Commentary

Crimson Tide commits take over Day 2

Members of Alabama's heralded 2010 class stand out in Thursday's practice

Updated: December 31, 2009, 6:20 PM ET
By Gerry Hamilton and Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Alabama's 2010 commits put together an impressive showing on Day 2 of practices for the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game.

Defensive end Adrian Hubbard (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) stood out as a pass-rusher on a number of occasions. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound end showed an excellent first step, low inside shoulder and the agility to turn the corner and close on the quarterback.

"This has been very exciting just being down here with a bunch of All-Americans," Hubbard said. "Everyone is very good, and it's all about who wants it more. I've been lucky because I'm being single-teamed by the tackles. They don't have any help, and it's all one-on-ones. It's do-or-die, and that is where you find the playmakers."

Besides Hubbard, corner and punt returner DeMarcus Milliner (Millbrook, Ala./Stanhope Elmore), quarterback Phillip Sims (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel) and tight end Brian Vogler (Columbus, Ga./Brookstone) turned in good performances throughout the day.

Milliner showed impressive recovery speed on a go route when Texas commit Mike Davis (Dallas/Skyline) had two steps initially after getting a clean release against press coverage. Milliner flipped his hips, stayed with the play, closed on the deep ball and turned his head to down the would-be touchdown. That was just one of several nice plays in coverage from the fast, quick, long-armed corner.

Sims made some big-time throws on Thursday. Whether it was an out route with nearly perfect timing or a seam route splitting the corner and safety, the ball was jumping out of his hand. The first day is always tough on timing for quarterbacks and receivers, but Sims settled in on Day 2 and flashed his immense talent.

Vogler is the least publicized Alabama commit in the Under Armour All-America Game, but the 6-6, 245-pounder has excelled in the passing game for two days. Because he's accustomed to playing in the wing-T formation, he was expected to need a while to get his feet wet while playing flexed out. That has not been the case; Vogler made four plays in the passing game that drew praise from the coaching staff, three of which were down the field on seam routes and post corners.

Royer shows nonstop motor
Future Penn State defensive end Dakota Royer (Manheim, Pa./Central) may not be the first prospect who stands out on the hoof, but it doesn't take long to see that the 6-2, 220-pounder can play the game. Royer impressed for a second straight day with his motor and relentless attitude.

"Everything has been going really good. I've just been trying to use my quickness off the edge. When they jump out too hard, I try to work back and hit them with a spin or an in move. I've just been working hard to set the tackles up to use my speed to my advantage," Royer said.

Royer is part of a fifth-ranked 2010 Nittany Lions class whose closeness is of special quality to Royer.

"We have a great class. We are real tight known each other for about a year and a half going through the visit process and everything. We are always texting and talking," he said. "A lot of us are moving up there in a few days. We just have a great class and are all good friends already."

Big first day
Offensive tackle Tavadis Glenn (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines) was a late addition to the White roster on Thursday and immediately made an impact. Glenn was impressive during the one-on-one drills, nine-on-sevens and 11-on-11s.

One of the offensive line coaches for the White team said after practice that he thought Glenn, after the first day, was the top prospect at the position.

"I really held my own," Glenn said. "I felt I played exceptionally well against those guys. I was playing against a high level of competition. These are top, premier athletes. They are ranked higher than me."

Glenn, who is committed to Miami, said that he has one goal for next season: protect Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris.

"I am letting it be known that I am going to pick up where Jason Fox left off."

Grimble impresses
USC tight end commit Xavier Grimble (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) has impressed during the first two practice sessions for the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game.

Grimble has lined up as a split tight end at times, and the coaches for the White team appear to be committed to using him in the passing attack for Saturday's game. That's a good idea, as he's showed an ability to get open and make big plays.

The 6-5, 250-pounder is in the middle of basketball season and says participating in that sport has helped him move around better on the football field this week.

"I feel like my agility and my runs are pretty good right now because of basketball," Grimble said. "I dropped a couple of easy ones today, but other than that, I've had a good day."

Grimble says that he is looking forward to joining the Trojans program and that this season's subpar (by USC's standards) 9-4 record can actually become a positive.

"Sometimes you need to go have a season like that so you can get everybody back on the same page," Grimble said.

Quick hitters: White team

• Georgia receiver commit Da'Rick Rogers (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) had another impressive outing and was again the top player at his position for the White team.

• Receiver Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, Fla./Pahokee) did not participate fully in practice, as he was jogging on the sideline. Dunkley has not been 100 percent since arriving in Orlando. He plans to announce which college he'll attend on Saturday and will pick Florida, Alabama or Georgia.

• Florida cornerback commit Joshua Shaw (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) has stood out the most so far at his position on his team. Five-star commit Lamarcus Joyner (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas) is the better prospect (there may not be a more explosive player in the country), but for this week, Shaw has made more plays. That also may have something to do with opportunity, as Joyner tends to have blanket coverage on receivers, something the quarterbacks notice and head the other way with the ball.

• ESPN's scouts are very impressed with tackle Ja'Wuan James (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) of the White team. James, a Tennessee commit, has been anchoring the left tackle position on his team's offensive line. North Carolina commit James Hurst (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield), James Stone (Nashville, Tenn./Maplewood) and Chaz Green (Tampa, Fla./Catholic) have all been impressive at times.

• Speaking of Green, the buzz around practice is that Tennessee is a major player and that he could join James in Knoxville.

Gerry Hamilton has covered recruiting in Texas and the Southwest for more than a decade. He can be reached at espngerry@yahoo.com. JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at jcsespn@aol.com.