- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Senior athlete John “Ju Ju” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Polytechnic) was presented his honorary game jersey Friday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.
Smith, who has officially visited Ohio State and Notre Dame so far, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
"This is not only a tribute to Long Beach Poly, but also the community and especially the family," said Long Beach Poly coach Raul Lara. "We are all grateful to have JuJu in our program, and also to represent us very well. JuJu, I just wish you the best of luck; obviously I'm going to be up there watching and I know you are going to do wonderful things up there."
Playing in the UA game is both a blessing and an opportunity to play against the best of the best for Smith.
"It's really big to play in the bowl game. Going out there and playing against the best of the best, it's the reason I picked the bowl game," Smith said. "God has blessed me with many things, but I think this one right here is really big. It's just great to be a part of it and show what I have. I am looking forward to meeting new players and competing against the best of the best.”
The 6-foot-1, 206-pound Smith is the No. 41 prospect overall and the No. 3 athlete in the class. He is considering Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama and Michigan.