Kevin C. Cox
Future Gators will start their post-high school careers in Friday's Under Armour All-America Bowl. Here's what to watch.
The 2013 Under Armour All-American Game (note the subtle difference from the 2013 U.S. Army All American Bowl) takes place at 5 p.m. on ESPN, and there are a slew of Florida commits and recruiting targets in the game. Here's a rundown of the future Gators you'll see and what to watch for from them and the targets.
WR Alvin Bailey (No. 3, Team Highlight/Black)
Bailey has great burst and good agility, skills he should put to good use as a slot receiver and returner at Florida, but his top-end speed is a question mark and his ability to get open against elite defensive backs after a year spent mostly at quarterback is worth watching. If he can get free for a big play or two, it'll be a really good sign for the Gators.
CB Vernon Hargreaves III (No. 24, Team Highlight/Black)
Hargreaves is considered by many to be the cream of a fine crop at cornerback in the 2013 recruiting class, with some analysts thinking that he might be able to compete for a starting job at Florida as a true freshman. Watch his hips in coverage, and see how smoothly he gets into and out of breaks; deficiencies in this area hampered Florida's Jaylen Watkins throughout the Sugar Bowl on Wednesday.
DB Marcell Harris (No. 26, Team Highlight/Black)
Harris will not play due to an injury suffered during his high school season. He was also intending to enroll early at Florida, but will instead enroll in the summer.
S/DB Keanu Neal (No. 42, Team Highlight/Black)
Neal has come on strong in his senior season and ranks among the nation's most-improved prospects, and he has a reputation as a heavy hitter from the safety position. See if he lays wood to a receiver at some point, and watch his feet to see whether he gets into sound position to tackle effectively.
OL Roderick Johnson (Team Nitro/White)
Johnson was a late addition to the game, and doesn't even have a number on a roster that I can find, so watch for the broadcast to introduce him. Johnson's primary concern is desire and commitment, so see if he finishes blocks and plays to the whistle.
LB Matt Rolin (No. 10, Team Nitro/White)
Rolin will also miss Friday's game with an injury.
RB Kelvin Taylor (No. 21, Team Highlight/Black)
Taylor, one of the country's best running backs, will be one of the best players on the field on Friday, and is likely to be the finest running back in the game. Can he show the patience and balance that made him one of the most productive running backs in high school football history, or will he struggle against better talent than he has ever faced?
DT Caleb Brantley (No. 57, Team Highlight/Black)
Brantley decommitted from Florida earlier this week, but he's seemingly likely to return to the Gators' flock in eventuality. He's got a fantastic frame for a high school senior, and watching whether he can use it to gum up the line on running plays is prudent.
DE/DT DeMarcus Walker (No. 44, Team Highlight/Black)
Walker, an early enrollee, will visit Florida after the game on a weekend official visit, and is expected by some to flip his commitment from Alabama to Florida afterward. Walker has played defensive end throughout high school, but his tall, rangy frame may allow him to slide inside to defensive tackle, so examining his efficacy at both spots if he plays multiple positions in the game makes sense.
DE Elijah Daniel (No. 90, Team Highlight/Black)
Daniel has skills as a pass rusher at defensive end, and could be a valuable pressure-producer at the next level. He is considering Florida and a handful of other schools and will visit Gainesville this weekend with Walker and other committed prospects.