Three-Point Stance: Practice begins for Under Armour All-America Game
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a look at some of the more impressive prospects at the first day of Under Armour practice, grading the quarterbacks at practice and some odds and ends.
1. PROSPECTS THAT HAVE STOOD OUT SO FAR
Between registration day and day one of practice, there were many players that stood out, just eyeing them up on the hoof. Here are a few that stood out to me…
Brandon Smith – Smith, a Penn State signee, is skinnier than Thobodeaux for sure but his frame is even better. He has broad shoulders and can pack on a ton of weight. He could grow into a defensive end before too long.
Zacch Pickens – Pickens, a South Carolina signee, could play defensive end or defensive tackle at the next level and carries very little bad weight.
Dylan Wright – Wright is tall and big, which allows him to go up and get the football over smaller defenders.
Justin Eboigbe – The Alabama signee looks good on the hoof and has plenty of room to add good weight.
Derrick Hall – Hall, an Auburn signee, is the best-looking kid overall at the event in my book. He could easily be a huge linebacker or grow into a defensive end at the next level.
Evan Neal – Neal has a little bad weight but not that much for such an enormous offensive lineman. He’s not as put together as D.J. Fluker was, but he’s still one of the biggest linemen I’ve seen and reminds me a bit of him.
2. RANKING THE QUARTERBACKS
It’s always a bit unfair to judge quarterbacks on the first day of an all-star week, but quarterbacks are used to scrutiny and if they are off, the entire offense doesn’t work. So here are the Under Armour quarterbacks in order of performance on day one.
1. Bo Nix – Nix wasn’t as polished as we’ve seen him and he’s still establishing timing with his wide receivers but he clearly threw the best ball and had the most zip of anyone. The ball comes out quick and always on a good spiral.
2. Jayden Daniels – Daniels has a solid arm and gets the ball out quickly and he can zip it when he needs to. His accuracy is solid overall and he leads receivers well.
3. Zach Calzada – Calzada has a strong arm, there’s no doubt about that, and it should improve as he adds much needed weight and strength. He needs to tighten up his release a bit but there’s a lot to work with there.
4. Michael Johnson – Johnson is a tall, skinny quarterback who has touch on his long ball but there’s quite a drop-off from the top three here to the bottom three.
5. Roschan Johnson – Johnson can run, we saw that a bit at practice, but he struggles throwing the ball and his ball floats way too much. He’s got to work on his arm strength and getting the ball out cleaner and with less wobble.
6. Joey Yellen – Yellen really struggled on the day, throwing some balls in the dirt and others way off the target. He made some good throws and there is upside there but he didn’t have a great day.
3. ODDS AND ENDS FROM ORLANDO
... Owen Pappoe and Nakobe Dean, the top-ranked outside and inside linebackers in the country, looked small out there compared to many of the other linebackers. Size is the reason Pappoe lost his fifth star in our last ranking and Dean, who just earned his fifth star, worries me at 5-foot-11 tops. We will see how they do this week.
... Miami signee Jeremiah Payton made some nice catches on the day and flashed some excellent ball skills overall. Next to some of the bigger names like Pickens and Theo Wease, he had one of the better days.
... Tight ends Keon Zipperer and Hudson Henry both missed most of the day with injuries so we’ll see if they can bounce back. Henry was especially interesting to me because of the comparisons to his brother, Hunter Henry, but he’s not quite as big or athletic as his brother based on what I saw.
... Georgia signee Lewis Cine was impressive on the first day. He is long, athletic and he breaks on the ball well. He also showed off his ball skills on a nice interception. He’s still a bit raw in certain areas but he has excellent upside.
... Ohio State signee Jameson Williams is very sudden in and out of his cuts and showed off some nice hands.
... Mykael Wright had a good day in coverage and could impact early at Oregon.
... Ishmael Sopsher looks like he’s added an inch in height or so since I saw him last and has kept his weight down. There have been questions about his motor so it will be interesting to see how he does this week. He looked solid to me on day one.
... I liked what I saw on day one of Trente Jones, a Michigan signee from Georgia, and he could be a steal. It’s only day one so I’m not going to get ahead of myself but I think he could play offensive tackle at the next level.