- Jamie Newberg, RecruitingNation
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On Friday, Oxford (Ala.) High School seniors Kwon Alexander, Trae Elston and Michael Flint were presented their game jerseys for the Under Armour All-American Game presented by American Family Life Insurance.
"I am very proud of all of them," said John Grass, Oxford's coach. "It's an honor to have one of your own selected in this game and we have three. I think it's great for the community, school and our football program."
Oxford is 8-1 going into its final game Friday against Phenix City (Ala.) Central despite missing Alexander. In the fourth game of the season, he sustained a season-ending knee injury.
"I will not be able to play in the game because I have a torn ACL," Alexander said. "But I will be down there and I am excited about it even if I have to be a spectator. It felt good to put on that jersey today. I feel like I am ready to play again. I appreciate Under Armour still recognizing me.
"My injury was kind of a freak thing. We were winning big but the team we were playing was coming back. So the [starters] were put back in. I made two big plays in a row. Then they ran away from me and I started to chase. I planted and heard a pop. I had surgery two days later."
Alexander, 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, is the No. 3 outside linebacker, No. 27 overall, and No. 3 overall in the state of Alabama.
"Oh yea we have missed him," Elston said. "It's hard but you just have to get the next guy in. The defense has still played well."
This past weekend Alexander made his first official visit and that was to LSU.
"LSU was a really good visit," Alexander said. "I think it went great. The coaches were cool and so were the players. I loved the atmosphere. It's just a good place to be."
For now, Alexander said he will have to shuffle some things up with his visits. Still, he knows of two more for sure that he will take.
"I think they are going to change around," Alexander said. "I know I will visit Florida State and Oregon. Alabama and Auburn are in the hunt for sure but I probably won't waste an official visit on those two because they are close and in-state schools."
Elston, 6-0 and 180 pounds, is the No. 9 safety in the country and No. 11 recruit from the state of Alabama. He's one of the team's most important players on both sides of the ball.
"Trae is having a great senior year," Grass said. "He's doing it both on offense and defense, as a receiver and safety, and making plays all over field."
Elston was excited about the opportunity to play in the Under Armour All-America Game and knows he has worked hard and improved in every facet of his game.
"When they offered me I took it," Elston said. "I really wanted to play in the game. They were the first to invite me to something like this. I know how big and good of a game this is. I have worked hard and improved in my coverage skills and in run support."
Elston, like Alexander, is undecided. Right now he favors three schools.
"I am talking with Tennessee, Florida and Georgia a lot," said Elston, a four-star recruit. "I will make official visits to those schools and wait until after the season. Right now it's likely that I am leaving the state."
Flint, 6-3 and 305 pounds, is a three-star offensive line prospect. He was very nervous at the ceremony and can't believe he got to put on the Under Armour jersey.
"It was great," Flint said. "When they first invited me I didn't know what to expect. And I have to say it's a great thing to take part in. Today, I was shaking and nervous and loving it the whole time. This is something I dreamed about."
Flint, the No. 12 offensive guard prospect in the country and No. 15 from the state of Alabama, was once an Auburn commitment but backed off that decision a few months ago.
"I just made a decision too early," Flint said. "I knew I had to open things back up and I wanted to start visiting some schools. The one school I have really been talking to a lot is Georgia Tech. I am in the process of setting one up with them right now and will likely take all my visits after the season. I am also talking with West Virginia, Texas Tech, Tennessee and Clemson."
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Oxford trio receives their Under Armour jerseys.