- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
The Under Armour All-America Game is quickly approaching, and there are plenty of Big Ten ties. With five Big Ten teams being represented, here is a look at some of the conference commitments participating in the big event:
DB Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic)
6-foot-1, 205 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: No. 2
The Michigan commit is versatile and could help out on defense, offense and special teams. He might get the chance to do all three depending on what the coaches see out of him. His size and speed will match up with anyone on the field, and a lot of eyes will be on Peppers with such a high ranking. Defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III put on a show in last year’s game, and Peppers has the ability to do the same this year.
LB Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County)
6-foot-2, 249 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: No. 12
McMillan has the size and speed to help in run support or in coverage in this type of game. Since the defense will be basic, he won’t be blitzing or doing anything intricate. The Ohio State commit will be able to show off his natural ability and should be one of the top defensive players in the game.
WR De'Andre Thompkins (Swansboro, N.C./Swansboro)
5-foot-11, 176 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: No. 66
Despite his ranking, Thompkins has flown somewhat under the radar. The Penn State commit had a good showing at The Opening and should do the same in the Under Armour Game. He is a quick, versatile athlete who could play receiver or line up in some Wildcat formations. He should surprise some people who haven’t seen his film or what Thompkins can do on the field.
RB Jeff Jones (Minneapolis/Washburn)
6-foot, 196 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: No. 181
Jones is another prospect who might surprise some people. He was a late addition to the ESPN 300 and to the Under Armour roster, but he has all the talent in the world. He capped off an outstanding senior season with more than 40 rushing touchdowns and has been hearing from some big programs despite being committed to Minnesota. Jones could be a prospect who benefits greatly from this type of atmosphere in getting his name out there.
OL Tanner Farmer (Highland, Ill./Highland)
6-foot-4, 306 pounds
Farmer had a great showing at The Opening and surprised a few people with his play. He was competing with some of the top offensive linemen in the country and held his own, so he will be one to watch in the Under Armour Game. Farmer is a Nebraska commit who hasn’t received a ton of attention, but he is yet another Big Ten commit who could benefit from this event.