Throughout this past week top high school prospects from around the country gathered in Orlando, Fla. for the annual Under Armour All-American Game. Players were separated into two teams during the week-long activities of practices and competitions.
On Thursday night, the two teams battled inside Camping World Stadium. The showdown featured four Florida Gators signees and several other key prospects.
Below Armchair examines the production of Emory Jones, Kyle Pitts, Trey Dean and Evan McPherson during Thursday nights’ Under Armour All-American Game.
QB Emory Jones (Franklin, Ga.) – Gators fans were tuned in to see a glimpse of what’s to come over the next few years from their future quarterback. Unfortunately for Jones (6-foot-3, 195-pounds), he was limited in opportunities to show off his arm and sling the football. The early enrollee quarterback only threw the ball three times during the game, connecting on one attempt. His final stat line was 1/3 passing for 9 yards with an added 8 yards on the ground.
Jones was primarily used to hand the football off. The restricted playbook while Jones was in the game apparently frustrated the high school All-American, as he posted this tweet following the game:
— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) January 5, 2018
The Gators new quarterback won’t be thinking about this game for long, as he enrolls at the University of Florida this weekend. By joining the program early, Jones will have extra time to build relationships with teammates and fully grasp the offensive playbook.
TE Kyle Pitts (Warminster, Pa.) – The versatile tight end didn’t receive as much action as he would have hoped, reeling in one pass for 11 yards. Despite the lack of passes thrown his way, Pitts (6-foot-6, 235-pounds) had several excellent blocks to create a lane for the ball carrier. In a Dan Mullen-coached offense, the ability to block and catch the football will generate any player a greater amount of snaps. The tight end position hasn’t contributed much production to the Gators’ offenses in recent years. With the skilled Pitts arriving on campus this weekend, Florida will plan to get him involved early and often.
DB Trey Dean (Hampton, Ga.) – Dean (6-foot-3, 180-pounds) arguably had the best performance of the Gators early enrollees on Thursday night. The 4-star defensive back was all over the field, and his ability to play either corner or safety is going to help him transition smoothly into a very athletic Gators secondary. Dean finished the all-star game with two pass-break-ups and one tackle. His best highlight came during the final play of the first half, when Penn State commit and number one wide receiver in the country, Justin Shorter, ran a fade route to the back corner of the end zone. Dean positioned himself perfectly to make a play on the ball and disrupt Shorter’s angle to catch the football. The future Gator has been described as the most physical defensive back in the class, and it certainly showed in that play. Dean also dropped an interception during the third quarter that would have rivaled the pass-break-up for his play of the night.
K Evan McPherson (Fort Payne, Ala.) – After Florida lost Eddy Pineiro to the NFL Draft, Dan Mullen was able to flip former Mississippi State commit Evan McPherson. Last night, McPherson (6-foot, 165-pounds) handled his business and booted both of his extra point attempts through the uprights. The Gators new kicker also held the responsibility of performing kick-offs for his team. McPherson had an easy night hitting extra points, but he was on the wrong end of an #SCTop10 hurdle from Xavier Peters on one kick-off. McPherson played it off well on social media and had a good laugh about the play.