Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Home sweet home
By Corey Long ESPN Recruiting
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It was a happy homecoming for Tampa (Fla.) Alonso DE Anthony Chickillo.
Playing his final high school football game just 30 minutes from his house, the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder finished with 1½ sacks and a fumble recovery and earned MVP honors from the Red team.
Miami commit DE Anthony Chickillo earned MVP honors at the Under Armour All-America Game.
"I'm not going to forget this experience for the rest of my life," Chickillo said. "I've always been working for this. The days with my dad and he just wants me to strive to be the best."
Playing on the same defensive line as the nation's top-rated player Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe) meant Chickillo had to work extra hard to stand out.
"I really wanted to come out here and show the world what I've got," Chickillo added. "I might not be the strongest or the biggest, but I go 100 miles [an hour] on every play."
Chickillo, a soft Miami commit, will have an in-home visit with new Miami coach Al Golden. His next visit will be to Florida this weekend. He should expect to get plenty of attention from the new Gators coaching staff and current commits, such as quarterback Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty)
"I try to talk to him all the time," Driskel said of Chickillo. "I don't put too much pressure on him or anything, but I want to make sure he's got the Gators on his mind.
Hundley answers the call
Despite a rather inconsistent week of practice from quarterback Brett Hundley (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), the UCLA commit promised he'd be ready for the game.
And he delivered.
Hundley completed just one pass but it was big -- a 59-yard touchdown to Devon Blackmon (Fontana, Calif./Summit).
"I told him that if they came out in man coverage I was going to get him the ball," Hundley said. "They came out in man and it was just beautiful."
It might have been Hundley's way of reaching out to the previously uncommitted Blackmon as he was considering Oregon, USC and UCLA.
In the end Blackmon chose Oregon.
"I was hoping I could reel him in with that one but I think Oregon is a great choice for him and a great pickup for that program," Hundley said.
Johnson calls foul
Adding to the drama of Wednesday's game was the blocked field goal by Anthony Johnson (New Orleans, La./Perry Walker) that was called back because of a formation penalty.
Johnson said the Red team's victory is tainted.
"Oh yeah it's not legitimate and those guys know it," Johnson added. "The whole thing was a big conspiracy."
The blocked kick would have been a perfect ending for the 6-3, 300-pounder who finished with a half sack and three tackles.
"It was a great play call, and I blocked the kick," Johnson said. "The White team was stacked, everyone knew it so the refs started cheating us."
Coverage anyone? Max Wittek's (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) second touchdown pass gave the White squad a 22-21 lead with less than two minutes left.
What was even more shocking about the 49-yard bomb to Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta, Ga,/Valdosta) was that he was wide open.
"It was an all-go route and I don't really know who I burned, because there was no one there," Mitchell said. "I'm not sure what kind of coverage they were in. I guess that was a Cover Zero."
Collins vs. Clowney
One of the most intriguing battles of the game came when La'El Collins (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist) faced off against Clowney.
Collins, an LSU commit, played the nation's top-ranked prospect well after he had a lot of practice by going against future teammate Johnson in practice.
"You guys saw when La'El was in the game that Clowney didn't make any plays," Johnson said. "That tells you what kind of player La'El is because everyone knows how good Clowney is."
Clowney's big moments in the game came in the second quarter with he recorded both of his sacks and forced a fumble.
"I was trying to make some things happen on defense for a minute there," Clowney said. "It was a lot of fun and a great event.
Now it's back to the official visits circuit for Clowney. Which schools are next?
"Probably Alabama and Florida State," he said.
• White team MVP Jarvis Landry led all receivers with eight catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
• Bradley Sylve (Port Sulpher, La./South Plaquemines) had the first kickoff return for a touchdown in an Under Armour All-America Game. He went 91 yards in the third quarter.
• Wittek was 14-of-24 for a game-high 146 yards and two touchdown passes.
• Eli Rogers (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) caught the 43-yard pass from Kiehl Frazier (Greenland, Ark./Shiloh Christian) to set up Taylor Bertolet's (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) game-winning field goal. The Louisville commit finished with 125 all-purpose yards.
• Driskel led all rushers with 80 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at email@example.com.