Under Armour All-America: Overall Top Performers
ORLANDO, Fla. – Tuesday saw nearly 100 of the nation’s top prospects play in the nationally-televised Under Armour All-America Game at Camping World Stadium. The game was the culmination of a week of action which included four practices.
On3 was on hand all week to take in the action. Here are our top performers from the week, which is a cumulative look at what we saw in the week’s practices and in Tuesday’s game.
Day 1 Eye-Catchers | Day 2 Top Performers | Day 3 Top Performers
On3 MVP: WR Zachariah Branch – USC
Zachariah Branch showed why he’s considered to be the most electric prospect in the 2023 cycle. The Five-Star Plus+ prospect was electric on every touch over the course of the week – and particularly during the game. Branch was dynamic as a returner during Tuesday’s game, taking one punt to the house from 92-yards out and picking up a long gain on another. The Las Vegas native took limited reps over the course of the week but was virtually unguardable in the smaller sample size. His burst, change of direction, route-running and top-end speed are elite. No player was more impressive on a per touch basis. Branch has the look of an instant contributor at the college level. The USC signee ranks as the No. 5 overall prospect and No. 1 wide receiver in the On300.
2. EDGE Adepoju Adebawore – Oklahoma
Adepoju Adebawore showed why he’s considered to be the most physically gifted EDGE prospect in the 2023 cycle by On3. The Kansas City native was utterly dominant off the edge in the first half of Tuesday’s game. Adebawore has an elite combination of extreme length, first-step quickness and closing speed. He teed off on the Team Phantom right tackles, making a number of plays behind the line. We saw the same skill set on display throughout the week. Adebawore consistently gave his Team Speed offensive line teammates issues in 1-on-1’s. He’s already a great player who can win with speed or power – a scary thought considering he’s just scratching the surface up his immense potential. Adebawore ranks as the No. 7 overall prospect and No. 3 EDGE in the On300.
3. QB Jackson Arnold – Oklahoma
Jackson Arnold was the top quarterback all week at Under Armour. The Five-Star Plus+ signal caller flashed a quick release and strong arm with the ability to easily generate zip to all levels of the field. Arnold was accurate and did a very nice job of establishing chemistry with his Team Speed receivers. This was on display during the game, when Arnold hit Mikey Matthews on a back shoulder fade – a route they practiced all week. Throughout the week and during the game, Arnold showed the ability to move within the pocket. We saw him step up in the face of pressure on several occasions. Being honest, the Team Speed offensive line is the most porous front we’ve in a national all-star game in some time. With that said, Arnold acquitted himself very well, showing some translatable feel and mobility in dealing with pressure. The Denton (Texas) Guyer product ranks as the No. 12 overall prospect and No. 3 quarter ack in the On300.
4. OT Zalance Heard – LSU
Zalance Heard looked like the top offensive lineman all week – both in practice and in Tuesday’s game. The 6-foot-5.5, 315-pounder pairs elite length and high-end upper body strength to manifest in a brick wall on the edge. It took Heard a few reps to adjust during 1-on-1’s but he quickly got his feet and turned in impressive play the rest of the week. In Tuesday’s game, Heard used his strength to create a push. There were several plays where he completely bullied opposing defensive linemen. Make no mistake, the offensive line group at Under Armour was not strong, but Heard looked the part of one of the top prospects at the position nationally. Heard ranks as the No. 15 overall prospect and No. 3 offensive tackle in the On300.
5. LB Raylen Wilson – Georgia
All-star practices don’t always provide the ideal setting for evaluating linebacker prospects, as contact is limited. With that said, we weigh in-game performance more heavily in assessing the linebackers. Raylen Wilson was the top linebacker in Tuesday’s game, by a fair margin. The Georgia signee made a number of ‘wow’ plays. Wilson was an eraser, flashing his sub 11.0 second 100-meter speed closing quickly. He also showed a translatable skill-set as a downhill run defender, knifing through the line to make several impressive stops. The Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln product has continued to add good mass to his frame, now checking in at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds. His combination of instincts and play speed make for one of the top linebacker prospects in the 2023 cycle. WIlson ranks as the No. 28 overall prospect and No. 2 linebacker in the On300.
6. WR Mikey Matthews – Utah
No receiver won more reps over the course of the week than Mikey Matthews. The Utah commit had a revelatory performance in Orlando, making a strong case as the top route-runner on hand. Matthews’ quickness, spatial awareness and sneaky speed gave cornerbacks fits all week. He also showed solid ball skills with the ability to track the football over his shoulder. Matthews’ general coordination stood out. We saw this on display during Tuesday’s game as he caught a touchdown from Jackson Arnold on a back shoulder fade. Matthews ranks as a three-star prospect according to On3 and the On3 Consensus.
7. DL David Hicks – Texas A&M
David Hicks had a very strong week in Orlando. The Texas A&M signee was the On3 MVP on Day Three on the heels of a dominant showing as an interior pass rusher. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder was the alpha on the Team Phantom defensive line all week, setting the tone at each practice. Hicks was violent at the point of attack, using his considerable play strength and heavy hands to stun offensive linemen. The Katy (Texas) Paetow product also showed a quick get-off and strong functional movement skills. Hicks approached each practice with a workman’s mentality and it showed over the course of the week. He ranks as the No. 16 overall prospect in the On300.
8. DL Peter Woods – Clemson
Peter Woods was the most disruptive player in Tuesday’s game, putting an exclamation point on a good week at Under Armour. The Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson product feasted on a hapless Team Speed interior offensive line and lived in the backfield all evening. Woods did what he wanted. He tallied a number of plays behind the line of scrimmage and batted a pass that led to a pick by Texas signee Derek Williams. Woods is not the most physically imposing defensive lineman and can waver a bit when offensive linemen get into his body, but the competitive character – effort level, quickness and physicality show up in game settings. Woods ranks as the No. 48 overall prospect in the On300.
9. WR Jalen Hale – Alabama
Jalen Hale was the most consistent outside receiver over the course of the week at Under Armour. The Alabama signee showed a nuanced skill set. Hale has a strong release package, with the ability to stack defensive backs off the line. He also showed some wiggle and fluidity at the top of his routes. We saw this on Day Two when Hale ran past Five-Star Plus+ cornerback Cormani McClain relatively easily. Hale took his game to another level on Day Three, earning Top Performer status with a strong display of coordination and route-running to go with the ability to track and high-point the football. He’ll need to continue adding strength, but Hale turned in an impressive showing in Orlando. Hale ranks as the No. 81 overall prospect in the On300.
10. ATH Nyckoles Harbor – Unsigned
Nyckoles Harbor entered the week with as one of the more mysterious prospects in the cycle. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound multi-positional athlete has the rarest blend of size and straight line speed that we’ve ever seen from a prospect. Harbor plays both wide receiver/tight end and EDGE for his high school and looks to be focused on playing offense in college. He worked at tight end in Orlando and showed the unique long speed in running past much smaller corners with relative ease. Harbor is not very natural in catching the football right now, but did get better over the course of the week, making a few extended and contested grabs. We were also pleasantly surprised by the functional movement skills. He was able to stick his foot in the ground and change directions within the route. Harbor ranks as the No. 26 overall prospect and No. 1 athlete in the On300.
+ Kelby Collins was arguably the next defensive linemen up. The Florida signee’s performances got better and better throughout the week of practice and he saved his best showing for last by dominating during the game. Alabama signee Jordan Renaud started the week on a high note and continued steady play throughout the week. Renaud was consistently disruptive in practice and showed he can be a force on the edge or along the interior. Rueben Bain was disruptive along the interior for Team Speed from start to finish. The Miami signee flashed violent hands at the point of attack and played every down with his famously high motor throughout the week.
+ Desmond Ricks was the most polished boundary corner at Under Armour faring well against outside receivers in practice. The Alabama signee’s stature and instincts made him tough assignment for receivers. Florida signee Ja’Keem Jackson showed one of the higher upsides among the corner group, using his length and ball skills to disrupt passes. Malik Muhammad was up and down during the 1-on-1 periods but shined during 11-on-11 play. The Texas signee is a physical player who looks natural in covering from the slot.
+ Noah Rogers proved he can run routes with the top dogs and create separation against talented corners. The Ohio State pledge needs to show more consistency at the catch point, but he flashed some acrobatic ability in contested situations throughout the week. Johntay Cook II consistently worked himself open throughout the week of practice. The Texas signee was easily one of the top three route runners at the event with the ability to separate at multiple levels.
+ Cedric Baxter Jr. looked like the top running back on hand in Tuesday’s game, flashing his combination of burst and contact balance. The Texas signee scored on a nice run to the outside in the first half.
+ Ole Miss linebacker signee Suntarine Perkins was easily one of the more physically impressive players at Under Armour. With his length and movement skills, Perkins was able to stay in phase even if he was beat at the top of the route. In team periods, he showed off his speed to close to the ball and made plays all week long.
+ Roderick Kearney was one of the top offensive linemen on hand for Team Phantom. The Florida signee used quick feet and good play stregnth to turn in a strong showing along the interior. While the Team Speed offensive line had its fair share of issues, Florida State signee Lucas Simmons and Alabama signee Olaus Alinen were the obvious standouts from the group. Simmons flashed light feet and played balanced and under control all week. Alinen was very consistent, providing a steady presence at tackle both as a pass protector and in the run game.
On3’s Cody Bellaire contributed to this story.