- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
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The roster for the ESPNU High School All-American (Jan. 5, ABC) keeps getting bigger and better, as 16 of the nation's best prospects have newly accepted invitations to play in the game.
Two new quarterbacks will play, Mike Glennon (Westfield, Va.) and Nick Crissman (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison). Glennon had a big week, announcing not only that he would play in the game, but that he is also now committed to N.C. State. The Wolfpack's offensive system was a reason why he chose them, but he had a simpler reason for choosing to play in the ESPNU High School All-American Game.
"It just seems like it would be such a good time," said Glennon. "I look at All-Star games as kind of a celebration of all the success, and I think there is no better place to celebrate than Disney World."
With a jam-packed week of activities, the newest addition to the roster was really looking forward to having fun and showing off his ability in the skills competition.
Crissman, a UCLA commit, is one of three expected EA Sports Elite 11 quarterback participants taking part in the game along with Landry Jones (Artesia, N.M.) and E.J. Manuel (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside).
The two new quarterbacks' excitement may be tempered a bit when they see the new additions to the defensive line, versatile and explosive defensive lineman Daquan Bowers (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt) and powerful and disruptive defensive tackle Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.). Bowers, a longtime Clemson commit, has the size and tools to play defensive tackle or end and will be one to watch through out the week, while Notre Dame fans will get a glimpse at a future stalwart in Hunter.
Another exciting defensive addition is safety Spencer Adams out of Butler High School in N.C. The highly-recruited defender, who will choose between Florida, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech among others, was able to sum up what he is looking most forward to in two words -- "Disney World."
Adams has never been to the parks before and is really looking forward to taking part in the game and enjoying the fun that the location can provide. He also had bigger plans for his participation.
"With it being the first ESPN All-Star game, that had a bunch of appeal, and I wanted to go and try to put it out there that this is a big-time game," he said.
Michigan fans got an instant reason to plant themselves in front of the television the first week of January, as two commits were added to the roster. Michigan native and monster offensive tackle Dann O'Neill (Grand Haven, Mich.) has chosen to play in the game. The talented big man had a tough decision on his hands, having to give up wrestling in order to play in the game, but saw this once in a lifetime opportunity as worth it. He will be joined in the game by the newest member of the Michigan family, wide receiver Darryl Stonum (Stafford, Texas/Dulles).
In addition to O'Neill and Stonum, there have been several other offensive additions. The offensive line got a distinct west coast flavor to it with the addition of three Golden State maulers. Guards Max Tuioti-Mariner (Corona, Calif.) and Allen Carroll (Oakland, Calif. / McClymonds) have been added to the roster along with USC commit offensive tackle Matt Meyer (Stockton, Calif./Lincoln).
Some other new additions include wide receivers Josh Jarboe (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) and Aldarius Johnson (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) and defensive end Tyler Westphal (Menasha, Wis.).
One of the exciting things about the first ESPNU High School All-American Game is the opportunity to give some amazingly talented prospects that might not be well known names a chance to showcase their skills to a national audience. Some new additions to the roster who will catch the eye of fans include running back Jamie Harper (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy), a big, versatile back with video-game like moves. Ramon "Cookie" Buchanan (Melbourne, Fla./Palm Bay) and Sean Spence (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) are two speedy, big-play linebackers who could raise a lot of eyebrows throughout the week.
With these new players added to the 40 top prospects already committed to playing, more than 50 of the 75-80 roster has already been filled for the ESPNU High School All-American Game. The roster already includes elite players like wide receiver Julio Jones (Foley, Ala.) and versatile athlete Will Hill (Jersey City, NJ/Saint Peter's).
A comprehensive and competitive experience packed with fun and football, the week of the game includes coverage over three networks (ESPNU, ESPN2 and ABC) all in the backdrop of vacation destination Disney World.
More players will be added throughout the summer and fall, and these can now run off the field after their last high school game and yell "I'm going to Disney World."
16 new top football prospects have been added to the roster for the ESPNU All-American Game in Orlando on Jan. 5.