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January 2, 2009

Under Armour Friday: Black Hot 11

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The final day of practice before Sunday's Under Armour All-American Game is in the books. Which Black team performers closed with standout days? Rivals.com breaks it down in the Hot 11.

Black Team Hot 11 - Friday
6-2/184, Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook
Though overshadowed most of the week by other receivers, Boyd had his best day of practice on Friday. During seven-on-seven drills, he caught several passes on the sideline while managing to stay in bounds. He is a big target who the quarterbacks had no problem finding open. Boyd ran very crisp routes and was almost always in the right place as soon as he turned around.
6-3/183, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
The Ohio State commitment caught pretty much everything thrown to him Friday. After coming up just short on a one-handed diving grab, observers were almost disappointed as they had come to expect him to make every catch. During goal-line drills, he grabbed fade passes in the corner with one hand on two successive plays. He also showed great sideline awareness as he hauled in several receptions while dragging his toes. Carter more than makes up for a lack of great speed with precision route-running and hands.
6-0/170, Sanford (Fla.) Seminole
Though it doesn't sound like a compliment to say that one almost forgets about the five-star playmaker while watching the receivers, it definitely is one. Debose simply makes plays. He makes them often. Since he always does his job and is in the right place, he is easy to forget as one of the most reliable targets around. He had several nice grabs in the middle of both single and double coverage on Friday that showed why he is so highly rated.
6-4/215, Sanford (Fla.) Seminole
The four-star rush end drew high praise from offensive tackle Paden Kelley, who called him "the toughest man to block this week." The Black team quarterbacks didn't have much time to throw on Friday and Dye was a big reason. He was frequently in the passer's face and was able to keep them from tucking and running. Though he needs to add some bulk to be able to compete against college offensive tackles, he appears to be able to do so without losing his quickness.
6-4/205, Austin (Texas) Lake Travis
The five-star Texas commit had his most impressive day of practice on Friday. While he overthrew his receivers a couple of times, he showed nice touch on deep balls as well as solid velocity on midrange throws. He threw a perfectly timed fade route to Carter that would have been impossible for any defensive back to break up. Though each quarterbacks has struggled at times, Gilbert has been the most consistent of the three on the Black team.
6-3/195, Norcross (Ga.)
On a day when the wide receivers clearly outplayed the secondary, Kent was one of the lone bright spots among defensive backs. Though playing safety, he looked like a cornerback, showing exceptional ball skills. He jumped a quick out route for a pick-six in 11-on-11 and had two other interceptions on the day. Though built like a big wide receiver, Kent appears to have the ability to play safety very effectively at the next level.
6-0/275, Greenville (Fla.) Madison County
Dominant is a word often used this week to describe McDaniel. Though he has had some good one-on-one battles with Mason Walters, McDaniel has been unstoppable. He continued on Friday as the offense struggled to run the ball or throw screens when McDaniel was in the middle. Had full contact been allowed, he would have had several sacks. He was equally dominant in stopping the run and rushing the passer.
ATH Greg Reid
5-9/175, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes
Reid has been the best defensive back on either squad all week. He could play running back or wide receiver at the next level, but he has proven his worth at corner. Reid had an interception against all three quarterbacks on Friday and has a knack for finding the ball. He can make up ground to jump a route a lot faster than quarterbacks expect. He may not have great size, but he makes up for it with intelligence and quickness. He was the only defensive back able to hold Carter in check Friday.
6-0/230, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
On a team with only four linebackers, Smith is the lone inside player in the group. His physique looks like a fullback's, but he has shown an ability to come up and fill the gaps. Offensive lineman Thomas Ashcraft complimented him, saying that Smith was "one of the two toughest guys to block all week." Smith made sure the Black team's running backs had almost zero rushing yardage. Though he needs to slim down a bit, Smith also manned the middle of the field on slant routes effectively.
5-8/173, Greenville (Fla.) Madison County
Though small in stature, Thompson has been the most impressive Black team running back this week. Despite being hobbled by a slight injury, he has shown that he is a true all-purpose back by catching several passes out the backfield and turning them into big gains. He was a favorite target of Gilbert's on Friday as the QBs didn't have much time to throw. He was able to turn what seemed like broken plays into big yardage by using his shiftiness after the catch.
6-7/310, Wolfforth (Texas) Frenship
The big lineman continues to show his versatility while lining up at both center and left tackle. Perhaps the biggest high school center in the country, Walters has a great ability to block nose guards. However, he was also able to make a smooth transition to the outside and block the rush end as well. The only defensive lineman who has given him a problem this week is McDaniel, but that is a common theme for all offensive linemen. In limited full speed work Friday, Walters never allowed pressure on the quarterback.



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