ORLANDO, Fla. — As all-star games go, Saturday’s Under Armour All-America Game was the sort of exhibition you’d expect when you try to put together a football team of 18-year-olds in one week.
Officially, Team Highlight defeated Team Armour 27-0 , but the real winner was anybody playing on defense.
Team Highlight averaged all of 2.0 yards per carry on 30 rushes. Team Armour was worse, gaining 34 yards on 27 rushing attempts. Team Highlight quarterbacks Malik Henry (Florida State), Dwayne Haskins (Maryland) and Jack Allison (Miami) combined for 201 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Team Armour quarterbacks Matt Fink (USC), Ja Guarantano (Tennessee) and Woody Barrett (Auburn) weren’t nearly as good, hitting 8 of 20 passes for 86 yards and two interceptions.
“All-Star games are slighted toward the defense,” Team Highlight and former NFL coach Herm Edwards said. “The offense really only has three days to work together, so you just hope they don’t turn the ball over and maybe make a few catches so you can score some points.”
Eddie McDoom (Oregon), Dionte Mullins (Miami) and A.J. Brown (uncommitted) caught the touchdown passes. Florida State commitment Ricky Aguayo, younger brother of FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo, kicked 23 and 29-yard field goals.
MVP separates himself
Team Highlight defensive tackle Rashan Gary of Paramus, New Jersey — the No. 1-rated recruit in the country — had six tackles, three of them sacks and was the runaway choice for game MVP. Gary is uncommitted and has a host of teams after him, including LSU.
“Players separate themselves at every level and he’s going to do that quickly,” Edwards said. “I’ve been doing this five years and he’s one of the best I’ve seen.”
Team Armour coach Steve Mariucci added: “He’s a special player. We had to keep a running back in and tell him ‘Find 55 (Gary); he could be anywhere.’ We had to do the same thing with Robert Nkemdiche a couple of years ago. Rashan is that good.”
DE Anthony shines
Karr defensive end Andre Anthony, an LSU commitment, was one of the last players added to the Under Armour roster, but he made his presence felt all week during practice and kept it going in the game. Anthony used his quickness and strength to get in the opposing backfield often. He had two tackles and a sack.
“It was great playing with these guys,” Anthony said. “I came in late, but I think I definitely made my presence known. We’re going to have a great recruiting class and I’m trying to get all the guys from New Orleans to come up and join us.”
No timetable for Haskins
Haskins — who is committed to Maryland but still considering LSU, among others — said he isn’t sure when he’ll announce where he intends to play football.
“I’m not in any rush,” said Haskins, who completed 6 of 10 passes for 43 yards in Saturday’s game. “Whenever I make a decision, I’ll let everyone know.”
Haskins is verbally committed to Maryland since May, but the firing of coach Randy Edsall has caused some uncertainty. Haskins has already taken trips to Florida and Ohio State and plans to visit LSU, Texas A&M and Maryland before making his final decision.