Under Armour notes: No. 1 recruit creates stir with new No. 1? (with video)



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Mon. January 2, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Under Armour notes: No. 1 recruit creates stir with new No. 1? (with video)

ORLANDO — Mario Edwards Jr., the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country, told reporters Monday afternoon that Texas is No. 1 on his list of suitors.

What does that mean? Florida State fans are hoping nothing.

Edwards Jr., of Denton, Texas, has orally committed to FSU. Rather, make that has tenuously committed to the Seminoles as the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end continues to confound as he seeks the perfect fit.

“Because I visited Texas, Texas would be tops,’’ said Edwards after Monday’s Under Armour All-Star Game practice at the Disney Sports Complex. “Then LSU (second), FSU (third).’’

Despite looking around since September, Edwards Jr. had stated that FSU, where his father was a cornerback, was still his No. 1. Until Monday.

There was also a brief flirtation with Oklahoma, where it was even reported that he was “leaning” toward the Sooners.  Now Texas is on top, after a visit that apparently went much better than his trip to Norman.

Edwards Jr. will visit FSU and LSU in the two weeks following Thursday’s Under Armour game at Tropicana Field.

Good day, Dante: Lakewood’s Dante Fowler Jr., playing for Team Blur, was impressive during drills, teaming with fellow FSU commitments Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher to dominate action in the one-on-ones.

“This was my best practice so far,” said Fowler, wearing the same No. 6 he wore as a Spartan. “I’m still trying to play through this sprained ankle, but it was good.”

All three showed great quickness off the line, and Edwards Jr. was clearly the most powerful.

During one sequence, he head faked offensive lineman and LSU commit Vadal Alexander and got around him untouched. Alexander was then told by coaches not to look at Edwards Jr.’s head, just his number, and to get back in there. The very next play, the head fake didn’t work, so Edwards Jr. just powered through the 300-pounder from Georgia.

Casher, who transferred high schools last season in Alabama and as a result was not allowed to play during the fall, was also dominant at times.

“We all like to go out there and compete,” Fowler said. “It’s just fun. We were having a competition to see who could go out and beat the tackles the most.”

Day to day for Agholor: There’s still no word from Berkeley Prep star Nelson Agholor on whether he will play Thursday for Team Highlights.

Agholor has a nagging shoulder injury and watched practice in sweats. It is unlikely he will practice this week and will be a game-time decision.

Going out in style: While most of the talk this week is about college and the impact the players will have on the next level, Thursday’s game will be the last one for a while for Blur quarterback Tanner Mangum.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Eagle, Idaho, is headed to Brigham Young, but not until 2014 when he completes a two-year mission.
Mangum won’t find out where or what his mission will entail until the spring, but he’s looking forward to it.

“It’s a decision I made at an early, early age so I’ve known for a long time,” said Mangum, one of the best prep players Idaho has ever produced. “It’ll be nice to focus on something else and not be solely focused on football. It is a little different compared to others. But it’s just a way of life for me.”

According to an ESPN.com story, his father and one of his older brothers both served missions, and another brother is currently serving one in Texas.

Mangum was unknown nationally in the spring (he committed to BYU in April) but a series of strong showings at quarterback camps like the Elite 11 helped him become the first player from Idaho to earn an Under Armour invitation.

Lauded for a high football IQ, quick release and strong arm, Mangum completed 265 of 392 passes last season for 3,879 yards and 35 touchdowns.

“It’s definitely a step up here,” Mangum said. “The speed, the size and quickness. But I like that. It’s a challenge for me, and it’s helping me get better. At the same time, Idaho does have some talent. I’m proud to be from that state.”

Mangum says he couldn’t pick any better way to go out — albeit for just a few years — as a prep standout.

“I’m not really thinking about that too much at all,” he said. “I know I have more football ahead. I’m not too emotional. I’m just trying to have fun and soak up this atmosphere This is awesome.”

John C. Cotey can be reached at cotey@tampabay.com.

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