UA Preview: White Team Defense

The White Team defense is loaded especially at defensive end and in the secondary. The linebacker unit is led by the No. 1 middle linebacker in the country. Several National 100 recruits highlight the defensive unit.

Defensive Line

It doesn't get much better than the players who will come off the edge in this year's Under Armour game for the White Team. Three Florida State commitments highlight the defensive end unit. Mario Edwards (Florida State, Texas, Oklahoma), five-star defensive end from Denton-Ryan, Texas, is rated No. 2 in the country at his position. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound prospect is a soft verbal to the Seminoles. He has recently taken official visits to Oklahoma and Texas.

Mario Edwards

Chris Casher (Florida State), National 100 defensive end from Mobile-Davidson, Ala., didn't play a single down this season due a transfer rule from the AHSAA. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound athlete, who played his junior season at Faith Academy in Mobile, is excited to hit the field. Dante Fowler (Florida State), four-star defensive end from Saint Petersburg-Lakewood, Fla., hopes to make some noise this week after dropping his five-star status.

Channing Ward (Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State), five-star defensive end from Aberdeen, Miss., can rush off the edge or line up as an inside linebacker. The news surrounding Ward this week is his college decision announcement at the Under Armour game.

The five-stars are on the edge, but there is some talent on the inside for the White team defense. Jonathan Taylor (Georgia), four-star defensive tackle from Millen-Jenkins County, Ga., and Donald Hopkins (Missouri), four-star defensive tackle from Largo Vista, Texas are Scout 300 recruits on the interior. Korren Kirven (Alabama, Tennessee), four-star defensive tackle from Lynchburg-Brookeville, Va., was selected to the game, but will not play due to a broken leg. He plans to visit Orlando for the week and cheer on his all-star teammates.

Korren Kirven

Two other defensive linemen in the game include Dakota Ball (Alabama), three-star defensive tackle from Lindele-Pepperell, Ga., and Issac Gross (Ole Miss), three-star defensive tackle from Batesville-South Panola, Miss.

Kirven is the only interior defensive lineman who remains uncommitted. He has one official visit scheduled to Alabama January 20th. He also plans to visit Tennessee. There is a chance every defensive tackle selected to participate in the game will end up in the SEC.


This unit is very strong led by four players who have already made their college decisions including three who are heading to the SEC. Reggie Ragland (Alabama), five-star middle linebacker from Madison-Bob Jones, Ala., is also rated No. 1 in the country at his position. He is joined on the inside by Michael Rose (Nebraska), three-star middle linebacker from Kansas City-Rockhurt, Mo.

A couple of other SEC-bound prospects expected to play linebacker include Ronnie Feist (LSU), four-star outside linebacker from Edgard-West St. John, La., and Marcus Maye (Florida), four-star safety from Melbourne-Trinity Episcopal School, Fla. Maye is a big safety who could play outside linebacker or safety in the game. He is listed on the roster with the linebackers.

Defensive Backs

Ronald Darby
A lot of athletes are listed on the White Team roster. It will become interesting to see who ends up playing on which side of the ball with so much talent accustomed to playing on both sides, but could project at another position on the next level.

Ronald Darby (Notre Dame), five-star from Oxon Hill-Potomac, Md., and Brian Poole (Florida), five-star from Bradenton-Southeast, Fla., are rated as the top two cornerbacks in the country. Darby is one of the best overall athletes in the game. He can easily play on either side of the ball.

Another standout on the White Team is De'Vante Harris (Oklahoma), four-star cornerback from Mesquite-Horn, Texas. Cyrus Jones (Alabama, Auburn, Virginia Tech), five-star from Baltimore-Gilman, Md., is one of the top athletes in the game. He is a dangerous weapon on offense and special teams. He could end up playing cornerback in this game.

A player looking to make a name for himself is Deion Sanders, Jr. (Houston, North Texas), three-star cornerback from Flower Mound-Marcus, Texas. Sanders is the son of NFL Hall of Famer cornerback, Deion Sanders.

Deion Sanders, Jr.
Marcus Maye (Florida) was previously mentioned as a player who might end up playing linebacker or safety in this game. There are three other players from the Sunshine State who expect to play safety, and two are very good friends.

Eddie Williams (Alabama), National 100 safety from Panama City Beach-Arnold, Fla., and P.J. Williams (Florida State), four-star safety from Ocala-Vanguard, Fla., are two athletic, hard-hitting players who are ball hawks.

Lucas Thompson (East Carolina, Miami), three-star safety from Winter Garden-West Orange, Fla., is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound athlete. The Hurricanes have yet to offer, and he has already taken an official visit to East Carolina. He hopes to visit Miami in January. A solid performance in Orlando might net an offer from his childhood favorite.

One other player who could end up playing safety in the game is Shaq Roland (South Carolina), five-star wide receiver from Lexington, S.C. Roland is possibly the top overall athlete in this game. The star of the Under Armour game a year ago was Jadeveon Clowney who took his talents to Columbia.

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