Under Armour notebook: Familiar faces a plus for Armwood trio

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Tue. January 1, 2013 | Times Staff

Under Armour notebook: Familiar faces a plus for Armwood trio

KISSIMMEE – At one point during Under Armour All-America Game practice Monday afternoon, Armwood football coach Sean Callahan yelled at Hawks safety Leon McQuay III to shade to his right and keep an eye on Hawks wide receiver Alvin Bailey.

It was pretty cool.

“For me and Leon to be here together, and then have Coach Cal here, too, on top of that? Yeah, that’s pretty good,’’ Bailey said.

Armwood is one of just four schools that managed to get two players invited to the Under Armour game. Three of the four are Florida high schools.

The others are Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington D.C. (linebacker Yannick Ngakoue and offensive tackle Derwin Gray), Miami Booker T. Washington (linebacker Matthew Thomas and lineman Denver Kirkland) and Fort Lauderdale University (wide receiver Jordan Cunningham and defensive tackle Maquedius Bain).

“It’s exciting that all three of us are here,’’ said Callahan, who is coaching defensive backs. “I enjoy doing this kind of thing. I’ve done the Army and Marines games, and to do this one with my kids, it’s just cool that we can all be here together.”

A lot of players at Under Armour don’t come from top-notch programs and aren’t used to playing in big games or facing college talent almost weekly, and that becomes obvious almost immediately, Callahan said. But the Hawks duo fit right in.

“Our kids are not in awe at all, if anything they look forward to these things,’’ Callahan said. “When you play teams like Bishop Gorman, Miami Central, Plant, Hillsborough and Largo, you’re playing some quality athletes right there.’’

MIXING IT UP: St. Petersburg Catholic’s Ryan Green is Rivals’ No. 2 all-purpose back and ranked sixth at his position by ESPN. But depth at that position – and a more pass-happy set of offenses – have the Florida State commit playing receiver and returning punts, although he is also getting reps in the backfield.

Green is listed on Team Nitro’s depth chart as a wide receiver, and has seen most of his action at slot receiver.

Rated No. 2 in the Tampa Bay Times’ HomeTeam100, but coming back from a shoulder injury that limited his senior season to one highlight-filled game – 196 yards rushing, four touchdowns and a 73-yard touchdown reception – Green has made a few nice catches at his new spot, and dropped a few as well.

“I was a little rusty coming out,’’ said Green, who is excited and open to the opportunity to play receiver.

“I figure they want to get me in space, to make things happen.”

Another standout Florida rusher, Tarean Folston, spent some of practice this week at defensive back, where he is listed on the Team Highlight depth chart.

The uncommitted, 5-foot-9 star from Cocoa was among the state’s leaders with more than 1,700 rushing yards in the fall.

RECRUITING ROOMMATES: A lot of the committed players will spend the week trying to persuade many of the undeclared players to follow them to their respective colleges.

Green is rooming with undeclared wide receiver prospect Stacy Coley (Oakland Park Northeast), who has the Seminoles on his list.

Both players were recruited by Eddie Gran, who left last month for another job.

But Green says he’s not putting on any high-pressure sales job, unless you count walking around the hotel room in FSU gear.

“I don’t like to pressure him,” Green said. “I’m just asking him what he’s feeling or what’s he looking for, and I tell him why I committed to FSU.’’

WHO’S NEXT? While it wouldn’t be a surprise to see East Lake’s Artavis Scott invited to this game next year, Green is predicting the next pick from St. Petersburg will be Northeast quarterback Ryan Davis.

USF INTEREST: Although USF has no commits in Friday’s game, that doesn’t mean the Bulls aren’t actively recruiting players in a game hosted in their backyard.

Running back Alvin Kamara said one of the last coaches he has spoken with is new USF assistant Raymond Woodie, who began contacting him last week.

“I was actually busy at the time, so he just chatted up for a little bit,” said Kamara, a Norcross, Ga., standout and ESPN’s No. 37 overall prospect.

Kamara said his top two targets are Alabama and Georgia, with “some other schools trickling in at the bottom,” and that he hopes to make a decision before signing day.

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE: Day 3 of practice goes from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and will be aired on ESPNU from 3-6 p.m. Players will then meet with the media during a luncheon before the skills challenge, which will be shown tape-delayed at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. Wharton's Vernon Hargreaves III will compete.

DR. PHILLIPS STAR STILL OUT: Florida commitment Marcell Harris, ESPN’s No. 7-ranked safety who missed Orlando Dr. Phillips’ postseason run that included victories over Wharton, Plant and East Lake, looks like he may also miss Friday's game as he continues to watch practices. Harris injured his MCL during the high school season. 

Under Armour All-America Game
When: 5 p.m. Friday
Where: Tropicana Field
TV: ESPN
Tickets: General admission tickets are $18, and four-ticket bundles $48. Call 1-800-745-3000 or visit TicketMaster.com.

Compiled by staff writers Matt Baker and John C. Cotey. 

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