UnderArmour AA Game: California Prospects

Ten California prospects in the class of 2008 are playing in the UnderArmour All-America Game in Orlando. GoldenStatePreps.com is in Orlando this week and has been at each practice. Here is a look at how each of them are doing this week...

Since the UnderArmour All-America Game isn't a classic East/West or North/South matchup, it's made it a little more difficult to follow the players, since three of the commits and one of the targets are on Team Red and two more commits and another targer are on Team Silver.

Today, though, we got our first chance to really focus on Team Red.

The game will be televised nationally on ABC this Saturday, January 5th, at 11 a.m.

Here is what we've seen so far from the California prospects in the game.

Team Silver

TE Blake Ayles (Orange Lutheran)
Ayles has been the star of the offense and the most consistent player for Team Silver's offense all week. What I love about Ayles is he'll catch anything in the vicinity. He's got great concentration, will get physical and battle for the ball, and make the catch.

He's got a quick step off the line of scrimmage, and because he's so strong, can chuck a linebacker off the line of scrimmage to get open. He does a good job of getting open to make the catch and he's been the quarterback's best friend in the flat.

Ayles is showing why he's the best tight end to come out of California since Marcedes Lewis, and he's clearly one of the elite prospects nationally.

QB Nick Crissman (Huntington Beach Edison)
Team Silver has easily the best group of quarterbacks, and any of these guys would start on Saturday for Team Red. Crissman has probably been the most consistent of the passers for Team Silver, looking good in each practice and making some nice throws.

Crissman's strength is in his accuracy. He can thread a needle and put the ball where the DB or LB can't reach it. He's also thrown some nice deep passes for scores. He and fellow Orange County native Blake Ayles have real good chemistry, Crissman finding Ayles often in the flat.

While he may lack E.J. Manuel's athleticism or arm strength, Crissman has been more steady than Manuel during the week. If there has been one flaw, though, it's been that he's fumbled quite a few snaps, but that's not unusual when working with a new center for the first time.

CB Anthony Dye (Corona Santiago)
Dye has been playing a lot of nickel and he's also been covering the slot receiver primarily. He's probably been the most versatile DB, playing both corner and safety.

He's more than held his own in the one-on-one's, despite giving size to the bigger Silver receivers. He's also made a couple of nice hits on running backs in scrimmages.

Yesterday, during the morning session, he made a nice read on a pump fake by Manuel, made a good break on the ball and had a pick right in his hands en route to the end zone. But he dropped it.

OL Allen Carroll (Oakland McClymonds)
Carroll has been bothered by a sore quad, that has limited his effectiveness, but he's shown some flashes.

He struggled the first day with some of the quicker defensive ends from Team Silver, playing left tackle, but when he would line up at guard, he seemed much more in his element.

S Stanley Yarbrough (Clovis East)
Yarbrough hasn't gotten as much run as some of the other safeties, and Team Silver has a glut of them, but when he's been in, he's done a fine job.

He's not very big for a safety, so he'll likely have to play cornerback in college.

Vaughn Dotsy from Ventura St. Bonaventure and Max Tuioti-Mariner from Corona did not participate because of injuries

Team Red

OL Matt Meyer (Stockton Lincoln)
Meyer is the best prospect from Northern California in the class of 2008, and he looks very good physically. Monday was the first time he had put on the pads since mid-October, when a broken foot sidelined him for the season.

He's been slowed at times by the foot, which still has pins in it, but when he's been practicing, he's shown why he's so highly touted.

At 6-8, Meyer is prototype tackle size, but at USC, he may play inside, so this week, he's done a little of tackle, guard and center. Meyer is a very fundamentally sound player and he's been impressive off the field this week as well as off the field.

OL Khaled Holmes (Santa Ana Mater Dei)
Overshadowed for much of the year by the Monarchs passing game, Holmes was a major reason why Matt Barkley threw for so many yards, keeping him protected.

Holmes is a guard at the next level and he's got good size and strength and should do well at the next level inside. One of the more humorous moments this week took place when he and some other offensive lineman showed their "ability" to punt. There is a reason why Patrick Duffy did the kicking for Mater Dei, though.

LB Uona Kaveinga (Lawndale Leuzinger)
Kaveinga has probably looked the best of the linebackers for Team Red this week. He's so quick to the ball and he's excellent in run support. The coaches were yelling at him to stop hitting guys so hard.

He's a hitter and my initial thoughts about him being a safety in college are fading since I do think he can play LB at his size. He's a pretty quiet guy, but he's intimidating on the field.

He was being interviewed by ESPNU and they made mention that he may be the hardest hitter on Team Red, according to what the coaches keep saying.

S E.J. Woods (Encino Crespi)
E.J. has looked steady this week, and he had a good practice on Wednesday morning. He's had to play a little corner in practice, and like we mentioned during the summer, when he was playing corner at the B2G Elite Camp, Woods is a safety.

He's not as quick as the receivers and sometimes bites on the fakes. But when he's playing safety, he's looks much more comfortable and fits there so much better. He's another guy who likes to hit bring the wood. He's got good anticipation and quick hands, and he had a couple of deflections today.

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