No matter what year it happens to be, you know that when the Under Armour All-Star Football Game is being played, South Floridians will have a say.
In last Thursday night’s 23-21 win by Team Highlight (Deion Sanders) over Team Spotlight and head coach Steve Mariucci.
“This was a true blessing for me to be a part of the entire week,” said St. Thomas Aquinas standout Elijah Moore, who came up big in the game. “This was something that you always look forward to doing, competing against some of the best in the country.”
In addition to Moore, a Mississippi signee, there were 10 football prospects from South Florida who took part in this game, and all did very well.
“You put South Florida kids in a spotlight like this and you know we are going to be right in the middle of things,” said Miami Central standout linebacker Robert Hicks III, who signed with Louisville late last month. “This was an outstanding week. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it.”
Plantation American Heritage speedster Anthony Schwartz was one of many players during the game to pledge a commitment. The standout receiver, who just happens to be one of the nation’s fastest players in the country, will attend Auburn.
The Schwartz announcement came at the end of the first quarter of this nationally televised event – with his mother and other friends and family around him.
Last year at this time, Asante Samuel, Jr. was taking part in the Future 50 Combine. It was at that event that Hall of Famer Deion Sanders who gave this quality defensive back a huge vote of confidence. On Dec. 20, he signed with the Florida State Seminoles.
Al Blades Jr. has waited for this game and his senior year since he was a youngster, growing up in Fort Lauderdale. Getting a chance to participate in this game, Blades a University of Miami signee, who also was part of the Future 50 a year ago, was also an impact player in the game.
St. Thomas Aquinas standout Nikolas Bonitto used the game to announce that he will be headed to play at the University of Oklahoma.
Bonitto, who had favored Louisville early on, but because the job that head coach “Lincoln Riley is doing, excited this quality football talent.”
When the 2016 season came to an end, Chandler Jones of Miami Central was one of those quality defensive backs that everyone wanted. With a number of offers – and a solid student in the classroom – his signing with Louisville was expected and welcome for a program that did very well this past season for head coach Roland Smith and the Rockets.
As an early FSU commitment, Deerfield linebacker Rosendo Louis, Jr. was a prospect who certainly defined the Seminoles’ class. But with the departure of Jimbo Fisher and his surprising Dec. 20th signing with South Carolina, and this young man changed directions and the Gamecocks will come out as the big winners here.
From his early days at Miami Killian to this past season at Miami Southridge, offensive lineman Delone Scaife was truly a prospect that everyone wanted to get on their campus. With his early commitment to the University of Miami – and signing on Dec. 20, this is a talent who had a huge Under Armour game – and is expected to jump into the mix sooner than later with the ‘Canes.
When he committed to Alabama early in the process, Chaminade-Madonna standout receiver Xavier Williams was a surprise to many, but not those who had watched him come in as part of the best 2018 Class in South Florida. He is also a quality defensive back and return specialist who has the chance to help the Crimson Tide.
OTHER FLORIDIANS IN THE GAME
Ayodele Adeoye, LB, Bradenton IMG Academy (Texas)
Verdis Brown, OC, Bradenton IMG Academy
Jacob Copeland, WR, Pensacola Escambia
Curtis Dunlap, Jr., OG, Bradenton IMG Academy (Minnesota)
Daniel Faalele, OL, Bradenton IMG Academy (Minnesota)
Nicholas Petit-Frere, OL, Tampa Berkeley Prep
Joey Gatewood, QB, Jacksonville Bartram Trail (Auburn)
Richard Gouraige, OL, Tampa Cambridge (Florida)
Houston Griffith, S, Bradenton IMG Academy (Notre Dame)
Brian Snead, RB, Seffner Armwood (Ohio State)
Stephon Wynn, DE, Bradenton IMG Academy (Alabama)
HURRICANES WELL REPRESENTED
As the Miami Hurricanes continue to impact college football recruiting, part of this current #Storm2018 group had the opportunity to make a statement in the Under Armour contest.
Brevin Jordan (TE, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman), Gurvan Hall (S, Palm Beach Gardens) and Fort Meade offense lineman Cleveland Reed all took part and did very well.
ABOUT THIS YEAR’S GAME
Tyreke Smith – Ohio State
Anthony Schwartz – Auburn
Nik Bonitto – Oklahoma
Jayson Oweh – Penn State
This is the eleventh-annual Under Armour All-America High School Football Game.
MVP’s of the Game:
Spotlight: Joey Gatewood – QB
Highlight: Maurice Washington – RB
Passing: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, 118 yards on 7-15 passing
Rushing: Maurice Washington, 69 yards on 8 carries
Receiving: Brevin Jordan, 71 yards on 3 receptions
Tackles: Merlin Robertson, 7 total tackles, five solo
TDs: Maurice Washington, three (new record)
Sacks: Brenton Cox Jr. and Eyabi Anoma, tied with two
All-Purpose Yards: Maurice Washington, 159 yards (third highest in game history)
Maurice Washington became the first player in the history of the Under Armour All-America Game to record both a rushing and receiving touchdown. The Cedar Hill, Texas native scored on back-to-back possessions in the first quarter for Team Highlight on a 20-yard rushing TD and a 27-yard reception from UCLA commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Washington later set the record for most touchdowns in Under Armour All-America Game history with three and the record for most rushing touchdowns with two after capping a Team Highlight third quarter drive with a two-yard touchdown rush. The previous record for most touchdowns was two, held by Amari Cooper (2012) and Jeff Thomas (2017).
Team Highlight – Maurice Washington 20-yard run with 13:42 in 1st quarter
Team Highlight – Maurice Washington 27-yard reception from QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson with 5:19 in 1st quarter
Team Highlight – Maurice Washington 2-yard rush with 14:19 in 3rd quarter
Team Spotlight – Ricky Slade 14-yard reception from QB Adrian Martinez with 8:53 in 3rd quarter
Team Spotlight – Xavier Williams 31-yard reception from QB Joey Gatewood with 14:22 in 4th quarter
Team Highlight – Seth Smith 26-yard field goal with 9:09 left in 4th quarter
Team Spotlight – Jory Gatewood 2-yard rush with 3:48 left in 4th quarter
Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each week on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!