Mind of Gorney: Thoughts on All-American Bowl Media Day
SAN ANTONIO - The All-American Bowl Media Day was held on Monday and there was a lot happening. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from the event.
LET’S START WITH SOME UNCOMMITTED GUYS
Like every year, there will be a bunch of announcements during the game and none will be bigger this year than Kelee Ringo's decision. After talking to him and to others about his recruitment, I’d be really shocked if the five-star cornerback ends up anywhere else but Georgia. The way he talks about playing for Kirby Smart and for that defense, the way the Bulldogs develop NFL talent and how he would be utilized all over the field in Athens, my money is on UGA pulling him in although Texas and Oregon still have a shot.
Originally on the commitment list for this weekend was Dwight McGlothern but he does not sound ready at all and he could have a whole line of visits in January before he decides. The four-star defensive back from Houston (Texas) Klein Oak said in the aftermath of the early signing period that his recruitment is taking all kinds of twists and turns and things are changing all the time. LSU is making another run at him and that’s a huge one. Oregon will get a visit. USC definitely impressed him. He’s also talking about Ole Miss and other programs trying to get involved. If he does commit this weekend, I’d say January could make things even more interesting.
Lavon Bunkley-Shelton threw a major curve ball when he said Arizona State is no longer in his top group and that USC, Oregon, Texas and Michigan will be his final four programs for his Saturday commitment. That definitely seems strange since the Sun Devils have been considered a frontrunner for some time and that news could catch them completely off-guard. Is this a smokescreen by the four-star for a surprise on national television? We’re going to have to wait and see.
As for some of the others, Kentucky still looks solid for Devito Tisdale, Michigan holds the edge for Darion Green-Warren, Texas A&M looks best for Edgerrin Cooper, I like Rutgers still for Jalen Berger and USC for Gary Bryant. Clemson seems to be right there for Xzavier Henderson but I’m hearing some Florida chatter as well so watch out for the Gators.
This is always a fun feature as guys walk through registration. Who looked the best and who made an impression? Here’s a list:
At quarterback, D.J. Uiagalelei was impressive once again as he looks like a college-ready quarterback but the guy who especially caught my eye (and this surprised me since I live in California and see him so often) was CJ Stroud. The Ohio State signee moved way up in the rankings last time and a good week here could press him even higher.
At running back, Bijan Robinson takes the cake and he’s in a class by himself. Listed here at 6-foot, 200 pounds he doesn’t have an ounce of bad weight, he’s rock solid and his legs are like tree trunks.
The receiver/tight end group is interesting because there is a mix of mighty mites and then big, physical outside receivers and I liked Stanford signee John Humphreys, who is all of 6-foot-5, and Ohio State signee Gee Scott Jr., who has gotten bigger and stronger even since the offseason.
There’s going to be a real question at tight end whether there are three five-stars in this class as well, which would be unprecedented in the Rivals era. Arik Gilbert is a no-brainer, Darnell Washington is performing well at the Under Armour game and Notre Dame signee Michael Mayer is on the watch list. He definitely looks the part.
Along the offensive line, it’s going to be interesting because there are guys we know look great and perform like five-stars (Paris Johnson Jr., we’re looking at you) and then guys who really had great frames today like Nebraska’s Turner Corcoran and especially Wisconsin signee Jack Nelson, who’s listed at 6-foot-7 and 273 pounds. He was one of the best-looking players regardless of position I saw at media day.
Notre Dame’s Tosh Baker is really an interesting prospect. He’s all of 6-foot-8 and he’s listed at 275 pounds but I’d guess he’s much leaner. It will be interesting to see how he handles some really physical defensive linemen this week. And the Best Wardrobe Award goes to Garrett Hayes, who wore a Hawaiian shirt to media day and looked like he should be sipping pina coladas on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. But at 6-foot-5 and 292 pounds, I wasn’t going to say anything to him.
A lot of guys stood out across the defensive line including Bryan Bresee, Xavier Carlton, Van Fillinger, Alfred Collins, Will Anderson, Myles Murphy, Omari Thomas and Jacobian Guillory. A good mix of edge rushers and defensive tackles who should give problems to the offensive line all week.
The case of Noah Sewell continues to intrigue as the five-star linebacker and Oregon signee looks even bigger now than ever before. Listed at 266 pounds, that is bigger by about 15 pounds than he was at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in the summer but it doesn’t look at all like bad weight. Alabama signee Quandarrius Robinson also caught my eye because of his length.
The defensive back group didn’t do a ton for me in terms of ‘wow’ factor. Ringo, McGlothern, Stanford signee Ayden Hector and Alabama signee Brian Branch all looked good. Branch and Ohio State signee Lejond Cavazos look uncannily similar, so much so that they could be twin brothers.