Here are the top storylines for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4.
The quarterbacks and skill position players get all the attention, but football is won in the trenches, and that's where this preview will begin. Often in all-star games, the offensive line is overwhelmed. That's to be somewhat expected, because offensive line is about teamwork, and with a scant four practices, the line simply doesn't have time to gel.
The most important thing to watch will be individual match-ups. And this contest should feature plenty of good ones.
Three superstar defensive linemen will be on hand from the Peach State. Georgia's Robert Nkemdiche (uncommitted, but thought to be a heavy lean to Ole Miss), Carl Lawson (a very shaky Auburn commit) and Montravius Adams (uncommitted, but thought to be leaning to Clemson) are all in the conversation for the honor of best defensive lineman in the country.
A second group of ends should not be underrated. They include Ohio State commit Joey Bosa, who checks in at a 6'5, 270 pounds and Chris Jones, an extremely underrated Mississippi State commitment. Other star pass rushers include Louisiana's Tim Williams, Florida's DeMarcus Walker (committed to Alabama), New York's Ebenezer Ogundeko (undecided) and Indiana's Elijah Daniel, a former Clemson commitment.
Aside from Adams and Dee Liner, the defensive tackle position is quite underwhelming.
The headliners on the offensive line include Notre Dame commitment Hunter Bivin, Na'Ty Rodgers (uncommitted, but expected to pledge to South Carolina), Maryland commitment Derwin Gray, Pitt commitment Dorian Johnson, Michigan commitments Logan Tuley-Tillman, Patrick Kugler and David Dawson, Tyrone Crowder (undecided, but leaning to Clemson) and Florida State commitment Ira Denson.
Receivers v. Secondary
The battles between the receivers and the secondary should be great.
Baylor commit Robbie Rhodes, Alabama commit Robert Foster, USC commit Sebastian LaRue, and Oklahoma State commit Damore'ea Stringfellow will all be in action. A host of uncommitted receiver wills also be showing up, including Stacy Coley, Laquon Treadwell, and Jordan Cunningham.
The secondary group is even stronger, featuring Max Redfield (undecided, but likely to commit to Notre Dame), Ohio State commits Jalin Marshall and Cam Burrows, Priest Willis (undecided), Antonio Conner (undecided, but likely to commit to Ole Miss), Alabama commit Maurice Smith, Florida commits Vernon Hargreaves III, Marcell Harris and Keanu Neal, and uncommitted DBs Vonn Bell and Leon McQuay III.
The quarterback position features a good, but somewhat inconsistent group of recruits, consisting of Christian Hackenberg (Penn State commit), Zack Greenlee (Fresno State commit), Cooper Bateman (Alabama commit), Shane Morris (Michigan commit), Brice Ramsey (Georgia commit) and Kevin Olsen (Miami commit).
At one point or another, both Hackenberg and Morris were considered five-star recruits by various recruiting services, but they'll have to show it on the field.
Texas A&M commitment Kohl Stewart won't be participating, which means both teams will have three quarterbacks.
Incredibly, the most interesting recruiting team at the game might be Ole Miss. I recently wrote about the Rebels' resurgence here, and Lawson and Daniel will also be checking out Ole Miss.
The separation between Michigan, Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten continues to be a theme. In total, the Big Ten is represented by 13 commitments, and 11 of them are headed to Ann Arbor (6) or Columbus (5). If recruiting is any indication, the Big Ten's drought of elite teams will soon end as those two recruiting classes mature.