SAN ANTONIO - Some of the top prospects out of the Southeast are playing for the East and West teams at the Army All-American game and Scout had their eye on them on Thursday. Here are some notes.
Florida commitment Kent Taylor, the number one tight end in America looked good on Thursday. He has added some weight (up to 230 pounds) and it showed. He continued to catch the ball like a receiver and he looked very fluid when running routes.
The word in San Antonio this week is that T.J. Yeldon has looked a little stiff and that showed some in Thursday's practice. He runs a little upright and he does not cut as quick as some of the other backs at this game. What he did best today was catch the ball out of the backfield. The Alabama commitment has very soft hands.
John Theus is one of a handful of prospects playing a different position this week. Many of the offensive linemen are tackles, so some have been asked to play guard. Theus is playing left guard and he had a good day on Thursday. The Georgia commitment showed the ability to get to the second level, he held his blocks well, and he showed a good balance of run blocking and pass protection.
Anthony Alford is a very athletic quarterback out of Mississippi and it is easy to tell that he plays baseball. He throws the football like it is a baseball and he even steps a little like he is tossing a baseball when is about to throw a pass. With that said, he showed he could make the needed throws on Thursday. He can escape pressure and he he made a couple of nice throws outside the pocket. He can still work on his mechanics, but he has a lot of raw ability.
Florida State commitment Justin Shanks had a very good day for the West. He was strong during the one-on-one session and he made some plays during team action as well. He did a nice job of keeping his pads low and doing his assignments.
Omari Phillips has added some weight over the past few months. He has added weight from head to toe and he played with more strength and aggressiveness today. His game has changed and he looks more like an inside defensive lineman than potential offensive tackle down the road. The Florida Gator commit still plays high and he needs to play with more punch, but his body has definitely developed.
Josh Harvey-Clemons was sick earlier in the week, but he was back on the field today and he made some plays. He batted a ball down inside the red zone early in practice and then he caused a receiver to drop a pass across the middle when he hit him on Thursday. Harvey-Clemons is a long and rangy linebacker with a lot of upside. He covers a lot of ground and it would be surprising if he doesn't add close to 25 pounds in his first year of college.
D.J. Humphries has been the talk of the East team this week and he showed why again on Thursday. He has great bend at the knees, he really gets out of his stance well, and he has mirrored the quickest defensive ends. He has rarely gotten beat and he is the starting left tackle for his team. He will likely contribute early at Florida.
Clemson commitment Germone Hopper is the second quickest person on the East to Stefon Diggs. Hopper gets to his top speed quickly and he is very shifty in open space. He is a big play waiting to happen.
Carlos Watkins is a very athletic defensive lineman that is committed to Clemson and he showed that on Thursday when he ran a route and caught a pass about 20 yards down the field. He carries his weight very well and he has forced running backs to change direction a number of times because of his presence in the middle.
Cornerback Tracy Howard had a strong performance on Thursday. He showed great hands and he did a nice job of anticipating the pass today. He and Geno Smith were good cover guys throughout the afternoon. Howard is still uncommitted and Smith is committed to Alabama.
Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.