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Under Armour: Blur Top Performers

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- Three days of practices are in the books for the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game, so that means it’s time to go position-by-position and look at the top performers from each team. 


Five-star Jameis Winston has not been terribly impressive during the first three practices for the Under Armour All-American Game.

Here we take a look at Team White (Blur), which features excellent talent on the defensive line and some risers at wide receiver, offensive line and running back.



The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Quarterback

1- Zach Kline, Danville (Calf.) San Ramon Valley

Kline, a Cal commit, has been by far the top quarterback on either team during the first three practice sessions. We feel like he has the strongest arm, the most compact release and continues to fit the ball well into tight spaces. On Tuesday, he showed the ability to keep a play alive with his feet, making an accurate throw rolling right to the sidelines. Kline is a quarterback that doesn’t have to have his feet set and balanced up perfectly to make throws.

2- Tanner Mangum, Eagle (Idaho)

Mangum has looked best in the intermediate passing game. He changes ball speeds well and does a good job of picking up blitzes and finding hot routes. The BYU commit does not spin the ball as well as the other quarterbacks on his team, but still has a high skill level in other areas.

3- Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.)

Georgia commit Keith Marshall has shown he is one of the top running backs in the country this week.

While we expect him to be much better in a game setting than a practice setting, the Florida State commit has struggled with consistency all three days. He’s been erratic in the passing game and this setting does not lend itself to him making big plays with his feet.

Running back

1- Keith Marshall, Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook

Marshall, a Georgia commit, has shown the burst and homerun-hitting speed expected, even though he’s nursing a sort knee. Marshall has shown the ability to get to the second level quickly on inside zone as well as the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. While he doesn’t posses the ideal running back body type others have, we do feel like his frame is thicker than some may think.

2- Alton Howard, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater



Howard’s versatility has impressed all three days. He has shown quick feet, excellent vision, burst and elusiveness and he’s not even playing the position he will likely play at Tennessee, where he is currently committed. While he lacks the pure speed of some other players, his lateral ability ranks as one of the best on either team in the game. We feel like he could play slot receiver or running back in a spread offense in college.

Receivers/tight end

1- Amari Cooper, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern

Four-star Alabama receiver commit Amari Cooper has been the best receiver on Team Blur this week at Under Armour All-American Game practice.



The first thing that stands out about Cooper is his wiry frame, which we feel like will eventually carry 195-200 pounds. The Alabama commit has shown the ability to fight for the ball in the air and make the tough catch this week while also showing the ability separate out of breaks, especially out of slant routes.



2- Marvin Bracy, Orlando (Fla.) Boone



Bracy, a Florida State commit, is probably the quickest and fastest player in attendance. Bracy’s ability to sink his hips and get in and out of breaks has shown that he’s way more than just a track guy playing football, he has a chance to be an excellent wide receiver at the collegiate level. Bracy was especially impressive on Tuesday in one-on-one drills. In the slot, he’s an impossible matchup for a safety.

3- Darius Powe, Lakewood (Calif.)



The most physical receiver on the White team, Powe has made a number of catches against attached coverage. We like him to be a factor in red zone offense early in his career at Cal, where he is committed. His strong hands and ability to catch the ball with extended arms has impressed this week.

4- Sean Price, Citra (Fla.) North Marion



Price is the most athletically-gifted tight end in the game this year, the South Florida commit has shown the ability to fire quickly out of his stance with low pad level. Some tight ends will stand up coming out of their stance and waste energy, but Price fires out low and controlled with quick feet. That’s not to mention the fact that he catches nearly everything that’s close and has proven to be a tough cover for any linebacker..

Offensive line

Alabama offensive tackle commit Brandon Greene's upside may be better than any other on Team Blur in the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game.

1- Issac Seumalo, Corvallis (Ore.)

Seumalo is the lone offensive lineman that has been able to hold his own against defensive lineman Mario Edwards this week and that alone makes him deserving of the top spot. The Oregon State commit is obviously well-coached as a coach’s son (his father is an assistant for the Beavers) so the fact that he’s technically sound is no surprise. He does the best job of staying square and running his feet of any of the linemen on the White team. Seumalo may or may not make his way to five-star status as rankings are comparative, but he has impressed every time we’ve seen him and on film and is definitely in the discussion.

2- Brandon Greene, Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove



We feel like Greene’s upside could be the highest of any of the offensive linemen on the White squad. The Alabama commit has impressed with his feet, knee bend and ability to quickly pass set. Time in a college strength and conditioning program and technique word will allow him to take the next step as a player. Look for Greene to move up a good amount of spots in the next rankings update.

3- Jessamen Dunker, Boynton Beach (Fla.)

Dunker has the best offensive line body type in the game, period. After initially adjusting to playing guard, Dunker has more than held his own the last two days of practice. The Florida commit possesses a strong and powerful punch and needs only to run his feet more consistently to have the look of an elite guard prospect at the next level.

4- Josh Garnett, Puyllup (Wash.)

Like Dunker, we believe Garnett may be best-suited to play offensive guard at the collegiate level. He can move his feet, has the strength to survive a good initial punch from an opposing defensive lineman and gives max effort on most reps. Michigan, Stanford and Notre Dame are the final three in the race for his services.

Linebacker

Four-star linebacker Reggie Ragland has been the top prospect at his position during Under Armour All-American Game practice.

1- Reggie Ragland, Madison (Ala.) Bob Jones

While Ragland has looked excellent at linebacker this week, we see the Alabama commit as a jumbo athlete that could line up as a linebacker, tight end or even possibly defensive end for the Crimson Tide.

2- Michael Rose, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst



What Rose lacks in ideal body type, the Nebraska commit makes up for with instincts and strength. He has impressed throughout the week in coverage, making a number of plays on the ball over the middle. Very good lateral ability.

3- Marcus Maye, Melbourne (Fla.) Holy Trinity



Maye has played both safety and outside linebacker this week and is growing on us as an outside linebacker long-term. We feel that the Florida commit has the frame to carry 220 pounds or more in time.

Defensive end

1- Mario Edwards, DE, Denton (Texas) Ryan



It’s easy to define Edwards’ week, dominant. He has shown quickness power, balance, lateral agility and terrific hands throughout the week. In the few reps he has taken at defensive tackle, it was a complete mismatch for any of the interior offensive linemen. He has clearly cemented his status as one of the top handful of prospects in the 2012 class.

2- Dante Fowler, Saint Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood



Not only does Fowler have a terrific first step, he has some of the best feet in the entire even, regardless of position. Fowler has dominated opposing offensive tackles on outside pass rush moves all week, but has also shown the ability when redirected to quickly react and work inside. The Florida State commit is without a doubt in the discussion for five star status.

3- Chris Casher, DE, Mobile (Ala.) Davidson

After shaking off the rust, Casher has performed well over the course of three days. While he doesn’t posses the first-step quickness of a Fowler, his speed and power combination (he can really turn and pursue), along with his frame, provides him with a high ceiling a bright future.

Defensive tackle

1- Jonathan Taylor, Millen (Ga.) Jenkins County

Taylor continues to have the appearance of one of the more physically-gifted linemen in the 2012 class. The Georgia commit’s first-step quickness has impressed and he has quick hands and good strength. Consistency is going to be the key for him in college, but if he can take care of that, he can be dominant.

2- Dakota Ball, Pepperell (Ga.)



Ball has impressed with his maximum effort, lower body strength and ability to hold the point-of-attack. While he may play guard or center for Alabama, where he is committed, he has shown enough that we believe he could play over the ball (nose) in a role at the next level.

3- Issac Gross, Batesville (Miss.) South Panola



The Ole Miss commit has been a pleasant surprise this week. While a number of other prospects have better body types, Gross has shown that he has a powerful punch and the ability to make his body small, which has earned him consistent praise from his position coaches. As he adds strength and muscle mass, he will develop into a legitimate player on the collegiate level.

Cornerback

1- Ronald Darby, Oxon Hill (Md.) Potomac



We already knew that Darby, a Notre Dame commit, was one of the fastest players in the country, but this week he has proven to be adept in both press and off coverage over the course of the three practices. On Tuesday, Darby was exceptional in press coverage the last half of the practice. He showed the ability to re-route and if beaten over-the-top, showed the speed to recover and make a play on the ball. Darby will move up in the next rankings update from 247Sports.



2- DeVante Harris, Mesquite (Texas) Horn



The Oklahoma commit impressed from jumpstreet this week with his ability to stay attached on any route run by outside receivers. While he has a ways to go physically, his instincts are as impressive as any player in the game.

3- Cyrus Jones, Baltimore (Md.) Gillman



Jones has primarily been known as an offensive player during his high school career and is making a transition to cornerback this week. That could be his best position as he has shown natural ability in coverage and has the hips and feet to play the spot at a high level. He decides Thursday between Virginia Tech and Alabama.


Safety

1- Eddie Williams, Panama City (Fla.) Arnold



Williams, an Alabama commit, is one of the most impressive prospects on either team through the first three days. He has great length, speed and athleticism and does not shy away from contact. He could honestly end up being outstanding at safety, linebacker or even wide receiver on the collegiate level.

2- Brian Poole, Bradenton (Fla.) Southeast

Without a doubt, Poole has been the best in press coverage on either team this week. While he is playing cornerback exclusively this week in the game, we feel like Poole, who is committed to Florida, will play nickel or safety on the collegiate level. His physicality sets him apart no matter what position he lines up at.

3- P.J. Williams, Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard

Williams’ athleticism and ball skills have impressed this week. The Florida State commit continues to show versatility as he has lined up at both safety and cornerback at times during the practices.

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