LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The second day of practices for the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game (7:30 p.m. Thursday/ESPN) is in the books. There were several standouts for “Team Blur” (White) during the three-hour session on Monday morning at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Cal quarterback commit Zach Kline has been the best signal caller through the first two days of practice for Thursday night's Under Armour All-American Game.
In general, the tempo get quicker, the majority of players appeared more comfortable and the competitiveness went up a few notches.
The vocal leaders of today’s practice were Ole Miss defensive end Issac Gross (Batesville, Miss./South Panola), Florida State defensive back commitment P.J. Williams (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard) and California quarterback commitment Zach Kline (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley), who seemed to rally the offense.
While Florida State commitment Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas/Ryan) will start the game at defensive end, look for the 6-foot-3, 291-pound special athlete to play some defensive tackle. In limited one-on-one reps at tackle, he easily won a pair of battles against LSU commitment Vadal Alexander (Buford, Ga.) with explosive quickness, lower body leg drive and power, and very quick hands.
While Missouri defensive tackle commitment Donald Hopkins (Lago Vista, Texas) has come to Orlando with less fanfare/hype than many of the other prospects, his quick first step has caught the eye of many, including his Team Blur position coaches, who were overheard praising him throughout the session.
Florida offensive line commitment Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, Fla.) has an near ideal offensive guard body type. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder is perfectly proportioned and has more than held his own today at the position after going through some adjustment time on day one. When his footwork is crisp and his base is ideal, he is nearly impossible to work around on the interior.
Cal quarterback commitment Zach Kline (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) has easily had the best two days of any quarterback in the game. His arm is quick, his motion compact and his arm strength is on an elite level. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder has zipped the ball all over the field in the intermediate passing game, fitting throws into some tight windows.
Cornerback De’Vante Harris (Mesquite, Texas/Horn) continues to show excellent instincts not only as a corner, but as football player in general. While he will need time to develop physically, the Oklahoma commit’s baseline skill set is on an elite level. His ability to quickly read and make plays on the ball in off coverage separates him from some others.
Alabama wide receiver commitment Amari Cooper (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) separated himself on day two. His ability to quickly get off the line of scrimmage made him unstoppable in one-on-one’s.
Wide receiver Trey Griffey (Orlando, Fla./Doctor Phillips) was a late invite to the game, but is making his mark. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has shown the ability to time the ball in the air, and make tough catches in traffic. He makes tough catches look easy due to great body control.
Safety Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla./Arnold) has shown the ability to move and transition with fluidity. The rangy 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has been smooth in his pedal and shown the ability to sink his hips and change direction under control. The Alabama commitment picked off Florida State commitment Jameis Winston twice in the red zone today and had another interception in one-on-one’s.
Florida State defensive end commitment Chris Casher (Mobile, Ala./Davidson) has displayed the ability to adjust on the fly. As the offensive tackles got used to his edge speed rush ability, they began to overcompensate, the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder has shown the ability to adapt and surprised with an impressive bull rush on multiple occasions.
Tight end Collin Thompson (Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood) showed excellent body control and the ability to adjust to the ball on a red zone touchdown reception over the middle. For his size, which is 6-foot-4, 255-pounds, the Florida commitment has displayed impressive athleticism and reactive quickness over the course of two days.
Strength in versatility
Florida commitment Marcus Maye (Melbourne, Fla./Holy Trinity) has impressed with his versatility. He has cross trained at safety and outside linebacker, which could end up being his future position at the next level. He has taken especially well to the transition.
Tennessee commitment Alton Howard (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) has lined up at wide receiver and running back over the course of two days. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder has excelled at running back in space with an impressive mixture of quickness, change of direction and burst. His ability to stick his foot in the ground and accelerate has earned praise from Team Blur coaches.
Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) has excelled as a press corner this week, but his versatility on the next level excites. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Florida commitment could play nickel, safety or boundary corner at the next level. His strength, foot quickness and ability to play through contact has impressed for two straight days.