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January 6, 2009
Under Armour All-American awards
ORLANDO - A week full of action in the Sunshine State came to an end Sunday night with the Under Armour All-American Game at the Citrus Bowl.
Brian Perroni was there for all of the action and offers up his awards from the week in Orlando.
Under Armour All-American Game Awards
Fastest Player: ANDRE DEBOSE
ATH, 6-0/170, Sanford (Fla.) Seminole
The five-star athlete showed his speed during the game on a 94-yard touchdown catch where he outran several defensive backs. He also showed all week during practice the ability to consistently get open deep behind the secondary. The comparisons to Percy Harvin have already begun and that's probably a good summation of Debose's game at this point.
Honorable Mention: WR Nu'Keese Richardson, 5-9/155, Pahokee (Fla.) High; QB Russell Shepard, 6-1/180, Houston Cypress Ridge
Strongest Player: JACOBBI MCDANIEL
DT, 6-0/270, Madison (Fla.) Madison County
He was unstoppable during one-on-one drills all week and continued his strong play in Sunday's game. He was able to bull-rush the biggest lineman on his team, and it was a rare sight to see any of them keep him from getting to the quarterback. He's a five-star prospect, and Florida State found itself a player likely to contribute early.
Honorable Mention: TE Barrett Matthews, 6-2/220, Galena Park (Texas) North Shore
Best Hands: DURON CARTER
WR, 6-3/183, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
The son of former NFL star Cris Carter, he takes after his father on the football field. He did not miss anything in his vicinity all week and even caught balls quarterbacks thought they were throwing away. He isn't the fastest receiver in the world, but with his smart route-running ability and excellent hands, he should shine for Ohio State in the Big Ten.
Honorable Mention: WR Alshon Jeffrey, 6-3/214, St. Matthews (S.C.) Calhoun County
Best Arm: MATT BARKLEY
QB, 6-3/226, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Coming into the week, several quarterbacks looked as if they could pass Barkley, formerly the No. 1 overall prospect in the country, in the rankings. He stopped any talk of that as he showed the ability to hit the deep man in stride on just about every attempt. The five-star prospect made life a lot of fun for his receivers in both practice and the game.
Honorable Mention: QB Josh Nunes, 6-3/208, Upland (Calif.) Upland
Most Accurate: Barkley
If a week of practice and being named the game's MVP weren't enough, the USC commitment showed incredible touch during Friday's Skills Competition. He scored on every one of his throws and easily defeated his five counterparts in the contest. All week, he put throws where only his receiver had a chance at them. The other quarterbacks had their moments, but Barkley was by far the best overall during the entire week.
Honorable Mention: QB Garrett Gilbert, 6-4/205, Austin (Texas) Lake Travis
Best vision: TRENT RICHARDSON
RB, 5-11/210, Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia
Though he had limited carries in the actual game, he showed excellent vision all week during practice. Playing behind somewhat of a patchwork line, the five-star back found holes that didn't seem to be there. For a player of his size, he also showed excellent lateral movement to be able to get into the small openings provided for him.
Honorable Mention: RB Jaamal Berry, 5-11/185, Miami Palmetto
Best after the catch: NU'KEESE RICHARDSON
WR, 5-9/155, Pahokee (Fla.) High
Since he was a running quarterback on his high school team, Richardson is used to having to make moves on defenders, and it was obvious this week. Once he got the ball in space, he was almost impossible to bring down, as he can cut on a dime. Defensive backs remarked all week how touch it was to get to him after he caught the ball.
Honorable Mention: Debose, WR Marlon Brown, 6-5/205, Memphis Harding Academy
Best cover skills: GREG REID
ATH, 5-9/175, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes
This one came as a bit of a surprise because he was named the Georgia State Player of the Year as a running back. But from the first day of practice, it was obvious that Reid was a lockdown corner. Despite his smaller stature, he kept both the possession receivers and deep threats from catching much. He proved it in the game as well, with two interceptions and coming very close to a third.
Honorable Mention: CB Branden Smith, 5-11/171, Atlanta Washington
Best feet: MASON WALTERS
OL, 6-6/290, Wolfforth (Texas) Frenship
It is incredibly rare to find a prospect versatile enough to play center and left tackle. But that's exactly what this Texas commitment can do. On the interior, he can snap the ball in shotgun and still pull with ease. On the outside, Walters moved well enough to stop the top pass-rushing defensive ends in the game.
Honorable Mention: OT Xavier Su'a Filo, 6-4/285, Provo (Utah) Timpview
Best closing speed: CRAIG LOSTON
S, 6-2/193, Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower
He lined up at free safety and cornerback at various times. He is a vicious hitter who is not afraid to come up to the line of scrimmage to take on a bigger running back. When he was lined up at corner, the opposing teams had trouble running sweeps or screen passes to the outside and Loston would be in the backfield before the play could develop.
Honorable Mention: ATH Stephon Gilmore, 6-1/180, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
Best surprise: Gilmore
Coming into the game, he was another player who was a high school quarterback that nobody seemed to know quite where to project. Like Loston, Gilmore spent the majority of his time at free safety while occasionally playing corner. Playing in the secondary seemed to come natural for the South Carolina commitment, and he actually looked more comfortable there than his higher-rated teammate, safety Devonte Holloman.
Honorable Mention: ATH Michael Campanaro, 5-10/173, Clarksville (Md.) River Hill; LB Ronnell Lewis, 6-3/220, Dewar (Okla.) High
Best pass-rusher: CRAIG ROH
DE, 6-5/230, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral
Though he likely will need to fill out before playing on the college level, the Michigan commitment showed tenacity all week in getting to the quarterback. He used spin moves and the like, but also was not afraid to use his unexpected power to blow offensive tackles backward. Roh will be a good fit in Michigan's defense and could give opposing quarterbacks nightmares.
Honorable Mention: McDaniel, DT Gary Brown, 6-3/275, Quincy (Fla.) West Gadsden
Best Tackler: MANTI TE'O
LB, 6-2/225, Honolulu Punahou
The five-star inside linebacker proved to be one of the biggest hitters in the game. He did an excellent job of spying on the opposing quarterbacks, and once he wrapped a player up, they were not getting free. Te'o needs to move a little bit better laterally and could stand to be a little quicker, but he proved that he belongs as one of the top linebackers in the country.
Honorable Mention: LB Tom Wort, 6-1/210, New Braunfels (Texas) High
Most Physical: McDaniel
The big defensive tackle simply imposed his will on the offensive linemen the entire week. He was not afraid to use his pure strength to dominate at the line of scrimmage. There were many good players in the game, but it is safe to say the gap between McDaniel and the next-best defensive tackle was as wide as at any position all week.
Honorable Mention: Walters, DT Demonte McAllister, 6-3/263, Tampa Alonso
Stock rising: Carter
Because he plays in the talent-rich state of Florida, he was overshadowed by other players at his position most of the season. Rated as a three-star by Rivals.com, Carter proved to be the most consistent receiver in the game. A bump in the rankings for the Ohio State commitment should come in the near future.
Honorable Mention: Lewis
Stock dropping: ANTWAN LOWERY
DT, 6-4/335, Miami Columbus
The big Rutgers commitment once was a member of the Rivals100 to Watch list for the Class of 2009. But his weight clearly was an issue throughout the week as he struggled with stamina and the ability to take on more athletic offensive linemen. Lowery did not record many snaps in Sunday night's game, and that could become a theme if he does not get his weight under control.
Honorable Mention: ATH Montrell Conner, 6-2/210, Monroe (La.) Ouachita