Commentary

First impressions of UA Game

Spotlight shines on this year's crop of offensive and defensive linemen

Originally Published: December 13, 2010
By Tom Luginbill | ESPN Recruiting

Here is a look at five early story lines to pay attention to during the Under Armour All-America Game:

Battles aplenty up front

[+] EnlargeJadeveon Clowney
David Allio/Icon SMIJadeveon Clowney is the highest-rated defensive end since 2008.

This is a strong class in the trenches, maybe one of the strongest we have had in the Under Armour game so far. This is the area of the game we pay closest attention to over the week. The offensive linemen have always been the biggest and strongest and have rarely been challenged during their high school careers. On the flipside, elite pass rushers across the defensive front have generally found it to be relatively smooth sailing. Those days come to an abrupt end Jan. 1 for those on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Long snappers only

This will be the first time we have selected true specialists that will not play another position. Both Zach Ewan (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon) for the Red team and Peter McBride (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) for the White team will handle these duties exclusively.

Athletic quarterbacks

This year's group of six quarterbacks features five that we would categorize as having dual-threat skills. Max Wittek (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) is the only true pocket passer of the group. We would expect there to be some plays made or improvised with the legs of these signal callers.

Players in transition

For many, this will be the first time players will line up at what will likely be their full-time college positions. CB Danzel Williams (Arlington, Texas/James Martin), WR Jamal Turner (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston), WR Quan Bray (LaGrange, Ga./Troup County Comprehensive), WR Devon Blackmon (Fontana, Calif./Summit) and CB Quandre Diggs (Angleton, Texas/Angleton) are just a few of the prospects that will gain a week's worth of full-time work at their future spots. Blackmon, Turner and Bray have considerable experience as QBs in the spread offense.

State of Arizona?

More than just cactus is growing in the Southwest. This year's crop of prospects is pretty impressive, including QB Brett Hundley (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), OG Cyrus Hobbi (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro), C Mo Latu (Gilbert, Ariz./Perry), OT Christian Westerman (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), OT Andre Yruretagoyena (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) and long snappers Zach Ewan (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon) and Peter McBride (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral).

Tom Luginbill is ESPN's national director of football recruiting.

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