One of the biggest high school all-star games is set to be played once again tonight in Orlando, FL and quite a few Auburn signees and targets will be in action. The Under Armour All-America Game is annually a must watch for Tiger fans as they get a chance to see what kind of talent is expected to join next year’s roster. It’s no different this year as six Auburn commits (five being signees) will suit up one last time as high schoolers before preparing to don the orange and blue later this year. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 6:30 PM ET tonight. Here’s the names to be on the lookout for this evening:
Under Armour elected to do something a little different this year and have a draft where two captains from each team get to pick their squad. Owen Pappoe is one of the captains for Team Flash. Unfortunately, he did not get to have the 1st pick overall and draft Bo Nix but he will get to suit up with a few of his future teammates. It’s hard for linebackers to shine in practices during the week so tonight will be Pappoe’s big chance to show why he’s considered one of the best players in America.
Unsurprisingly, George Pickens has been one of the top performers this week in Orlando. Don’t be surprised if his ranking rises even higher and he’s a 247 Composite 5* by the end of this cycle. Sadly, Pickens won’t be catching passes from Nix tonight but it’s always fun to watch this kid play. He’s the only Auburn commit that did not sign early and will take three official visits this month. FWIW I still think he sticks with the Tigers.
The Tigers are hoping to flip a few more studs before the 2019 class wraps up. One target might be Daphne native 4* CB Christian Williams. The longtime Alabama commit appears to be waffling some with his pledge and could officially visit in January. As of now, LSU seems the likely destination but if Auburn makes a serious push things could get interesting.
Hall has received rave reviews for his athleticism this week and he will play both ways for Team Flash. He’s worked out at both linebacker and tight end all week. For Auburn, he’s expected to be a pass rusher so it will be interesting to see how he’s used tonight.
One of the breakout players in Orlando this week has been longtime Bulldog commit Charles Moore. The 4* defensive end out of Mississippi has turned heads this week with his combination of quickness and strength. Auburn sits in a really good spot to flip the talented defensive lineman but he’s expected to take this all the way to signing day as he has three other official visits lined up. Don’t be surprised if he has a dominant performance this evening as DL tend to be the stars of these type of games.
The #1 overall pick in the UA All-America draft has not disappointed this week. The 2019 crop of quarterbacks is pretty weak but Nix is a strong exception. He’s been rated the top performer all week at the QB spot and it hasn’t been close. He won’t have his future favorite target George Pickens on his side but I still wouldn’t be surprised if he lights things up this evening. This will be the last time Auburn fans will see Nix play without an AU logo on his helmet.
This is a name to watch in the coming weeks. The 5* defensive back did not sign early with Florida State and told reporters at check in that he plans to use all of his official visits this month. One of those visits may go to the Tigers. I think this is a longshot but if Auburn can get him on campus they could possibly make this interesting.
Probably the Auburn commit with the most to prove this week was Jashawn Sheffield. Playing high school ball at such a small private school against competition that isn’t all that great has led a lot of questions around whether or not he can play with the big boys. For the most part, he’s answered those questions this week. Sheffield had the catch of the week with a one handed grab from Nix yesterday and he’s done a good job of consistently getting separation in 1 on 1 drills. However, he’s also had some bad drops he will need to clean up but overall it’s been a good week for the Georgia native. I’m hoping he and Nix connect on at least one long TD tonight.
Hampton confirmed this week that Auburn has become the main threat to his LSU pledge. He maintains his loyalty to the Bayou Bengals but the good looking Tigers have made this interesting. I still think he sticks with LSU but if say Christian Williams were to flip to LSU that might help push Hampton to Auburn. Definitely a recruitment to watch over the final weeks of the 2019 cycle.
Jones isn’t a flashy player up front and won’t receive some of the lavish praise other top OL prospects landed this past week from scouts. But Jones has proven to be one of the most consistent, steady performers up front. He’s surprised some with his quickness despite his size and has apparently earned the admiration of the coaches on hand. I have high hopes for Jones and would not at all be surprised to see him find his way onto the field early in his playing career.
#Auburn OG signee @keiondrejones has received praise daily at 2019 Under Armour @AllAmericaGame from coaches in the game...OL coach for Ballaholics went as far as to say ... "Jones is the Alpha Male on our OL" ... former NFL OL coaching in the game also praised him a lot— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) January 2, 2019