Here’s a running account of the U.S. All-American Game in San Antonio and the recruit announcements:
GATOR COMMITMENTS: A big one! Shariff Floyd talked all week about shocking the world, and by the time his announcement came, it wasn’t a completely shock. The 6-4, 310-pound defensive tackle thanked a large group of family and friends around him for helping to raise money to allow Floyd to attend the U.S. Army All American combine the year before, and also their involvement in the recruiting process. Floyd even allowed one of his coaches to choose the hat for him, and he handed the George Washington High School in Philadelphia star a Florida hat. Floyd said it was about him finding the place he could spend not only four years, but forty years of his life.
All Matt Elam could do was smile. The NBC interviewer first pointed at the Florida hat, then to the Florida State hat, and simply asked which school it would be now for his final decision. Without the glamour of his recent weeks, Elam simply picked up the Florida hat and put it on his mom’s head. The relationship with head coach Urban Meyer won out in the end, and the Gators couldn’t be happier.
Ronald Powell has seen the uncertainty around both programs he has considered in the past few weeks. USC and Florida have both dealt with coaching changes that could have influenced his decision either way. That was nothing a conversation with Meyer wouldn’t fix for the Gators. Powell toyed with a USC hat before ultimately picking up a Gator hat and giving a proud chomp to the television cameras.
FINAL SCORE: With Powell scoring on a pass reception and getting another two points for his team when he ran back a blocked PAT 100 yards, the West beat the East 30-14 Saturday and Powell received the Pete Dawkins MVP Award from the former Heisman Trophy winner, Pete Dawkins of Army.
CJ Mosley got the Army All-American festivities off with a bang with a little hat trick. He cleared all hats from the table before narrowing it down to Auburn and Alabama. The Theodore High School star dropped both hats off the table as well, before picking up a separate Alabama hat to declare his intentions to the nation.
Latwan Anderson took the stage and kept his speech to a minimum, but his announcement took some by surprise. He came to the stage with his head coach at Glenville High School, Ted Ginn. Sr., but didn’t pick the team that Ginn’s son did years ago in the Army game before staring at Ohio State. Anderson went straight for the West Virginia hat. The logical decision was Ohio State because of his proximity to Columbus, but the Mountaineers stole his heart.
Demetrius Wright was rumored to not announce during the game but his change of heart. He was assumed to choose USC for a while now, and his delay was placed on the rumors around Pete Carroll potentially taking a job with the Seattle Seahawks. Wright stuck strong to the school he grew up rooting for, choosing the Trojans over Tennessee and Washington. It’s clear that USC is the type of school who will continue to draw top-level players regardless of who the coach is.
Victor Hampton was once a Gator commitment before being pushed to go elsewhere late in the summer. The 5-11, 170-pound cornerback chose South Carolina over Tennessee and North Carolina. He did tease Tennessee fans while picking up their hat before throwing it aside and adding the Gamecocks hat. The Darlington High School (S.C.) prospect will suit up for Steve Spurrier’s team in the fall, after claiming it was the place he felt the most comfortable with throughout the process.
Dior Mathis is one of the top prospects in the state of Michigan, so it seemed like he would stay in state at their Michigan or Michigan State. His other choices were Miami and Oregon. The hat game Mathis played was one of the more intense ones at the Army game. He picked up all three other hats before finally picking up the Oregon hat and making the Ducks’ O for the cameras. He claimed the academics and coaches at Oregon for aiding in his decision. Chip Kelly and the Ducks program added a top cover corner to their class, and they stole him from two top programs in his home state.
Marquis Flowers lined up four Pac-10 hats with USC, UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona. The Millennium High School (Ariz.) decided to stay instate, after the best player in Arizona has gone to USC for the past two years. He knew that he wanted to stay close to his family, and the large family contingent around him made that very clear.
Brandon Willis began the process as a Florida State commitment but switched with his defensive end teammate Corey Miller to Tennessee. Willis recently de-committed from the Volunteers and was expected to choose the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Army game. He pushed the North Carolina and UCLA hats out of the way and put a Tennessee hat back on his head, reaffirming his commitment to Lane Kiffin and the Tennessee staff. Miller is already on campus in Knoxville and undoubtedly played a large part in the process.