Under Armour All-America Game: The Farrell Awards
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Under Armour All-America Game is in the books with Team Ballaholics defeating Team Flash 28-27. After following practices all week leading up to the game in Orlando, here are the Farrell Awards from the week.
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
This award goes to the most dynamic and exciting player during the week, the guy who gets everyone's attention when he has the ball. Ole Miss running back commitment Jerrion Ealy showed flashes of his ability in practice and in the game itself he was hard to stop. Ealy had 119 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and was the named his team's MVP. He runs low to the ground and has great balance and he showed off his speed all week.
Honorable mention: Oregon running back signee Sean Dollars showed off some speed as did Oklahoma wide receiver signee Theo Wease. Auburn commitment George Pickens isn’t a burner but he brought excitement with every rep he took. Ohio State signee Jameson Williams had a great week of practice and was dynamic despite being quiet in the game.
This goes to the player who raised his stock the most during the week and to me it was offensive tackle Trente Jones, who is a Michigan signee. I liked him a lot and think in a couple of years he can be a very good tackle in the Big Ten. He showed how raw he was in the game at times, but his upside is unquestioned.
Honorable mention: Michigan defensive tackle signee Mazi Smith also raised his stock as did Georgia signee Lewis Cine, the aforementioned Jameson Williams and Texas A&M signee Dylan Wright. I was also impressed with two Mississippi players, both committed to Mississippi State, in Nathan Pickering and Charles Moore. Alabama safety signee Jordan Battle also impressed me and Ealy also raised his stock. Texas wide receiver signee Marcus Washington was also impressive in the game itself, scoring two TDs and earning MVP honors for his team.
This award is not one that you want; it's for the player whose stock dropped the most. NC State signee Savion Jackson was just a tick below everyone else at his position when it comes to upside and he was dominated by bigger offensive linemen often.
Honorable mention: Defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher didn’t play up to his five-star status for the most part and quarterbacks Roschon Johnson and Michael Johnson also struggled during the week although each had their moments in the game. Miami defensive back signee Te’Cory Crouch struggled a bit with his lack of size and tackling. Offensive lineman Jason Rodriguez struggled quite a bit throughout the week and in the game as well.
This award is given to the best-looking prospect on the hoof, the guy who looks like he could play in college or even the NFL right now. While he needs to drop a little bit bad weight, offensive tackle Evan Neal looks like he could start for an NFL team right now. He’s that big.
Honorable mention: Auburn signee Derrick Hall looks great on the hoof as does Auburn commitment George Pickens. South Carolina signee Zacch Pickens also looks impressive as does Stanford wide receiver signee Elijah Higgins. I also liked the way Virginia signee Jowon Briggs looked.
This award goes to the player with the best feet, whether it's an offensive lineman or a cornerback, big man or mighty mite. While many players flashed great feet I was especially impressed with the footwork of Jerrion Ealy. He has great balance and can make people miss with his cutting ability.
Honorable mention: Sean Dollars has good feet as does Noah Cain and defensive back Kaiir Elam is very smooth with his footwork as a defensive back. Devyn Ford can also be flashy with his feet in space and Theo Wease uses them well to get off the line of scrimmage.
This one goes to the biggest hitter, which is essentially the guy who laid the lumber in the game or by accident in practice, because there was not much tackling to the ground during the week. While there weren’t many big hits in the game, I like the way Penn State signee Brandon Smith arrives at the football.
What's the difference between Hard Hat and Lunch Pail? The Hard Hat Award is for the biggest hitter while the Lunch Pail Award is for the guy who does the dirty work that doesn't get into the box score or noticed by many. Travis Jay, a Florida State commitment, might not get the attention of others but he was solid all week and he had an especially good game.
Honorable mention: Defensive tackle Tyler Davis takes up a lot of blockers and pushes the pocket well while Northwestern signee Michael Jansey always seem to be in the right place and has excellent instincts.
This award sounds like it's for a defender who hits, but it's really for a receiver with the best hands during the week. Miami signee Jeremiah Payton made some big catches during the week and flashed excellent ball skills.
Honorable mention: Texas signee Marcus Washington was consistent all week catching the ball as was Jameson Williams. George Pickens also pulls down everything thrown his way and Theo Wease made some nice catches as well. Auburn signee Jashawn Sheffield also made some very nice catches during the week of practice.
POISE UNDER PRESSURE
This is essentially for the best quarterback who performs when the lights come on and there is actually a live pass-rush coming at him. Jayden Daniels, an Arizona State signee, was excellent in the game and made some great decisions. He also showed off his ability to run.
Honorable mention: Roschon Johnson, a Texas signee, was struggling throwing the ball all week long but in the game he showed much better touch and a tighter spiral. He also showed what he can do with his feet. Michael Johnson, a Penn State signee, also struggled during the week but had a good game with limited opportunities.
This award goes to the quarterback with the best arm who showed the ability to make all the passes with zip on the football. Bo Nix, an Auburn signee, clearly had the best arm of any of the quarterbacks all week.
This award goes to the quarterback who showed the best accuracy all week long. During practice it was Bo Nix but I’m giving this award to Jayden Daniels, who was solid all week and had a very good game.
Honorable mention: Nix gets honorable mention as does Roschon Johnson who was more accurate in the game than he was in practice.
This is for the player who provided the best coverage on defense during the week. Alabama safety signee Jordan Battle plays safety, but he can cover like a cornerback and has great size and athleticism.
Honorable mention: I liked the way Texas signee Kenyatta Watson covered during the week and Brendan Gant, a Florida State commitment, closes on the ball well. Kaiir Elam is a little bit raw but he has great instincts and Lewis Cine had an excellent week in coverage. Tennessee signee Jaylen McCullough also had his moments and five-star Florida State commitment Akeem Dent plays the ball very well.
Honorable mention: Michigan signee Quinten Johnson isn’t the biggest defensive back in the world but plays bigger than expected. Oklahoma signee Jaden Davis and Arizona State signee Jordan Clark also play big for their size.
ALL OR NOTHING
This is for the player who will either make a huge play or potentially make a mistake or be invisible at times. Florida tight end signee Keon Zipperer can look great at times and gain separation and other times he can look sluggish and easy to cover. Zipperer was more up than down during the week and is starting to grow on me as a potential standout in the SEC if he gains consistency.
Honorable mention: Clemson signee Sheridan Jones can look great in coverage most times but then look lost a play or two here and there. Texas A&M signee Brian Williams can struggle for a few plays and then follow that up with nice coverage.
This award goes to the player who was simply good all week long and could be relied upon to bring it each and every day. Oregon signee Kayvon Thibodeux showed a great motor and brought the pain each and every day and in the game. He has a chance to be very special.
This award goes to the player who had the biggest impact in the game itself. Jerrion Ealy had the best game of everyone and really turned it on when the lights came on.
Honorable mention: Jayden Daniels had a very good game, Washington linebacker Josh Calvert led everyone in tackles and Shane Lee was all over the field. Florida State signee Kalen DeLoach was also solid during the game and Kayvon Thibodeux was excellent.
This award goes to the player entering the game that was in prime position to earn that extra star, whether it was a fifth or fourth star, but didn't meet those expectations. Tennessee signee Wanya Morris was hoping to earn his fifth star back and had a solid week but played better as a guard than as a tackle, where he struggled a bit.
Honorable mention: Owen Pappoe, an Auburn signee, was also hoping to earn back that fifth star but didn’t have an exceptional week and FSU verbal Brendan Gant was very good but I feel he fell short of that coveted fifth star.