All-American Bowl: The Gorney Awards
SAN ANTONIO - The All-American Bowl is in the books with the West beating the East, 33-20. After following practices all week leading up to Saturday’s game, here are the Gorney Awards from the event:
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
This award goes to the most dynamic and exciting player during the week, the guy who gets everyone's attention when he has the ball and to me that was Bryant. He is explosive down the field, dynamic with the ball in his hands and he was thrilling to watch all week.
Honorable mention: Joshua Downs is equally as thrilling; Jaxon Smith-Njigba looked great before he got injured; quarterback Bryce Young can make something happen at any second; and running back Jahmyr Gibbs can kick it into an extra gear whenever he wants.
This goes to the player who raised his stock the most during the week and Anderson has to top the list. He was so explosive and violent during one-on-ones that he was just taking over with his physical play. Other than being strong and tough, Anderson is also athletic, moves well and covers ground like a linebacker.
Honorable mention: Antonio Johnson had a dominant first day of practice; Cody Simon was terrific all week; Jacobian Guillory was a tank up the middle; Patrick Jenkins kept impressing during workouts; and Dwight McGlothern had a phenomenal game with two interceptions.
This award is not one that you want; it's for the player whose stock dropped the most. Davis entered the week needing a big showing on the national stage to keep his fifth-star and it never materialized. It particularly didn’t help that the Clemson signee got beat for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the game.
Honorable mention: Running backs Don Chaney and Sam Adams didn’t look on the same level as the others; Tosh Baker got injured after the first workout but still needs to really develop physically; Andrej Karic struggled with elite defensive linemen; Lathan Ransom struggled at times on the back end.
This award is given to the best-looking prospect on the hoof, the guy who looks like he could play in college or even the NFL right now and this list is extensive but we’re picking Gilbert. For someone to be so big but also move so well and look so advanced physically, it’s pretty amazing to see.
Honorable mention: Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy are in a class by themselves from a physical standpoint; Trey Wedig was the most massive offensive tackle at the game but Myles Hinton wasn’t far behind; Quandarrius Robinson has tremendous length; and Noah Sewell is a well-documented physical freak who plays linebacker at nearly 270 pounds.
This award goes to the player with the best feet, whether it's an offensive lineman or a cornerback, big man or mighty mite and Bunkley-Shelton wins this award because he almost dances through his routes sometimes and he can get open against anybody. All week, Bunkley-Shelton found space and got open all the time.
Honorable mention: At receiver, Downs and Smith-Njigba looked the part; running back Casey Filkins can make people miss in a phone booth; and even though he’s undersized, Luke Wypler did a great job anchoring against bigger defensive linemen.
This one goes to the biggest hitter, which is essentially the guy who laid the lumber in the game or by accident in practice, because there was not much tackling to the ground during the week. There were not any major teeth-rattling hits but Anderson gets the award for his intensity and relentlessness during the week of practice. He was in attack mode all week going after offensive tackles, knocking them around, running through them and giving a pounding at every opportunity.
Honorable mention: Sewell, Antonio Doyle and Simon didn’t mind mixing it up a little, either.
What's the difference between Hard Hat and Lunch Pail? The Hard Hat Award is for the biggest hitter while the Lunch Pail Award is for the guy who does the dirty work that doesn't get into the box score or noticed by many. There were a bunch of offensive linemen who could have earned this but we’re going with Hartwig. He had a strong day of practice, especially when the two teams had a heated one-on-one battle and the Purdue signee more than held his own.
This award sounds like it's for a defender who hits, but it's really for a receiver with the best hands during the week. Although he was quiet during the game, Humphreys showed off superb hands in practice and with his size, quarterbacks can just throw it up and the Stanford signee will be sure to bring it down.
POISE UNDER PRESSURE
This is essentially for the best quarterback who performs when the lights come on and there is actually a live pass-rush coming at him and there’s no question it was Young. The Alabama signee threw a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game. Later in the first quarter, the five-star quarterback hit Bryant on a touchdown pass. He was outstanding - like always.
Honorable mention: It was clear the East team was leaning on five-star quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei throughout the game and he definitely had some bright moments completing 16 of 25 passes for a game-high 252 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.
This award goes to the quarterback with the best arm who showed the ability to make all the passes with zip on the football and Uiagalelei wins this by a mile. He has such an incredibly strong arm that sometimes he has to dial it back to put some touch on short passes. Still, he can throw it through a brick wall as Uiagalelei has unique arm talent.
This award goes to the quarterback who showed the best accuracy all week long and again this goes to Young. It was surprising when the Alabama signee did not throw the ball perfectly to his receivers whether he was sitting in the pocket or on the run. He’s that smooth all the time.
Honorable mention: Stroud threw it all over the field as well and looked sharp doing it. What’s best about the Ohio State signee is that he doesn’t make a lot of risky throws.
This is for the player who provided the best coverage on defense during the week and Ringo wins this one. Although others had more attention during the game, the five-star cornerback was locking it down during one-on-ones all week and he did a phenomenal job, so much so that there will be a discussion whether he’s the No. 1 player at his position nationally.
ALL OR NOTHING
This is for the player who will either make a huge play or potentially make a mistake or be invisible at times and we’re going with Harris. The Texas A&M signee still needs to gain significant weight to be an effective pass rusher in the SEC but he was brilliant at times using his speed to the edge or slick moves to the inside. But then Harris was nowhere to be found for stretches.
This award goes to the player who was simply good all week long and could be relied upon to bring it each and every day and there’s no doubt it was Bresee. The five-star and No. 1 overall prospect played with a club on his left hand but that didn’t stop him. He went hard every day, dominated every day and showed he can play inside or outside on Clemson’s defensive line which is just downright scary.
Honorable mention: Along the defensive line, Myles Murphy, William Anderson, Jamil Burroughs and Patrick Jenkins stood out. Linebacker Cody Simon was always making something happen. And at tight end, Michael Mayer had a solid week catching everything thrown his way and routinely beating defenders.
This award goes to the player who had the biggest impact in the game itself and it’s a tie between Young and McGlothern. Young was absolutely phenomenal in the first quarter throwing two touchdown passes and McGlothern had two picks including one returned for a score. It cannot get much better than that in an all-star game.
Honorable mention: Josh Downs, Jalen McMillan, Michael Mayer, Antonio Doyle and Noah Sewell all had standout performances as well.