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January 5, 2009
UA Daily Rewind: Decision day for several
ORLANDO, Fla.- A week full of action in the Sunshine State came to an end Sunday night with the Under Armour All-American Game at the Citrus Bowl. Review all of the day's action with the Sunday Rewind.
1) BARKLEY RULES THE DAY
In all-star games, defenses usually rule the day. Nobody told that to five-star quarterback Matt Barkley. The USC commit was named the Under Armour All-America Game MVP after throwing for 237 yards and two touchdowns. In fact, he started off the game with his very first pass going to Marlon Brown for a 71-yard touchdown. "It got us pumped. It was just a slant - you know, a slant for a score," Barkley said. "I think that helped carry us through the rest of the game. I think that would have been a 20-yard gain during the season, but he turned that into a touchdown. That's what I'll be with next year at USC, so I'm looking forward to it."
2) FEW RUNNING BACK SIGHTINGS
With both teams running sets featuring four wide receivers, there was clearly going to be a lot of passing. However, nobody expected the lack of production from the running backs in the game. Five-star Trent Richardson had an amazing week of practice but was held to 1 yard on five carries. Jaamal Berry was the leading rusher among tailbacks with a mere 15 yards. Montrell Conner led his team with 12 yards on the ground, while Florida State all-purpose back Chris Thompson did not even get a touch in the game. The leading overall rusher was actually quarterback Russell Shepard, who finished with six carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. Both teams combined for only 68 yards on 34 carries.
3) DEFENSIVE LINES MAKE PRESENCE FELT
The defensive linemen for both teams had big games. For the White team, defensive end Justin Chaisson finished with two sacks and a forced fumble, defensive end Sam Montgomeryhad a sack and two forced fumbles, defensive end Craig Roh finished with a sack and three hurries and defensive tackle Gary Brown finished with a sack and three hurries.
The Black squad's defensive tackles, although they didn't have numbers quite as dominant as their counterparts, also stood out. Jacobbi McDaniel was in the backfield all night and was credited with two hurries, while fellow Florida State commit Demonte McAllister had half a sack and a hurry. Defensive tackle Josh Downs, an LSU commit, had 1.5 sacks and a QB hurry.
4) DECISION DAY FOR SEVERAL
Six prospects made commitments during the game broadcast. It started prior to kickoff with offensive tackle John Martinez pledging to USC over UCLA and LSU. In the first quarter, athlete Ray Ray Armstrong became the first of three Sanford (Fla.) Seminole high school teammates to declare when he picked the in-state Miami Hurricanes. Seminole defensive end Dyron Dye joined him by also choosing the Hurricanes. Fellow Seminole star and five-star athlete Andre Debose went his own way, choosing to play for the Florida Gators.
Center Mark Brazinski provided some levity and a bit of a surprise when he chose to go to school across the country and play for Cal. The commitments were capped off in the fourth quarter when five-star cornerback Branden Smith decided to stay in state and play for the Georgia Bulldogs.
5) UNDERCLASSMEN SHOW THEIR STUFF
Prior to Sunday night's game, Under Armour hosted a combine with close to 200 of the Southeast's top junior and sophomore prospects. Though he has been committed to Florida for more than two months, cornerback Demar Dorsey was a bit of an unknown heading into the weekend. That is no longer the case as the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder recorded a 4.25-second 40-yard dash, a 10-8 broad jump, a 4.2-second shuttle and a 39-5 vertical. Also having impressive days were junior wide receivers Chris Dunkley and De'Joshua Johnson, junior running back Mack Brown and sophomore running back Shon Carson.