USAAAB: East Day 1 Practice Recap

SAN ANTONIO -- There were plenty of interesting developments during the first day of the East practice for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and has a recap of it.

The East practice got underway on a chilly and windy day at Heroes Stadium, and it was heavy on installation. The quarterbacks did plenty of throwing, but there were very few one-on-one among the linemen and the defensive backs/receivers.

However, there was still plenty to critique, and here is a breakdown:


It was a mixed bag for all three quarterbacks, and part of it was due to a heavily offensive installation as well as the windy conditions, but it was Georgia commit Jacob Park of Goose Creek (S.C.) Stratford who performed the best. Aside from a pair of dropped snaps in the shotgun, Park delivered the ball on time and with strong arm, and he was able to throw down the field and to the outside.

North Carolina commit Caleb Henderson of Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock Secondary started off the afternoon session the ball well, especially on patterns within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. However, he struggled with hitting receivers in stride on balls down the field as the session wore on.

Florida commit Will Grier of Davidson (N.C.) Day was able to throw with accuracy, but his arm strength was not as impressive as the other two quarterbacks. Grier did a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly and he made quick and strong decisions in seven-on-seven drills.

Battle in the Trenches

The 1-on-1s between the offensive and defensive linemen were limited to less than a dozen, which meant there was very little time to see a player stand out. However, the offensive lineman got the better of it as Notre Dame commit Quenton Nelson of Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic dominated Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel defensive end Jesse Aniebonam, who is committed to Maryland. Nelson was strong and sure, and locked Aniebonam down.

Florida offensive tackle commit David Sharpe of Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence looks the part and is long and lean. He was able to fire off the ball and get to the second level quickly, and is impressive with his athleticism.

Also flashing on the offensive line was St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood offensive guard Isaiah Wynne, who is committed to Georgia. He was the most impressive offensive lineman on the field, showing great feet and technique.

Backfield in Motion

Although there wasn't any hitting, the backfield of the East showed their talent.

Cedartown (Ga.) High's Nick Chubb, a Georgia commit, saw a lot of action and looked strong running between the tackles. He was quick through the hole and ran with purpose and speed.

Another Georgia commit who was impressive was Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage's Sony Michel. He didn't have a ton of carries, but he was smooth and his acceleration was impressive. He also had a great attitude on a cold day in which he brought energy.

Backfield in Motion, Part II

The other backfield, on defense, was led by Monroville (Pa.) Gateway safety Montae Nicholson, a Michigan State commit. He was able to cover the back end of defense from sideline-to-sideline, and his break on the ball was extraordinary. He had a pair of interceptions and read plays well. He also tracks the ball well.

A nice surprise was Brooklyn Erasmus Hall's Curtis Samuel. He is heading to Ohio State as a receiver/running back, but he is playing defensive back for the East. He lined up at safety and covered in the slot, and while he is raw in his turns, his straight ahead speed and ability to drive forward on the ball stood out.

Linebacker talk

There was not a lot action for the linebackers, but Notre Dame commit Richard Yeargin III of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School, while lean, was able to cover a lot of ground. At 6-foot-4, he is also long and was able to cover the tight end and he looked comfortable in coverage. Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams was splendid as he showed great range and his length was an asset.

Receiver Review

Uncommitted Norcross (Ga.) High receiver Autry Myles lined up in the slot and was electric. He is quick and changed direction well. He was quick going over the middle and got open to the outside several times.

Notre Dame tight end commit Nic Weishar of Chicago Marist was fluid going over the middle. He dropped a pair of passes, but it shouldn't be a concern moving forward. He came out of breaks well and he showed good athleticism and an ability to turn and move up the field quickly after the catch.

West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer's Johniie Dixon, who is committed to Ohio State, was able to get open on the outside of the field. He was shifty and got off the line of scrimmage in a hurry.

Not available

Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Bishop Sullivan uncommitted receiver Jamil Kamara did not practice because of a shoulder injury, but said he hopes to play in Saturday's game.

Running back and Tennessee commit Jalen Hurd Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech Senior had his left foot in a walking boot and isn't expected to play and Tucker (Ga.) High defensive lineman Elisha Shaw, who is uncommitted, has not been cleared to practice and is dealing with a neck injury.

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