Many of the nation's top high school seniors will take the field in Orlando on New Year's Day
The Under Armour All-America Game is one of the biggest annual high school football all-star games in the country. Entering its 10th year of showcasing some of the top seniors from across the country, the 2017 edition promises to be another action-packed event.
Last year’s matchup was a one-sided affair with Team Highlight storming past Team Armour 27-0 behind a dominating defensive performance. Defenders for both squads took home MVP honors with Michigan Class of 2016 defensive tackle Rashan Gary coming up with three of Team Highlight’s six sacks in the game. Houston Cougars signee Ed Oliver had two tackles for a loss and five total stops in the game as Team Armour’s honoree.
The 2017 UA All-America Game has a heavy lean with players committed to the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12. Fan bases for teams like Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Auburn, Oregon, Florida State, and Texas A&M are well represented this year in Orlando.
The following is a list of some of the top talent to watch for in this year’s Under Armour All-America Game, the schools that are showing interest or the program each has committed to (in italics) along with some highlights of their senior season.
2017 Under Armour All-America Game (Orlando, Fla.)
Kickoff: Sunday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
TV Channel: ESPN
Note: Rosters subject to change
DT Marvin Wilson, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas) High School (uncommitted)
Wilson is the overall No. 1 defensive tackle in the 2017 recruiting class. Listed at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, the Houston-area talent is pushing 30 scholarship offers after a senior season with 42 total tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, and nine sacks.
The suitors potentially in play for Wilson include Texas A&M, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Wilson has taken unofficial visits to Texas A&M and LSU with official visits to Florida State and Ohio State. The Tigers get a chance to impress Wilson on an official visit scheduled for Jan. 13. Look for Wilson to dominate the trenches in a similar fashion to Rashan Gary a year ago.
OT Jedrick Wills, Lafayette (Lexington, Ky.) High School (Alabama)
Alabama currently has six of the top 50 players in the nation (per 247Sports) verbally committed with Willis one of them. A lot of hearts in the Bluegrass State were broken when the 6-5, 318-pound, road-grading lineman picked the Crimson Tide in November over offers from Kentucky and Louisville. Wills, rated as a five-star prospect by Rivals, picked Alabama despite having offers from Michigan, LSU, Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Florida, among others.
LB Dylan Moses, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (Alabama)
Another celebrated recruit headed to Tuscaloosa is Moses, a five-star linebacker. He has widely been considered one of the top players in the 2017 class regardless of position since his freshman season. Coming out of the Baton Rouge, La., area, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound standout tore it up for IMG Academy during his senior season coming up with 116 total tackles, eight tackles for a loss, and two sacks playing one of the tougher schedules in the country.
Moses has at least 40 scholarship offers on the table siding with Bama over offers from LSU, Georgia, Florida State, Clemson, Auburn, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Miami, TCU and South Carolina.
CB Justin Broiles, John Marshall (Oklahoma City) and Tre Brown, Union (Tulsa, Okla.) (Oklahoma)
The Sooners have the No. 7 recruiting class (per 247Sports) in the nation with 23 commits thanks in part to Broiles and Brown. The pair of four-star recruits decided to stay in state with Brown committing on March 11 and Broiles signing his letter of intent with the Sooners on Dec. 17.
Brown (5-11, 178) is a speedy shutdown corner heading to Norman over 17 other reported offers. Some of the teams that vied for Brown’s signature included Arkansas, Penn State, USC, Texas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Oregon. Broiles kept his recruitment open longer, pushing his offer sheet to more than 30 schools. Broiles (6-0, 175) had a breakout junior season in 2015 coming up with 47 total stops and one interception.
RB Toneil Carter, Langham Creek (Houston) (Texas)
A new face on the Texas sidelines helped flip this in-state running back from Georgia to the Longhorns. After rushing for 1,382 yards with 19 scores as a sophomore and 1,206 yards with 17 touchdowns as a junior, Carter committed to the Bulldogs on July 10. Carter was strong with UGA, taking an official visit to Athens on Nov. 12 but decommitted on Dec. 19, the same day he pledged to Texas.
The 2017 UA game has a short list of running backs scheduled to suit up with six total. Expect Carter (5-11, 197) to get multiple opportunities to show why he rushed for 1,114 yards with 18 touchdowns during his senior season on Sunday.
QB Kellen Mond, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (Texas A&M)
There are eight quarterbacks scheduled to suit up at Sunday’s Under Armour All-America Game. Of the eight, Mond might be the most explosive of the bunch ready to rip apart the opposition. Mond, another IMG Academy talent in this game, has proven his skill set in the pocket since his sophomore season with San Antonio’s Reagan High School. Earning second team All-District honors in 2014, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound, playmaker was a 26-6A District MVP winner after passing for 1,991 yards with 26 touchdowns against just four interceptions. The dual threat also rushed for 898 yards and seven more scores on 122 carries.
Mond’s senior season with IMG set school records in TD passes with 20 and rushing scores with 18. Mond committed to the Aggies on June 27, pledging to return back to the Lone Star State for college.
— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and has his own recruiting site, www.recruitingnewsguru.com. Follow him on Twitter @HogManInLA.