SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The East squad had an easy walk through in the morning for the first day of the US Army All-American Bowl practices. However the afternoon saw a high intensity, competitive workout that allowed a lot of players to put their stamp on the day.
Adolphus Washington didn't disappoint as a five-star on Monday.
We break down the top players by position from the first day of East workouts.
Top performer: Gunner Kiel
If you’re a wide receiver on the East squad and you find yourself open, you better be prepared to make a catch if Kiel is under center because he will put the football on you and he is not going to be holding back on the velocity. Kiel showed a strong arm on Monday and has the ability to make every throw on the field.
Between both the East and the West squad, Kiel probably showed the most consistency and the most polish among all the quarterbacks. Recently committed to LSU, Kiel will have a flock of receivers capable of getting open and allowing him to showcase his ability. On Monday he looked ready for the next step.
Other standouts: Anthony Alford
Alford will really shine when the pads are on and he can display his athleticism carrying the football. On a couple of plays Monday, Alford flashed that big play ability.
There are only two running backs on the East roster after Jovon Robinson was ruled ineligible due to playing in two previous all-star contests and both had good days on Monday.
Davis is the more complete of the two, a true 3 down running back that can block, run between the tackles and catch. With a heavy workload on Saturday, expect Davis to have a big day in the Alamo Dome and expect him to be a major impact guy on the next level as well with Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida State and Georgia all listed among his finalists.
Kimbrow, a four-star Vanderbilt commit, is by no means an every down back but he does have terrific speed and acceleration and he never misses an opportunity to compete. Whenever Kimbrow got the football, he was full-speed and looking to score. Given the right situation offensively, Kimbrow has a chance to be successful.
Top performer: Stefon Diggs
The East group of wide receivers was a strong, deep group but from a talent perspective it was still Diggs and then everyone else. Diggs is a nightmare in man coverage one-on-one and rarely was a defensive back able to remain within four yards of him in coverage.
As a receiver, Diggs is polished, with great hands and route-running but he is also very rare athletically. You can see his bounce and athleticism as early as warmups and it continues well into the practice.
The wide receiver group isn’t necessarily the flashiest group but they most certainly got the job done. Bowles really had a solid day and when contrasted with the very marginal competition that he faces on his high school team, his adjustment to the All-American play has been impressive. Bowles is catching the ball away from his body and really using his big frame well.
Taylor also has stood out at the tight end position. Though he’s not a big, in-line type at the tight end position, he is a tough matchup at wide receiver and is undoubtedly one of the best pass catchers in the country in that role.
Top performer: D.J. Humphries
Humphries is what you want an offensive tackle to look like. He’s well-shaped, with good length and good weight. Athletically, Humphries displays very good feet and movement skills and he doesn’t have a discernable weakness in the run or pass game. All afternoon, Humphries was standing out among a good offensive line group and he looked exactly like you want a five-star offensive tackle to look like.
This group may not have quite the flash of the West squad but they were all very solid all day long. Very few players looked out of place in the group but a few really stood out. Ty Darlington at center was one that continued to be a solid presence. He has a great anchor and foot quickness and as a coaches son, Darlington seems to have a good presence as the leader of an offensive line.
Kalis, Voltz and Theus each had their moments as well but Graham Shuler may have been the sleeper of the group in the one-on-ones, winning almost all of his battles or at least holding his own. The Stanford commit has the versatility to play every offensive line position.
Top performer: Adolphus Washington
There may not be a better position group for either team than the group of defensive linemen compiled on the East squad. Any number of the performers in this group could state a strong case for the top performer nod but Washington earns it on Monday because of his consistency in all of the drills.
Washington’s inside swim move was nearly unstoppable in 11on11, in one-on-ones his blend of power and speed were more than most could handle and he played with a high motor all afternoon. Washington is quickly making himself into one of the nation’s surest things at defensive end.
Take your pick of the above names and you’ve got yourself a phenomenal prospect. Tommy Schutt had arguably the top one-on-one performance proving to be a very tough task to block particularly when lined up right on the center’s nose.
Darius Hamilton had maybe the most complete performance showing strength and power, quickness, diagnosis ability and instincts. He will be a great one and has the ability to play both defensive end and defensive tackle.
The player that looks like he may have the most upside of the entire group was Eli Harold. Harold has great length, great athleticism and is the quickest off the snap on the edge of the defense. He’s going to be a fun one to watch develop as he focuses on the defensive end position for the first time in his career. Already ranked in the top 50 in the country, Harold may not be high enough.
Top performer: Josh Clemons
With a 6-5 frame and long arms, you just don’t see many linebackers that look like Clemons. He can use his body to get in all kinds of throwing lanes, he can rush the passer off of the edge and in the open field he closes and breaks down with the fluidity of a safety. On one play, Clemons ate up 10 to 15 yards almost instantly making a play in the open field against a smaller quicker Brian Kimbrow.
Clemons will have to add weight on the next level but if he is able to do that, the sky is the limit.
Other standout: Kwontie Moore
When it comes to closing on the football, in a point A to point B type manner, Moore is terrific. When he gets there, he can’t help but bring a lot of physicality as well. He’s a true mike linebacker that really impressed on Monday.
Top performer: Tracy Howard
There is not much that Howard lacks that you want out of a defensive back, he has good size and closing ability, the ball skills are there and the instincts look to be off the charts. There probably isn’t a cornerback in the 2012 class that is as good coming out of his backfield and breaking on the football than Howard.
Howard was really the only defensive back that was consistently all over the football in one-on-ones and he is the toughest matchup for receivers to find space against.
Other standout; Yuri Wright
Yur Wright may not be a can’t miss prospect but he is very good. He has good size and hips you can’t teach and was a consistently solid all day long. In a turn and run situation, Wright doesn’t have quite the makeup speed that you’d like to see out of the No. 1 cornerback in the country but he’s in the conversation.