All-American Bowl: Stock report after the week in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO -- Almost 100 of the top prospects in the nation competed in San Antonio from New Year's Eve into the new year, with a competitive showdown in the Alamodome on Saturday afternoon. The West edged out the East, but several prospects made compelling cases about their future with their showing in the week of practices and again in the game.
Rivals.com was on hand for all the action from start to finish. Analysts Josh Helmholdt and Sam Spiegelman take a look at 15 players who's stock went up and who's stock went down in the aftermath of All-American Bowl week.
There may not have been a player who made a more convincing case for a rankings bump than Anderson, who may be in line for the biggest leap of any prospect in the country. Anderson was unstoppable during 1-on-1s, flashing a high motor, elite burst off the ball, a spin move and the ability to simply bull-rush tackles with ease. That continued into the All-American Bowl, where he notched a sack and two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Bryant, who announced his commitment to USC during the All-American Bowl on Saturday, was among the biggest matchup nightmares all week long. The soon-to-be Trojan was noticeably quick on the outside. He is an excellent route-runners and consistently tricked up defensive backs. Bryant may be small in stature, but he has an impressive catch radius and fantastic speed and is sure to make a ton of vertical plays for the Trojans.
Throughout the week of practices, Downs was the most productive receiver for the East team, and that continued on Saturday where he recorded nine receptions for 120 yards in the All-American Bowl game. He follows in a recent line of small, but explosive slot receivers to play in this game like Rondale Moore and Wandale Robinson. The future North Carolina Tar Heel changes direction on a dime, gets to top speed in an instant and, despite one drop in the game, showed a sure pair of hands all week long.
Guillory is a championship power-lifted who plays defensive tackle in the same fashion. He has intense, brute power and consistently gave interior offensive linemen problems during 1-on-1s and in the game. The LSU signee routinely pushed linemen back -- and at times, with one arm -- and even knocked a few into the dirt. Guillory is going to command double-teams when he gets to Baton Rouge, but he also showed that he's capable of rushing the passer from the middle, too. Expect the Rivals250 prospect to inch closer to the Rivals100.
There were several three-star prospects playing in this year’s All-American Bowl, and Hartwig may have been the best of all them this week. He does not catch your attention with his frame or physique, but once the pads came on the Purdue signee was extremely solid all week holding down the middle of the West offensive line. Ranked as the No. 19 offensive guard in the 2020 class, Hartwig played center in San Antonio this week and that versatility is a plus. He gets into his set quickly after the snap, plays light on his feet and showed the strength and competitiveness to battle with the best defensive tackles in the class.
There's going to be a good debate between Paris Johnson and Hinton as the best offensive tackle in the country. Johnson had some struggles during 1-on-1s, but made up for it with a strong showing in the game. Meanwhile, Hinton, a Stanford signee, saw his stock rise. He had excellent feet as he was able to slow down some of the fastest edge-rushers like Donnell Harris in 1-on-1s. That kind of athleticism for an offensive tackle can't go unnoticed. That dominance continued into the Alamodome as Hinton shored up his side of the line and kept his quarterbacks clean. Yet again, an elite tackle is en route to Palo Alto.
Jenkins added a fourth star at the end of his senior season and made another strong case that he's due for a rankings boost into the Rivals250 with his performance in 1-on-1s. The TCU signee is one of the best athletes along the interior line, showing great hands, quick feet and a fantastic motor as a rush-tackle. Jenkins is so technically advanced as a high school senior and so explosive off the ball. He was outstanding in practices and consistently pressured quarterbacks in the Dome on Saturday.
Every test given to Johnson over the last year, the future Texas A&M Aggie has passed. This week he set the tone for the East team, using his range in coverage to close down passing lanes and deny the offense receptions. He did the same in Saturday’s game, playing perfect coverage and know knocking down a pass in the back of the end zone on fourth and goal that gave his East team the ball back. Johnson has size, speed, athleticism and is a top-flight playmaker – all the things you want out of the centerfielder of your defense.
Kimber has been in and out of the Rivals250 at different points over the years, but the Georgia signee made a compelling case as one of the better cover corners in the country during his week in San Antonio. Kimber was one of the very few defensive backs to give Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Bryant some issues in 1-on-1s and did his best work on short and intermediate routes. He's set to play in the nickel in Athens, a perfect match for a cornerback who's especially disciplined in coverage.
There has been a longstanding debate between Ringo and Elias Ricks as the top cornerback in the country and Ringo certainly won a few people over with a strong outing in San Antonio. The five-star was lockdown in coverage and very easily shadowed receivers downfield and was able to go step-for-step during 1-on-1s. Such is rather easy for someone with 4.3 speed. The Georgia signee collected multiple pass break-ups against talented receivers and made a case as the best cornerback in the event with his performance.
Simon put together one of the best All-American Bowl weeks for a linebacker in recent memory. He finished Saturday’s game with just three tackles, but forced a fumble that got the East team the ball back and had a tremendous overall week of practices. Simon is uniquely gifted for a middle linebacker in that he is just as effective moving backwards as he is coming towards the line of scrimmage. He already has a Rivals250 rankings, but made a strong case to push even further up that list when the final 2020 class rankings are updated later this month.
There's an argument to be made that Smith-Njigba would have been the top skill position player in San Antonio before an injury took place during the joint East-West practice on Wednesday afternoon. The Ohio State signee was lights out in 1-on-1s and gave every defensive backs fits. He has a proficient release off the line and consistently separates. He has sticky hands, is especially quick in and out of his breaks and made plays on short, intermediate and long plays downfield. Smith-Njgiba certainly lived up to his five-star status.
There are going to be a lot of questions going forward about what happened with Davis this week, but whatever the outcome, this was not a five-star performance. After playing second-team cornerback all week behind Devito Tisdale, who was having his own struggles containing the wide receivers in San Antonio, Davis did get the start in Saturday’s game and promptly gave up a 75-yard touchdown on a play where he gave minimal effort or resistance. The Clemson signee showed little interest and little effort. It was a very perplexing performance.
Offensive line has one of the steepest learning curves from high school to the college game, and it is not uncommon to see offensive linemen behind their defensive line counterparts in a game like the All-American Bowl. Rosengarten, however, was further behind that curve than many of his fellow offensive linemen. The ability to bend and move effectively in an athletic stance is key, especially at left tackle, but Rosengarten tends to play high and paid for it when Will Anderson planted him on his backside during the joint team session Wednesday. Rosengarten has a good football frame, but there’s a lot of technical and athletic development that needs to happen here.
The theme continues with offensive linemen who took their lumps in San Antonio and Ward is another victim. The uncommitted tackle struggled against powerful defensive ends who pushed him back time and time against. Ward was equally as slow out of his breaks to handle speedy edge-rushers that made him look lost at times. He has great size and length, but he'll need to shore up a lot of different aspects of his game before he faces elite defensive linemen.