NCF On The Trail: 2014 UA Game

Video: UA Combine -- WRs vs. DBs

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
7:26
PM ET
video
Wide receiver and defensive back one-on-one matchups from the Under Armour All-America Combine held Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



Here’s are a few: WR Isaiah McKenzie is a bolt of lightning. He can really run, and while he may lack ideal measurables, he has some Tavon Austin qualities. RB Jeff Jones has flown way under the radar during the recruiting cycle and has been very impressive with his speed and explosiveness. We are still trying to figure out why no one is recruiting OC Jacob Bragg. We are hoping this week will open up some eyes. He has looked good. Considering four of our six original QBs have gone down to injuries and won’t be playing, we have been pleased with the likes of Rafe Peavey, Morgan Mahalak and Sean White as well. DT Garrald McDowell may be undersized, but he has been overlooked much in the same was as Isaac Gross was a couple years back down here for a lack of size.
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Uniquely talented. There are only two comparable players at offensive tackle in the seven years of the Under Armour All-America Game we feel would be fair. One is Cyrus Kouandjio at Alabama and the other is Andrus Peat at Stanford. He is more than worthy of being the No. 1-ranked overall player in this class, and in all honesty, Leonard Fournette is 1, Jabrill Peppers is 1a and Cameron Robinson is 1b. He possesses all the traits you look for in an offensive tackle -- both mentally and physically, and maybe most importantly, he has a tremendous amount of pride. It is very important to him to play good. He plays as if he’s always being evaluated or compared to someone. There are never any guarantees, but it was very clear when we had Kouandjio in the Under Armour Game, he was going to be a three-and-out first round NFL draft choice. Cameron Robinson is technically better at the same stage so that should tell you something.
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Really good. In a class that features very few pure pass rush guys, Thomas excels in this area. He has also bulked up both in his upper and lower body, which is helping him utilize a bit more power off the edge. And he's not always having to reply on the speed rush. Now he can covert speed to power with a bit more strength. He’s not where he needs to be yet technique-wise, but he does use his hands and shows flashes of having a plan. The best thing about Thomas is his high ceiling for development. He is only going to get bigger, stronger and more polished which allows for growth and to be a better player down the road.
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They compare in more ways than you might think. Thomas does not carry the same weight, but they have very similar builds. They are on the same team so you get to see them in drills back-to-back getting reps. Fournette may be a little further along as a pass catcher from an experience standpoint. You are asking a very difficult question because as impressive as Thomas is, I don’t know if you can truly compare anyone to Fournette. He is a unique guy. However, as far as Auburn is concerned, Roc Thomas is the ideal fit, and that is all that matters. He adds power and explosiveness to a downhill counter/power game, yet he is still able to bounce plays to the edge and take it the distance.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- LSU's drive for five commitments at the Under Armour All-America Game ended shortly after it kicked off. Tigers fans vented their frustrations when receiver Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) committed to Texas A&M and his high school teammate, defensive tackle Gerald Willis III, picked Florida. It mushroomed when Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen) committed to SEC West rival Alabama later in the game.

But LSU still managed to walk away with the biggest prize of the 2014 recruiting calendar when No.1-ranked Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) committed to the Tigers. In the end, Fournette wasn't some consolation prize. His decision will mean more to LSU fans than any of the other players who got away. Fournette -- who had 44 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving in the game -- is the best running back to come out of the high school ranks since Adrian Peterson was tearing through defenses as a Texas high school legend. Just like Peterson, Fournette has lofty expectations for himself when he arrives in Baton Rouge, La.

"I plan on winning a Heisman and a national championship with my fellow teammates," Fournette said while surrounded by a throng of microphones and television cameras. "I can handle the pressure. I can handle it."

Before you complain about Fournette saying that, don't forget that Peterson stormed into Norman, Okla., as a true freshman and was a Heisman finalist and led Oklahoma to the 2005 BCS National Championship Game. He said similar things when he was coming out of high school and was able to handle the pressure of those expectations.

Fournette could do the same.

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Five Stars gallery


Les Miles and LSU kept the nation’s No. 1 prospect, RB Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) at home. It’s a crucial commit for the Tigers, and one that could pay dividends right away.

What will Fournette bring to Baton Rouge? Let’s break it down:



Nick Saban has another great defensive back on board, as Alabama has landed a commitment from No. 11 overall Tony Brown (Beaumont,Texas/Ozen).

How will Brown fit in the Tide’s defensive scheme? Let’s break it down:


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Scout's take: Zona adds elite DB 

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
6:24
PM ET


Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate) surprised many when he chose Arizona over Alabama. What will the No. 15 prospect in the ESPN 300 bring to the Wildcats? Let’s break it down:


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Gerald Willis III surprised many when he chose Florida over LSU. It’s a huge get for the Gators after losing some momentum following a tough 2013 season.

How will he fit with the Gators? Let’s break it down:


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ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) committed to LSU on Thursday at the Under Armour All-America Game. The nation's No. 23 overall prospect and No. 3 safety gives LSU another crucial commitment in a perennially dominant secondary.

How will Adams fit in defensive coordinator John Chavis’ defense? Let’s break it down:


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Florida State kept its recruiting momentum rolling with a pledge from WR Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), No. 61 in the ESPN 300.

How does Rudolph fit with the Seminoles? Let’s break it down:


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Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr), the No. 8 player in the ESPN 300, has committed to Texas A&M. The dynamic athlete should provide the Aggies’ offense with an instant-impact player.

What will he bring to coach Kevin Sumlin’s crew? Let’s break it down:


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Under Armour All-America Game Live (4 ET)

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
2:00
PM ET
Get a behind-the-scenes view of the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game from ESPN RecruitingNation's reporters and analysts beginning at 4 p.m. ET. We'll answer your questions and react live to the game action and the seven ESPN 300 commitments expected during the game.

Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.


Jabrill Peppers. He just gets it. Easily adjusts and adapts to what is asked of him. Very coachable and humble, but he knows he good. Michigan does not have a skilled player on its team like him. I know it is easy to make the Charles Woodson comparisons here, but let’s allow the kid to make a name for himself by carving out his own niche. He is more than capable of playing both ways if needed, but as far as cover corners go, he is a more explosive version of Dee Milliner, and we love that he welcomes contact too. He is mature and knows that there are high expectations for him to perform.

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