As another high school football season closes with state champions being crowned across the country, an unofficial second season kicks off. December marks the start of all-star season, with games pitting the best players from coast to coast. Here's a look at some of the nation's top all-star events being held over the next month.
Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic
When: Dec. 11
Where: Mobile, Ala.
Who: Alabama vs. Mississippi (24th annual meeting)
Why you should care: This game has produced numerous NFL stars such as Cadillac Williams, Rolando McClain, Jason Campbell and Deuce McAllister. Current college stars Nick Fairley, Vick Ballard and Chad Bumphis also participated in this annual event. This year's event is highlighted by Brent Calloway and Jonathan Rose, the top two players in Alabama. The Mississippi squad has its own star power with Nickalos Brassell and Tobias Singleton, the Nos. 1 and 3 players, respectively, in the state.
The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas
When: Dec. 18
Where: Spartanburg, S.C.
Who: North Carolina vs. South Carolina
Why you should care: The nation's No. 1 player, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, leads a strong South Carolina team that is also highlighted by wide receiver Charone Peake (Clemson) and offensive lineman Brandon Shell (South Carolina), both Rivals100 prospects. The North Carolina team is led by linebackers Stephone Anthony and Kris Frost, and tight end Eric MacLain (Clemson).
The Crab Bowl
When: Dec. 18
Where: Bowie, Md.
Who: Baltimore-area prospects vs. District of Columbia-area prospects
Why you should care: The D.C. roster is highlighted by four-star prospects Blake Countess, Brandon Phelps and Darian Cooper, while the Baltimore squad features Virginia commit Marco Jones and Wake Forest commit Hunter Goodwin.
GACA North/South All-Star Classic
When: Dec. 29
Where: Columbus, Ga.
Who: North Georgia vs. South Georgia
Why you should care: The North will be led by future SEC player A.J. Johnson (Tennessee), Brian Randolph (Tennessee), Chris Sanders (Georgia) and C.J. Uzomah (Auburn). The South is led by Rivals.com Top250 stars Jay Rome (undecided), Malcolm Mitchell (undecided), Justin Scott-Wesley (Georgia) and Shannon Brown (Alabama).
When: Dec. 30
Where: Towson, Md.
Who: Top prospects from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware vs. top prospects from Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and West Virginia
Why you should care: Rivals250 standouts Damiere Byrd (South Carolina), Dondi Kirby, Sheldon Royster, Bill Belton (Pittsburgh), Kyshoen Jarrett (Pitt), Deion Barnes, Brandon Clemons, Trip Thurman (Florida) and Marquise Wright (Pitt) highlight the North roster while fellow Rivals250 stars Dominique Terrell, Darius Jennings, Kevin McReynolds and Darian Cooper lead the South. Five-star Cyrus Kouandjio is also on the South roster and if he participates, it will make this an even stronger group.
NUC All-World Gridiron Classic
When: Dec. 31
Where: Charleston, S.C.
Who: Players from all over the United States, Canada and one each from Australia and Croatia.
Why you should care: This is the first annual event for the National Underclassmen Combine organization, which is the leader in football camps held nationally for high school players of all ages. This year's inaugural event has current Rivals.com Top250 stars Damiere Byrd (South Carolina), Vance Roberts (West Virginia), Amarlo Herrera (Georgia), Jabari Hunt-Days (Georgia Tech), and Kenny Williams (Texas Tech).
When: Dec. 31
Where: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Who: Top prospects from around the country
Why you should care: Plenty of Rivals100 talent on display including Georgia-bound quarterback Christian Lemay's first appearance since he was suspended for his senior year, athlete Ladarius Brown, running back Marlin Lane (Clemson), running back Justice Hayes (Michigan), defensive lineman Kenny Hayes (Ohio State) and tight end Eric MacLain (Clemson).
Under Armour All-America Game
When: Jan. 5
Where: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Who: Top prospects from around the nation
Why you should care: The nation's No. 1 player, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, leads a loaded roster for the annual event held at Tropicana Field. Other five-star prospects in the game include offensive tackles La'El Collins and Cyrus Kouandjio, as well as safety Hasean Clinton-Dix.
Nike South Florida All-Star Football Game
When: Jan. 6
Where: Miami, Fla.
Who: Broward vs. Miami-Dade
Why you should care: The 16th annual meeting pits two of the best football counties in the nation. Standouts on the Broward roster include athletes Kevin Grooms and Corey Tindal, defensive end Bryant Dubose, defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample, linebackers Conard Johnson and Ryan Shazier, and defensive back Allen Ramsey. They will square off against Miami-Dade standouts such as quarterback Rakeem Cato, offensive linemen Ruben Carter and Marquis Lucas, wide receivers Eli Rogers and Clinton Taylor, defensive ends Desmond Hollin and Ricardo Williams, defensive tackle Elkino Watson, and defensive backs Robenson Therezie and Andrew Johnson. Needless to say, this game will be loaded with Division I talent.
U.S. Army All-American Bowl
When: Jan. 8
Where: San Antonio, Texas
Who: Top prospects from around the nation, East vs. West
Why you should care: Four top-ranked players at their position - defensive tackle Michael Bennett, inside linebacker Curtis Grant, strongside defensive end Stephon Tuitt and athlete James Wilder Jr. - lead the East. The West's offense is especially impressive with running back Malcolm Brown and wide receiver George Farmer, each No. 1 at their position, and a strong offensive line leading the way. This is the premier all-star event in the offseason.