5 Sunday standouts

LAKE BUENA VISTA — It’s the Under Armour All-American game, a collection of more than 100 of the best high school players in the country. There are All-county and All-State players from 26 different states, players who have won multiple state championships like Dalvin Cook (3) and Jabrill Peppers (4).

With so much talent on the field it can be difficult to stand out but that’s exactly what these five players did during the first day of practice in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The first day was laid back, spent installing offensive and defense schemes, but these players stood out and showed exactly why they are the best of the best.


Jamal Adams (6-0, 199, Lewisville, TX Hebron)

The physically imposing safety out of Hebron high school in Lewisville, Texas shined in limited work today. Adams showed leadership on the field, spending time talking to anybody that would listen. He grasped the defense quickly and did what safeties are supposed to do, making sure people were lined up correctly and knew what they were doing every rep.

Adams looked good in zone coverage but really excelled when pressed up against slot receivers. He is strong and aggressive at the line of scrimmage, knocking receivers off of their routes and he is able to stick with smaller, quicker players in coverage.

It was an overall good first day for the talented safety who will announce between Florida, LSU and Ole Miss during the Under Armour game this Thursday.


Speedy Noil (6-0, 161, New Orleans, LA Edna Karr)

His mom must have known something when her baby was born because there isn’t a more appropriate name for Noil than Speedy.

Noil routinely got behind the defense on the practice field where he was sporting a gold watch on his wrist. He’s fast, quick and smooth and doesn’t waste any movement getting in to or out of his breaks.


Lorenzo Carter (6-5, 232, Norcross, GA Norcross)

Carter has a similar build to former defensive end Jason Taylor and Carter showed off the kind of spin move that made Taylor a perennial Pro Bowl player in the NFL.

Carter is long and lean and fast. His speed is his biggest asset and he used that to his advantage in one-on-one drills on Sunday. Carter could not be stopped off the edge and with a couple of years in a college weight lifting program could develop into one of the most dominant pass-rushers in the country.


Chad Thomas (6-5, 240, Miami, FL Booker T. Washington)

Thomas — the Booker T. Washington product — is what the aforementioned Lorenzo Carter will be after a year in a college strength and conditioning program. Thomas is long like Carter but has already started to fill out that long frame. Thomas ran and spun around offensive linemen all day and when he grew tired of running around people he overpowered them with his bull rush.

Thomas was the most impressive defensive lineman of the day and that’s a group that includes a player who many consider to be the best in the country in Da’Shawn Hand.


Travis Rudolph (6-1, 185, West Palm Beach, FL Cardinal Newman)

Travis Rudolph is a technician. He is surgical as a route runner, getting in and out of his breaks effortlessly and has velcro hands. Rudolph has sneaky speed to go along with the aforementioned traits and appears to be the best all-around and most polished receiver at the All-American game.

Rudolph beat Marlon Humphrey and Adoree’ Jackson with what looked like relative ease during skeleton drills, including a long touchdown catch over Humphrey.  Rudolph followed up the touchdown with a dance but that isn’t why he makes the list. The kid can ball.

Rudolph has cut his long list of scholarship offers down to just Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Miami.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC