TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Saturday was a big day at the BadgerSports Elite 7on7 National Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Not only did the pool play for an immensely deep and talented 7on7 event conclude but New Level Athletics also publicly announced the inaugural BadgerSports First Team All-Americans at an evening banquet.
The team is truly a national list with the top players from coast-to-coast that have been top performers both on the fields on Friday nights as well as on the practice fields during camps and combines in the offseason.
USC completed a sweep of the quarterback position with commitment Max Wittek as the Second Team quarterback while fellow Trojan commit Cody Kessler took First Team honors. Kessler has dominated camps this offseason after passing for more than 2,100 yards as a junior and accounting for over 25 touchdowns.
In the backfield, Savon Huggins out of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep is a Rivals100 prospect that is the lone running back on the team. He is an every-down back that compiled over 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns during his junior season.
With a very deep supply of pass-catchers in the nation in the class of 2011, there are six featured in the BadgerSports All-American list. The wide receiver group consists of Kasen Williams out of Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, USC commit Victor Blackwell of Mater Dei, four-star DeAnthony Arnett and Fort Myers (Fla.) South Fort Meyers receiver Sammy Watkins offer an immensely talented group of receivers.
Adding to the group are two tight ends that help make up one of the best tight end classes in recent memory. Jay Rome, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound athlete out of Valdosta joins a physically imposing Eric MacLain as a pair of big targets with terrific hands.
The offensive line has bookends that consists of Rivals.com's top two offensive tackles in the country: La'El Collins of Baton Rouge (La.) Redemptorist and Hyatsville (Md.) Dematha's Cyrus Kouandjio. Kouandjio's size and upsides have colleges fighting for his signature while Collins is slated to be a franchise left tackle for LSU already.
On the offensive interior, Maryland commit Evan Mulrooney holds down the center spot after a strong performance at the BadgerSports Elite Lineman Challenge. He is flanked by four-star Cyrus Hobbi who is rated by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 2 guard prospect. On the other side, the nation's No. 3 offensive guard earns rounds out the line in Anthony Zettel of West Branch (Mich.) Ogemaw Heights.
Defensively, the nation's No. 1 prospect, Jadeveon Clowney, anchors the line. As the top defensive end in the country, Clowney is in good company with Ray Drew lining up on the opposite side as the nation's No. 2 weakside defensive end.
Inside, Rivals.com four-stars Desmond Jackson and Anthony Johnson are listed. Jackson is committed to Texas while Johnson is committed to LSU and both are helping their future schools put together two of the nation's top recruiting classes.
Four-star Steve Edmond is slated to join Jackson in Austin and he is one of four linebackers named to the team. James Wilder Jr. is the No. 2 player in the country and could play either running back or linebacker on the next level but was named to the BadgerSports All-American squad as a linebacker. With Edmond and Wilder on the outside, the inside linebackers are Anthony Wallace out of Dallas (Texas) Skyline and Lawrence Thomas, a five-star Michigan State commit out of Detroit.
Another five-star headlines the secondary in De'Anthony Thomas. Though Thomas has made his name playing running back in high school, some project the versatile athlete at defensive back on the next level. Though Thomas is rated as the No. 5 overall prospect in the country, the No. 1 cornerback in the country was also named to the team in Doran Grant out of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary.
At safety, two Florida prospects complete the secondary. Wayne Lyons hails from south Florida at Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard and Alabama commit Hasean Clinton-Dix was named to the team out of Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips.
Finally, a North Carolina commitment completes the team as a multi-purpose athlete in Durham (N.C.) Jordan's T.J. Thorpe. Thorpe showed off his athleticism as a junior with five kick return touchdowns but was also a top performer at the BadgerSports Southeast Regional Passing Camp.