, it’s definitely playing against all the best kids. Every snap, you have to be on your 'A' game. Definitely to test myself, that’s going to be the best thing I’m looking for in the game is to see where I’m at. It's definitely a blessing to be invited to this game.
"You got Julio Jones, A.J. Green and guys who are top-10 receivers in the NFL, and that’s what I want to be one day … a top-10 corner in the NFL. I can't wait to go to Florida and see everyone, and to be on national television each day of the week. I’m looking forward to showing the whole country who I am and what I can do on the football field."
The 6-foot, 188-pound Tabor is the No. 15-ranked prospect overall, and the No. 5 corner in the class. He is considering Maryland, Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Florida State and possibly USC.