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All-American Bowl: Players who could make case for fifth star

Jalen Berger
Jalen Berger (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

SAN ANTONIO – All-American Bowl Week has arrived and with it the final evaluation period for the 2020 class. Here is a look at five players here this week who could push for a fifth star:

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UNDER ARMOUR GAME WEEK: Farrell's thoughts | Five players who could earn a fifth star | Players predict where uncommitted will land | Darnell Washington | Sedrick Van Pran | Avantae Williams | Jayson Jones

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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There has been an undervaluation of elite running backs in the Northeast in recent years with Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor coming to mind, two phenomenal players who were ranked as four-stars coming out of high school. Both had been committed to Rutgers before Barkley flipped to Penn State and Taylor picked Wisconsin.

That’s one of many reasons why we’re going to give Berger an extra-close look this week at the All-American Bowl. The high four-star has proven an ability to not only run the ball effectively but he can catch it out of the backfield. When an entire defense is not keyed on stopping only him, Berger could shine.

If he has an incredible week, the four-star could be in the five-star discussion. Rutgers might be the frontrunner here with Wisconsin, LSU, UCLA and Penn State also in his top five.

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There are already two five-star tight ends in the 2020 class which feels a little excessive but both LSU signee Arik Gilbert and uncommitted Darnell Washington are physical specimens who could be incredible at the college level. Rarely do players such as Gilbert and Washington, with their size, athleticism and playmaking ability, come along especially in one recruiting class.

But the best pure tight end in the class might be Mayer, who continues to impress at every stop and could command a five-star ranking with a dominant week at the All-American Bowl. We talk a lot about the size of Gilbert and Washington, but the Notre Dame signee is no slouch at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. He could move up even higher after this week.

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When Harris was classified in the 2021 class, we had him high in those initial rankings but when he reclassified to 2020 there was an adjustment down mainly because his lean frame is a concern. Harris had a phenomenal senior season with 19 sacks. His motor and aggressiveness are off the charts. But at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge he was pushed around a little bit off the edge by much bigger offensive tackles and projecting him as a defensive end was difficult.

Harris, however, is also exactly what defensive coordinators dream of – long, athletic playmakers who can move around positionally and still have a huge impact. Now at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Harris is one of the more intriguing prospects to watch heading into the week.

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One of the most physically-impressive receivers in this class, Scott is going to be closely watched all week because he’s been under five-star consideration for some time. Plus, the Ohio State signee had a huge senior season with 76 catches for 1,453 yards and 15 touchdowns so that puts Scott even more in the spotlight heading into this week.

We want to see if the Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic standout can dominate physically on the outside, make plays in a crowd and also show the ability to run by defensive backs to stretch the field. Scott has put together a really impressive high school career and the culmination in San Antonio could mean a lot for his final ranking.

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There are already two five-star quarterbacks in the state of California but Stroud could make a big argument this week as well and there’s no telling whether he could end up being the best of them all. Stroud really emerged this season as he has an athletic build but prefers to sit in the pocket and dissect defenses. He can get out and run when needed and he looks good doing it.

The Ohio State signee put up huge numbers this season, he has excellent size and athleticism. A big week at the All-American Bowl could boost his ranking even further.

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