Under Armour All-America Game: This week's top 10 performers
ORLANDO — Practice is over and all that is left for Under Armour All-America Game week is the actual game on Thursday night. After watching practice all week, we rank the top 10 performers based on their performance from Sunday through Wednesday.
1. Evan Neal
Neal at times has looked like a man among boys. We have to remind ourselves that he is still a kid who was playing high school football at IMG Academy just over a month ago. How Neal has transformed his body over the last couple of years is impressive, but not at impressive as his performance has been this week. It is really hard to explain. He has been that good. He likely has played himself into the discussion for the No. 1 prospect in the country.
2. George Pickens
Pickens entered the week No. 3 at wide receiver, but he may be No. 1 before all is said and done. He had made his case this week. He is such a smooth receiver who glides all over the field. He has consistently created separation this week and made plays over the top. The passes that have been thrown his way have not always been sharp, so seeing him adjust to the ball was another thing that stood out.
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux
What a freak athlete Thibodeaux is. You don’t see twitchy athletes at his size very often. He has been unblockable much of the time. We hope to see him and Neal match up some in the game, but in practice, he has been very tough to slow down. He is very explosive and the way he bends and gets around that corner will make him a nightmare in the Pac-12.
4. Jameson Williams
Williams is electrifying on the outside and if he had a little more mass on his frame he would be a plug-and-play type of receiver at Ohio State next year. He is the best route runner in Orlando, separating from defensive backs with ease using pure speed or route running savvy. Williams is a must-watch when it comes to big plays.
5. Charles Moore
Entering the week, Moore was not one of the defensive linemen being talked about in the elite group. He told Rivals that he came into this event with a “big chip” on his shoulder, and on the practice field, he has been one of the best. He has been tough to slow down with his quickness off the ball. He is a defensive lineman who can work inside and outside with his frame and ability.
6. Theo Wease
Wease has lived up to his five-star billing so far. The Oklahoma signee is a big target that moves like a smaller receiver. Wease's explosiveness is impressive but his best trait this week has been his hands. He has made some incredible catches and is easily the most consistent receiver on his team. Expect Wease to be used early and often in the game tomorrow and at Oklahoma.
7. Lewis Cine
The Georgia signee has been one of the most consistent defensive backs this week. Cine has a really impressive frame with a lot of room to fill out. He is around the ball a lot, breaking up passes thrown downfield and showing great anticipation. Cine is a big hitter as well and will be an asset in run support once he gets to Athens.
8. Darnell Wright
The highs of Wright's week of practice have been truly outstanding and the lows haven't been all that bad. His five-star status is not in question but there are a few technical issues that he will need to work out before realizing his full potential. Wright might have the best combination of size and athleticism of any offensive lineman here in Orlando. He has had success working as a tackle on the left and right side of the offensive line and as a guard.
9. Trente Jones
Did Michigan get a steal in Jones? He has been somewhat pegged as an inside guy on the next level, but here this week, he has been on the outside at tackle, and he has been very good. He is very strong at the point of attack and he has been stronger in pass sets than expected. It is hard to say any four-star guys doing well is a surprise, but the level Jones has played at all week shows he is under-ranked.
10. Kenyatta Watson
Watson just goes about his business. He has not done a lot of talking this week, but he has let his actions speak for him. The Texas signee has been consistent in coverage. He has great length, he was fluid in coverage and he has flashed great ball skills too. Some still talk about him being a free safety long term, but he has shown this week that he is among the top cover guys in the 2019 class.