LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Under Armor All-America Game practices continued on Saturday morning. Around 100 of the nation’s top football prospects from the 2023 recruiting cycle were at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Florida for the week’s second practice. On3 was on hand to take the action.
Practices will run until Monday. The game is to be played on January 3 at 5 PM eastern at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
FULL 2023 UNDER ARMOR ALL-AMERICA GAME ROSTER
The roster is divided into two teams – Team Speed and Team Phantom. Both teams had simultaneous padded practices on adjacent fields. Contact was relatively limited, but there were some full-speed 1-on-1, 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 periods.
Here are On3’s top performers for the day, headlined by an Alabama signee who has turned in an eye-catching showing over the first two practices.
On3 MVP: EDGE Jordan Renaud – Alabama
Jordan Renaud was the most consistent performer over the course of Saturday’s practice, building on a strong showing on Friday night. The Alabama signee’s burst and power proved largely unstoppable during the 1-on-1 and team periods. Renaud consistently converted speed to power, using his bull rush to bully pass protectors. He’s also shown an impressive ability to bend underneath the extended arms of offensive tackles, even more notable given his well-built body type. In the team period, Renaud continued to create disruption even if he did not finish every play behind the line of scrimmage. We saw Renaud force runs outside with his ability to penetrate into the backfield. His presence was felt during every session of today’s practice.
Renaud ranks as the No. 74 overall prospects in the On300.
2. EDGE Adepoju Adebawore – Oklahoma
Adepoju Adebawore shone during the 1-on-1 period, losing just one rep all day against Lucas Simmons. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder wins with his ability to bend the corner and burst off the line of scrimmage. He is gaining more confidence with his hands and showing a budding array of moves with chop, hand swipes and long arm techniques. During the team period, Adebawore feasted in the passing game consistently getting to the quarterback. He wasn’t quite as productive as a run defender during the team period, but was able to disengage quickly and continue to make plays on the ball, notching a tackle for loss. Adebawore will need to continue to add mass at the next level in order to set the edge consistently, but is growing in confidence when it comes to his technique in the running and passing game. He’s one of the top athletes on hand in Orlando.
Adebawore ranks as the No. 7 overall prospect and No. 3 EDGE in the On300.
3. WR Mikey Matthews – Utah
Mikey Matthews turned into the best of any wide receiver on either team. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder was a tough cover all day for Team Speed defensive backs. Matthews displayed quick twitch, savvy route running in the 1-on-1 period. He also showed impressive body control and the ability to adjust at the catch point. Matthews beat Five-Star Plus+ cornerback Cormani McClain on a go route in the 7-on-7 period. He later beat Florida signee Sharif Denson on a stutter-go. Throughout the day, Matthews continued to separate from defenders with bursts and changes of direction regardless of whether he was targeted on the play. Saturday was an obvious ‘stock up’ performance from the three-star Utah pledge.
4. LB Suntarine Perkins – Ole Miss
Suntarine Perkins lined up at outside linebacker for Team Phantom and made a number of flash plays in the team period. The Ole Miss signee’s length and range are readily apparent on any play to the perimeter. Perkins diagnoses quickly, triggers and flies to the ball carrier. Simply put, Perkins is a vicious defender in the flats. He’s flashed a translatable skill set as a pure off-ball linebacker with the ability to operate in space. Later on in the team session, we saw Perkins roll downhill and pop pads, squaring up the runner with physicality. The Raleigh (Miss.) native continues to look like one of the more gifted back seven defenders in this talented all-star setting.
Perkins ranks as the No. 78 overall prospects in the On300.
5. DL Peter Woods – Clemson
Peter Woods was the most disruptive defender for Team Phantom in the team period. The Clemson signee teed off, showing an impressive first step. Woods was a considerable mismatch for the opposing interior offensive linemen, particularly on passing downs. We saw the Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson standout make a number of plays in the backfield, including a would-be sack. His Team Phantom teammates appeared to feed off the energy level, with several more defensive linemen and even some defensive backs getting in on the action after Woods made some high-energy plays. Woods’ quickness and overall effort level continue to impress.
Woods ranks as the No. 48 overall prospects in the On300.
6. OT Lucas Simmons – Florida State
Lucas Simmons turned in arguably the best showing among offensive linemen on Saturday, particularly among the tackles. The Florida State signee showed excellent footwork and balance in pass protection in the 1-on-1 period. He looks increasingly comfortable with his technique and overall balance when working in space. Simmons flashed strong hands and violence at the point of attack during team period. We also saw him beat the defender to his spot in the running game. Simmons still needs some work when it comes to his anchor, but when it comes to making the first blow on a defender he has consistently checked that box at Under Armour.
Simmons checks in at No. 150 overall prospects in the On300.
7. WR Johntay Cook II – Texas
All things considered, John Tay Cook was the most consistent receiver for Team Phantom on Saturday. The Texas signee is a confident, polished route-runner and was able to create easy separation on opposing defensive backs in 1-on-1’s. Cook was most effective in using his quickness and change of direction to break off defenders on short and intermediate routes. He also flashed some burst and top-end speed, taking an end-around for a would-be long gain in 11-on-11 work.
Cook is the No. 71 overall prospects in the On300.
8. DL John Walker – UCF
John Walker exploded off the ball in individual drills and also flashed impressive balance and bend for a defensive lineman. He used a strong hand swipe and swim move to win back to back reps in the 1-on-1 period. Later, Walker tallied multiple tackles-for-loss during the team period and was rarely moved off his spot in the run game. The 6-foot-1.5, 300-pounder wins at the point of attack due to his leverage and length.
Walker is the No. 140 overall prospects in the On300.
9. QB Jackson Arnold – Oklahoma
Jackson Arnold was the most consistent and accurate quarterback for either team on Saturday. The five-star signal caller progressed through his readings quickly and efficiently. We don’t recall seeing Arnold throw a poor pass all day long. We also thought he did a nice job navigating within the pocket during the team period. Arnold faced an onslaught of pass rushers and looked relatively calm and composed when rolling away from traffic. This was a pleasant surprise and something that is not always evident with top quarterbacks who are often unpressured at the high school level.
A Five-Star Plus+ prospect, Arnold checks in at No. 12 overall prospect and No. 3 quarterbacks in the On300.
10. LB Raylen Wilson – Georgia
Raylen Wilson gets the no for the final spot, after putting in a strong showing in 11-on-11 work for Team Phantom. The Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln product lined up at middle linebacker and looked equally comfortable fitting the run and playing in space. Wilson has added some very good mass to his frame and has a physical presence as a run defender. We saw the athleticism and coverage chops later, as he almost came down with an interception. Between Wilson and Suntarine Perkinsit looks like Team Phantom has two of the best linebackers in the 2023 cycle.
Wilson is the No. 28 overall prospect and No. 2 linebackers in the On300.
+ Texas corner signee Malik Muhammad almost made the top ten. The Texas signee lost a few reps in 1-on-1’s but was the most active defensive back for Team Phantom during the team period. Muhammad came down with an interception that may have gone for a pick-six, showing a quick break on the ball. He also showed some physicality, lowering his shoulder to muscle a wide receiver coming over the middle.
+ Alabama corner signee Desmond Ricks acquitted himself well as an outside corner for Team Phantom. Ricks gave up a pass or two to quicker receivers, but looked comfortable in defending vertical routes up the boundary.
+ Ja’Keem Jackson looked like the top corner for Team Speed on Saturday. His length was apparent, breaking up multiple passes during the 1-on-1 period. Jackson can get a little handsy and needs to get more comfortable finding the football, but his ability to play the receivers’ hands and separate the ball from the receiver really stood out. .
+ Five-star athlete New York Harbor is working at tight end this week. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder has some of the best speed of any player in Orlando and was able to separate vertically against much smaller defensive backs. Harbor is not a natural catcher at this point, as he body catches or cradles most passes. Harbor finished second in the fastest man race at the end of practice, coming in behind the Colorado signee Dylan Edwardswho he outweighs by 50-75 pounds.
+ We didn’t see five-star USC wide receiver signee Zachariah Branch got a ton of looks on Saturday, but he won relatively easily when targeted. Branch’s combination of quickness, long-speed and route-running is well-established at this point and Saturday was no different.
+ LSU signee Zalance Heard got off to a slow start in 1-on-1’s but rebounded quickly turning in a strong day overall. Heard manned the left tackle spot for Team Phantom and held up well in pass protection during the team period. Heard will need to continue honing his technique and anchor but the strength and length are apparent. Alabama signee Olaus Alinen was one of the most consistent performers along the offensive line for Team Speed. Alinen lined up at both tackle spots. He was steady in the run and pass game, showing the ability to create a push. He also flashed quality quickness and balance during the 1-on-1 period.
+ Texas A&M signee David HicksSouth Carolina signee Xavier McLeod and unsigned Ashton Porter were three more defensive linemen who stood out for Team Phantom. Hicks bullied opposing offensive linemen, planting several blockers on the ground over the course of the day. McLeod showed some nice quickness for a 320 pounder. Porter got the best of five-star offensive tackle Zalance Heard on back-to-back reps in 1-on-1s, winning with power and a spin move. Florida signee Will Norman has looked more explosive and juiced-up after dropping significant weight. Norman flashed strong hands and overwhelming power during the team period. He is a bit one-dimensional, primarily relying on power rush moves during the 1-on-1 period, but was disruptive throughout the day.
+ The all-star practice setting provides limited opportunities for running backs to shine. With that said, we thought Notre Dame signee Jeremiah Love looked like a natural pass catcher. After an up and down performance catching the football on Day 1 of practice, Richard Young showed why he does the majority of his damage between the tackles during today’s practice. The Alabama signee is a runner who runs behind his pads and isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and initiate contact. He flashed some quick feet during the team period and was able to escape trouble when the hole was plugged at the line of scrimmage.
On3’s Cody Bellaire contributed to this story.