The second annual Under Armour All-America High School Football Game, an annual all-star football competition spotlighting the nation’s top high school seniors, will be played on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. The event, an ESPN and Intersport collaboration, is moving to Sunday in primetime as part of a new expanded three-hour window (8-11 p.m. ET) on ESPN. Last year, the event was televised in a two-hour Saturday afternoon window on ABC. The event will also include ancillary events to be held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex (DWWS) near Orlando, Fla., while a site for the game will be determined in the near future.
National recruiting analysts and talent evaluators from ESPN Scouts, Inc., will select players for both team rosters. A total of 80 players will be invited, with all them having the opportunity to also participate in a televised skills competition and other ancillary events held at DWWS. In addition, ESPNU will once again televise six hours of practices from DWWS.
“We’re looking forward to growing off the success of our first year by moving the game to a new day during a primetime window on ESPN and continuing to utilize Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex to give the participants an enjoyable experience all around,” said James Brown, ESPN Senior Vice President, New Program Development. “This event is and will continue to be a great opportunity to give fans a closer look at the future stars of the sport, while also culminating our extensive multi-platform coverage of high school football throughout the regular-season.”
“Sunday night football is a staple in American homes across the country and moving the game to this primetime slot demonstrates ESPN’s commitment to creating the best and biggest platform for the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game,” said Steve Battista, Senior Vice President, Brand, Under Armour. “Our Brand started on the football field and we’re excited that our authentic showcase of high school football players will reach an even bigger audience in just its second year.”
Added Dan Jones, Intersport’s Senior Vice President of Events: “We are extremely excited about year two of the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The move to primetime speaks to the importance of the game. We look forward to creating another unforgettable experience for some of the best high school football players in the country.”
Thus far, 47 players have accepted invitations to participate in the 2009 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game, including quarterback and USC commit Matt Barkley (Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, Calif.), Marlon Brown (WR – Harding Academy, Memphis, Tenn.); Garrett Gilbert (QB – Lake Travis HS, Austin, Texas); Dre Kirkpatrick (CB – Gadsen HS, Gadsen, Ala.), Jacobbi McDaniel (DT – Madison County HS, Madison, Fla.), Russell Shepard (QB – Cypress Ridge HS, Houston, Texas.) and Manti Te’o (OLB – Punahou HS, Honolulu, Hawaii).