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Under Armour: Five more players to watch

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Thu. January 3, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

KISSIMMEE - We’ve covered athletes from across Tampa Bay and the country this week in preparation for Friday’s Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field, and we’ll have more in tomorrow’s paper.

In the meantime, here are five players we haven’t mentioned much but are worth watching:

  1. OL Ira Denson (Team Nitro): Last year’s game featured a handful of FSU-bound athletes, including MVP Jameis Winston and the country’s No. 1 recruit, pass rusher Mario Edwards Jr. This year, Seminoles fans have to focus on St. Petersburg Catholic RB Ryan Green and Denson, a four-star athlete from Madison County. The 6-foot-4, 317-pounder said he’s been an FSU fan “since I was knee high,” but also has interest in USF. He called the Bulls a program on the rise and said he plans to visit USF next week.
  2. LB Reuben Foster (Team Nitro): You might recognize the name. The Auburn, Ala. native caused a stir when he switched his commitment from Alabama to Auburn – and showed it off with a new tattoo. Five months later, he decommitted from the Tigers. Regardless of where he ends up, the 6-foot-2, 242-pounder remains a five-star talent and had a strong week of practice.
  3. RB Kelvin Taylor (Team Highlight): The Florida commit had one of the best rushing careers ever for Glades Day and was impressive in the backfield this week, too. He has good hands and runs hard and drew praise from coach Herm Edwards.
  4. QB Kevin Olsen (Team Nitro): The New Jersey native will head south to play for the Hurricanes. He’s one of the game’s shorter quarterbacks at 6-foot-2 but has a strong arm. He’ll face a loaded secondary, led by Armwood S Leon McQuay and Wharton DB Vernon Hargreaves III.
  5. DE Carl Lawson (Team Nitro): The Auburn commit is ESPN’s No. 2 overall recruit, behind pass rusher Robert Nkemdiche. Lawson is powerful and one of the game’s quickest pass rushers. He starred in practice early this week but appeared to injure his shoulder Thursday. If he’s healthy enough to play Friday, he could be a game changer.

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