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December 28, 2009

Breaking down the UA All-Americans

MORE: Under Armour All-American Game rosters | All-star games coverage

Throughout the calendar year, there are countless opportunities for college prospects to prove themselves and test their talents. Those opportunities include combines, camps, seven-on-seven tournaments, fall games, playoff action and state all-star games. This week on the Disney Campus in Orlando, Fla., one of the best opportunities of the year for such a test will take place with the Under Armour All-American Game and the week of practice that precedes it.

With players reporting to Orlando on Tuesday, practices will begin on Wednesday morning and Rivals.com will be on location to cover all of the top performers and storylines leading up to Saturday's game in St. Petersburg, Fla., at Tropicana Field.

Coverage will include live message board updates from practice, daily message board chats, photo galleries, daily Hot 11s, coach feedback, recruiting tidbits and much more. With a loaded roster, there will certainly be plenty to talk about.

Unique to the Under Armour Game, the rosters are divided up with no regard to geography and both the "White Team" roster as well as the "Black Team" roster have plenty of talent from all regions of the country.

The Backfields

In many cases, all-star teams are as good as their quarterbacks allow them to be and in Orlando, three accomplished signal callers will be fighting for playing time on each team's practice field.

For the White Team, USC commit Jesse Scroggins is joined by Oklahoma commit Blake Bell and Boston College commit Chase Rettig. The group consists of Rivals.com's No. 3, 5 and 30 pro-style quarterbacks in the nation respectively.

On the Black Team the nation's top dual-threat quarterback in Michigan commit Devin Gardner will be sharing snaps with the No. 2 pro-style quarterback and Alabama commit Phillip Sims as well as the familiar name of Nick Montana, a four-star Washington commit.

Lining up with the quarterbacks for the Black Team is a thunder and lightning style combo out of the state of Georgia in Mack Brown and Storm Johnson. Brown is a slashing speed back heading to Florida for his college career while Johnson is a big power back that will be taking his talents down to Miami. Both are rated as four-star recruits by Rivals.com.

For the White team, five-star Auburn commit Michael Dyer headlines the backfield and he is joined by UCLA commit Jordon James, a quick, slashing back that can match the explosiveness of Dyer.

Uncommitted Prospects

Though more and more high profile prospects are committing earlier in the recruiting process, there are still a number of big-time recruits that will be in Orlando and St. Petersburg without a college affiliation. For the White Team, Chris Dunkley and Kenny Shaw both maintain that they are uncommitted though both are considered leans to Florida and Florida State respectively.

Also on the White receiving corps, Brandon Coleman is an uncommitted prospect with interest in the likes of Rutgers, Maryland and Syracuse.

James Stone, Torrian Wilson and Chaz Green will all be in attendance as uncommitted prospects on the offensive line, while Corey Lemonier will be lining up against them on the defensive line without a school attached to his name.

On the second and third levels of the defense Christian Jones and Dietrich Riley both also remain uncommitted for the White Team.

On the Black Team, three of the biggest names that have yet to choose a school will be teamed up. Four-star wide receiver Darius White will square off against four-star cornerback John Fulton on the field while off the field they can exchange notes on school choices. Five-star linebacker Jordan Hicks will be right along side them as he continues to debate between Ohio State, Texas and Florida.

Final exam

Almost the entire roster of Under Armour All-Americans consists of four and five-star prospects who have proven themselves in multiple settings against elite competition, removing any doubt that they should be listed among the best prospects in the nation. However, even among the All-Americans, there are players that will have an opportunity to answer questions about their ability.

One of the most intriguing prospects in the nation is Alabama commit Adrian Hubbard. The three-star prospect has got all the measurables and athleticism you could ask for out of a defensive end but the basketball star is also raw after focusing on the hardwood as a junior. When he faces the top prospects in the country this week, it will become very evident very quickly whether he is ready for the SEC.

While body-type is of no concern to Hubbard, three-star Tennessee commit Michael Taylor does not quite have the prototypical linebacker build. However, with a great week of practice and a great game, his athleticism could prove to be enough to more than compensate for physical limitations.

Other questions that will be answered include: How will Demarcus Milliner handle full-time cornerback duties after lining up at safety all fall? Will Jonathan Dowling show the physicality to earn a fourth star back? Will Demar Dorsey's track speed translate in pads? Can Jeff Luc show the versatility to be more than a downhill run-stuffer?

More Headliners

Other highly-rated and highly-touted prospects that will be in attendance in Orlando include five-stars Da'Rick Rogers, James Hurst and Lamarcus Joyner.

There will also be some four-stars on the cusp of a fifth star such as Corey Miller, Joshua Shaw, Alec Ogletree, Ian Silberman, Ashton Dorsey, Leon Orr and more.



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