With another day in the playbook and a better feel for the routine and each other, day two of practice for the Under Armour All-America Game saw Team Nitro and Team Highlight more comfortable on the field at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. With improved weather and better tempo several of the top prospects impressed. Here are 11 players that caught the eye of 247Sports recruiting analysts on Monday.
1. Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin): In 11-on-11’s, Garrett made several plays versus five-star offensive lineman Cameron Robinson. Garrett is the best looking defensive end in the event, and after seeing him overpower Robinson and other blockers at the point of attack gives him the slight edge for top performer on Day 2.
2. Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr): Once again Noil was the best skill player on the practice field, and it has not even been close. He made the catch of the day high-pointing the ball and out muscling Jermaine Roberts and Stephen Roberts. Noil maintains top speed in and out of his routes, gets vertical, is a great leaper and very dangerous in space.
3. Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic): If there is one aspect that Peppers has stood out among his peers at so far, it is trash talking. Peppers has been in the ears of every wideout he has been matched up with, and on Monday he backed it up with some physical play near the line of scrimmage. He redirected several routes and eliminated most wideouts from getting any separation. For the most part, he locked down five-star wide receiver Ermon Lane, although Lane did get him on a quick inside slant on one rep. Peppers also took got up field very quickly while taking snaps at wildcat, a possible sneak preview for a few plays on offense during the game Thursday.
4. Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn): In a setting like this, running backs and linebackers have a hard time standing out. That being said, it was evident that Evans can do just about anything you want him to do on the football field. Playing at linebacker after playing most of his snaps at defensive end the last two years, Evans showed sideline-to-sideline range and his recovery speed is good enough that he would not look out of place playing strong safety, even at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds. One on rep, he flashed explosive ability at the point of attack, knocking Cameron Robinson flat on his back. He’s has elite physical talent.
5. Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish): Sims has had two quality days, and on Monday, he made several impressive catches, including a over-the-shoulder grab on Adoree’ Jackson on a fade and another on Marlon Humphrey across the middle. With his size, vertical jump and ability to use his body control to make catches in traffic, Sims has a skill set similar to former Notre Dame standout and current Arizona Cardinal wideout Michael Floyd.
6. Braden Smith (Olathe, Kans./Olathe South): Smith was barely edged out
for first day top performers by Hootie Jones, and on Tuesday he continued to impress at guard. His brute strength allows him to overpower defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage, locking them out in pass pro and driving them into the second level on run plays. Smith has put himself into the argument with Roderick Taylor for top interior offensive lineman at Under Armour practice so far.
7. Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman): Like Noil and Sims, Rudolph has been consistently impressive. A tremendous route runner with great ball skills, Rudolph uses deceptive speed to lull cornerbacks and get separation, and he is shifty after the catch as well. With few weaknesses in his game, Rudolph is one of the most well rounded wide receivers in the country.
8. Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Academy): Tabor has been the most consistent cornerback through two days of practice, rarely getting beat and consistently staying in the wide receiver’s hip pocket. His height and very long arms allow him to come up and press wideouts, maintaining physical, tight coverage once the receiver does fight off the jam.
9. Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford): As mentioned above, running back is not a position that gets many opportunities to shine in an all-star practice setting. But the receiving ability and rare acceleration by Thomas cannot be ignored. He is so extremely shifty that even the smallest crease can result in a huge gain downfield. When he turns it outside, Thomas hits the corner with extreme explosiveness and his cutback ability makes it very difficult for defenders to get a clean hit on him.
10. Tanner Farmer (Highland, Ill./Highland): In back-to-back reps against Dexter Wideman and O.J. Smith, Farmer showcased very impressive physical strength, pancaking Wideman and knocking Smith several yards downfield. A nasty mauler inside, it is clear that Farmer relishes in punishing in the run game.
11. Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway ): Once again, Harris is the top performer at quarterback. His accuracy, especially on intermediate routes, was much improved on Monday. He was able to fire the ball into tight windows with a lot of velocity, and at this point has displayed the strongest arm in Under Armour practice. On short patterns, he would actually be well-served to take a little off his throws.
Former NFL Pro Bowl LB LaVarr Arrington on five-star Rashaan Evans: “Rashaan Evans is a beast. A beast. He is a special player – if he keeps learning he can do it. And by do it I mean he has a chance to play on Sundays. He has great range, he is so versatile and he has that ‘something’ about him.