All-American Bowl: Instant analysis from San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO - The All-American Bowl was held Saturday after an extensive week of practice and interviews. Here are some quick takes coming out of the game.
Bryce Young threw two first-quarter touchdowns and if he stayed in the game the Alabama signee would have dissected the East offense all afternoon. The recently-crowned five-star quarterback is so special in the pocket, he’s a phenomenal decision-maker who processes things so quickly and he should be perfect in the Crimson Tide offense. There is no quarterback in this class who can smoothly orchestrate an offense like Young, he’s nearly flawless in everything he does and he could be a fantastic replacement when Tua Tagovailoa leaves for the NFL.
The debate over the best quarterback in this class will continue into the final rankings meetings this upcoming week. D.J. Uiagalelei did not play as well as Young in the All-American Bowl but he still has phenomenal size, a tremendous arm and he had a strong performance as well. During the week, the Clemson signee did everything to secure his No. 2 ranking but there will be some back-and-forth on which quarterback should be higher. Both Young and Uiagalalei have special ability.
Noah Sewell is a freak of nature - and that’s a complete compliment. The five-star linebacker checked in at 266 pounds but he runs like he’s 40 pounds lighter, he is a playmaker all over the field and he looked awesome all week. The Oregon signee had an interception in the game, he successfully executed on a fake punt and he can track sideline-to-sideline without a problem. Uiagalelei burned him on one play but that was his only miscue. Now the question becomes whether Sewell is the best inside linebacker in the class. Five-star Justin Flowe was supposed to be in San Antonio, too, this week but never showed. That will be a discussion topic in the coming days.
What a week for Dwight McGlothern. He said at Media Day that LSU was getting more involved in his recruitment but he wasn’t certain he could commit at that point. By Saturday, he was locked up to the Tigers, his dream school, and he also had two interceptions in the game including a pick-six. There is tremendous defensive back depth always at LSU but McGlothern has tremendous length and obvious playmaking ability. He proved it on Saturday.
It was surprising that there were no in-game commitment surprises. This is not us tooting our own horns but almost every year, one player or another tells people something all week or has a last-second change-of-heart when it comes to picking their school but things moved smoothly through the commitments this year. Four-star Lavon Bunkley-Shelton said Arizona State was not in it at media day but it was clear the Sun Devils were still the team to beat. Otherwise, all went as expected.
I loved what I saw all week from North Carolina signee Joshua Downs and USC commit Gary Bryant, two of the fastest and most elusive players at the game. Both had big performances during the game and that’s not surprising since defensive backs cannot keep up with either one. Downs should be a favorite target for Sam Howell in Chapel Hill and Bryant could see early playing time with the Trojans because he’s perfect in USC’s offense under coordinator Graham Harrell.
Gee Scott had two drops early in the game which was shocking because that never happens to him. The high four-star receiver and Ohio State signee had an excellent week of practice so seeing him struggle in the game was peculiar. Scott was super competitive during all the practices, he went after it all the time, he caught a lot of passes and he was one of the better receivers throughout the whole week here.
Here are some prospects who could be in for a move up when we meet one final time for the 2020 rankings after seeing them all week in San Antonio: Washington wide receiver signee Jalen McMillan, Alabama defensive end signee William Anderson, Stanford defensive back signee Ayden Hector, TCU defensive tackle signee Patrick Jenkins, Utah defensive linemen signees Xavier Carlton and Van Fillinger and Ohio State linebacker signee Cody Simon.
There is going to be a lot of discussion about who is the top offensive tackle in this class because Paris Johnson Jr. was just OK during one-on-ones during the week but good in team drills and the game, Tate Ratledge was up and down as well and Myles Hinton was solidly impressive throughout the week. Then there’s the case of Broderick Jones, who was excellent at Under Armour. So there could be some movement to watch there.