Rivals.com - Mind of Mike: Observations from the UA All-America Game
football Edit

Mind of Mike: Observations from the UA All-America Game

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Mind of Mike is a scary place. Here are thoughts from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell following the Under Armour All-America Game.

LSU commit Kayshon Boutte
LSU commit Kayshon Boutte (Rivals.com)

*****

UNDER ARMOUR GAME WEEK: Zachary Evans update | Stock up, stock down | Who has impressed most? | Mind of Mike Day 2 | Day 2 Awards | Farrell's thoughts | Five players who could earn a fifth star | Players predict where uncommitted will land | Darnell Washington | Sedrick Van Pran | Avantae Williams | Jayson Jones

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

*****

Let’s start with the story of the game, which was running back Zach Evans on and off the field. Evans was very impressive all week in practice and had a very good game that included a long touchdown run. And the five-star running back was supposed to announce his decision at the game but was forced to back out at the last minute. It still appears to be Georgia as the destination, but there’s some hang-up that needs to be worked out between Evans and Kirby Smart, it appears. Evans is a five-star talent on the field for sure, but the off-field question marks keep arising.

*****

The quarterback play wasn’t stellar in the game, but I think Drew Pyne and Jeff Sims were solid overall. Pyne had a nice touchdown pass to Julian Fleming, who showed why he’s the top receiver in the country, and Sims ran the ball effectively, including a nice touchdown scamper. However, Haynes King really struggled and looked bad, while Robbie Ashford was also less than effective. New Oklahoma commitment Chandler Morris didn’t look that great as well. I was impressed with Hudson Card at times, but I’m not sure why he didn’t get more playing time.

*****

The defensive play was good overall, despite the high scoring, and I was impressed by many different players on that side of the ball. Linebacker Trenton Simpson closes as well as any linebacker in this class, while fellow linebacker Wesley Steiner proved to be an excellent tackler. Defensive end Chris Braswell lived up to the five-star hype and had a very strong game, and at defensive back I was impressed with Jaylon Jones. Defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy also had a very strong game, and five star Jordan Burch started off very well at defensive end by running down some plays. Linebacker Mekhail Sherman also impressed me, as did defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who was all over the field. Those weren’t the only defensive standouts, but they are the ones that pop into my head the most.

*****

Can someone tell me why tight end Darnell Washington, who committed to Georgia during the game, didn’t play more? Maybe he was injured and we weren’t told, but I thought he would be a much bigger factor. There will be a debate about Washington’s five-star status after this week. He’s massive for sure, but he’s also heavy footed and turns slowly.

*****

Sav’ell Smalls, a five-star as well, will also be debated. He had a solid game but didn’t stand out much this week and I don’t see him as a freaky hybrid athlete. I expected more.

*****

I like Tank Bigsby a lot, but one thing about his running style bugs me. He’s too much east/west when he should be downhill most of the time. He’s a load and a powerful back but he needs to show it more.

Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte impressed in the game and was good all week, so he’s in line for a rankings boost. The question is how high does he go? I’m not sure he has five-star speed, but he’s very polished. The same can be said for EJ Williams, who I like a lot. Marcus Rosemy was probably the biggest disappointment of the week at wide receiver. I expected a lot more as he tried to push for a fifth star.

*****


Gervon Dexter had a solid game, but he wasn’t as dominant as expected. However, that doesn’t take a ton away from the great week he had and he did have a tackle for a loss in the game and flushed the quarterback for Smalls to clean up as well. The Dexter discussion next week in rankings meetings will be epic.

*****

The offensive linemen struggled for the most part, but I liked what I saw from Broderick Jones and Walker Parks - to name a couple. I like Marcus Dumervil a lot as well, but every once in awhile he just makes you scratch your head. Bryn Tucker, Mitchell Mayes, Andrew Raym, Marcus Henderson, Nathan Anderson and others need a lot of work.

*****

Some guys who struggled during the weekMyles Murphy, Dominic Bailey, Desmond Evans — had good games. That makes for interesting ranking debates. The game itself is obviously important, but the whole week gives us a good idea of talent level, desire and the rest.

*****

Andre Seldon, Avantae Williams, Jahari Rogers, Enzo Jennings and many other defensive backs are going to have very good college careers. I liked Seldon and Williams quite a bit in the game.

*****

A few guys who had very good weeks were pretty much invisible during the game, which is odd. Rakim Jarrett, Dontae Manning, Demorie Tate, Arian Smith and a few others come to mind.

*****

I thought DeMonte Capehart would make a stronger push for a fifth star, but he had just an average week overall. I still like him a lot, but wanted to see a bit more.

*****

Chris Tyree and Blake Corum bring different things to the table as running backs. Tyree is small but super fast and can catch the ball. Corum isn't big, either, but he moves the pile and has a strong lower body.