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January 4, 2013Michigan fans will be tuning in en masse to see a number of Wolverine commits - and a few targets - in action at the Under Armour All-America Game tonight. Here's what to watch for.
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
When: 5 p.m.EST
How to Watch: Live on ESPN.
The Players to Watch
• Warren (Mich.) De La Salle quarterback Shane Morris (White, No. 12)
• Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman David Dawson (White, No. 55)
• Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny offensive lineman Pat Kugler (White, No. 57)
• Baltimore Gilman defensive tackle Henry Poggi (White, No. 17)
• Peoria (Ill.) Manual offensive lineman Logan Tuley-Tillman (White, No. 72)
• (Out with Injury) Trotwood (Ohio) Madison linebacker Mike McCray (White, No. 9)
• Corona (Calif.) Centennial offensive lineman Cameron Hunt (White, No. 78)
• Seffner (Fla.) Armwood safety Leon McQuay III (Black, No. 22)
• Crete (Ill.) Monee wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (White, No. 4)
In-State Players: None (outside of U-M commits)
Big Ten Commits:
• Trotwood (Ohio) Madison cornerback Cam Burrows (Ohio State)
• Middletown (Ohio) athlete Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)
• Massillon (Ohio) Washington cornerback Gareon Conley (Ohio State)
• Riverside (Calif.) North tight end Marcus Baugh (Ohio State)
• Washington (D.C.) Friendship Academy offensive lineman Derwin Gray (Maryland. This is a Big Ten team now).
• Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive lineman Joey Bosa (Ohio State)
• Fork Union (Va.) quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)
• (out with injury) Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff tight end Adam Breneman (Penn State)
The biggest storyline for this one may be the on-air commitment of Seffner (Fla.) Armwood safety Leon McQuay III during the game. The five-star is scheduled to make his pledge during the fourth quarter, and Michigan is among the schools he's considering. As of late last night, we believed it to be very unlikely that he would pick Michigan, but developments this morning make it a possibility - albeit a slim one - that he dons a Maize and Blue cap.
Other important storylines to watch include the presence of all six Michigan commitments on the same team. With prospect Cameron Hunt joining three future Michigan linemen on Team Nitro (white), the front five can include four Wolverines at any given time - with Pat Kugler snapping it to Shane Morris, as well. Team Nitro looks to be the stronger squad up front (especially given injuries over the course of the week to Highlight offensive linemen), even though they don't have the star power of No. 1 national recruit Robert Nkemdiche.
I expect Team Nitro to have a good performance based on that strength up front (I'm including the DL there, too, on which U-M commit Henry Poggi and Ohio State commit Joey Bosa are both VERY impressive in the middle), but anything can happen, and only watching a few days of practice doesn't give a great feel for either unit. Highlight's DBs are exceptional, led by McQuay and Team Tampa teammate Vernon Hargreaves, so it should be fun to watch.
Overall, it should be fun to watch, even if Michigan doesn't get the good recruiting news they're hoping for. It's Shane Morris last chance, in my opinion, to hold on to his fifth star, after having an up-and-down week of practice. He was already pretty close to the borderline, so a drop of more than just a couple spots could see him be among the top four-stars instead of lowest five-stars.
You can check out several of our updates over the course of the week to see full, in-depth stories as the festivities unfolded.