- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Senior offensive guard Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) was presented his honorary game jersey Friday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.
Mustipher, a Notre Dame commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank God because without the talents and blessings he has provide me with ... I would not be here today. Secondly, I would like to thank my family, especially my parents. All the sacrifices they have made for me throughout my life, I could not be more grateful. They have made it possible for me to be up here today standing before all of you. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff here at Good Counsel. They have provided a great platform for me to excel academically and athletically while here. Last but not least, I would like to thank my teammates and coaches … they provided me with everything I need. The brotherhood. I’ve made some great friendships here over the last four years. I love you and y’all have pushed me to be the greatest player I can be.”
Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy says playing in the UA game will be a preview for the next level for his star lineman.
“Getting the chance to play against the best in the country will be a little preview in January because he is going to the University of Notre Dame, so he’ll continue to play the best in the country. Sam will be fine. He is 6-4, 290 -- he’s not afraid to get in the weight room and he’s smart and driven; so I can’t wait to see the game.”
For Mustipher, playing in the UA game is all about competition and learning as he readies for the next level.
"I decided to accept the invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game because I just like to compete. The game provides a measuring stick before I get to Notre Dame as far as competition goes, too. I know the guys that are going to be playing are going to be the best in the country. I love to compete and have fun against different guys, and I can’t wait. I’m most looking forward to getting coaching from the guys down there. They have been where I hope to get in life; they know the ins and outs of life, college, the NFL, and of technique. I can't wait to learn from them."
The 6-foot-3, 294-pound Mustipher is a four-star prospect and the No. 16 ranked guard in the class. He committed to Notre Dame over offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Northwestern, Penn State and several others.
15dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf