The Under Armour All-American game on Jan.5th and U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan.8th serve as a showcase for the top high school football players across the country, and mark the final stretch of the recruiting season each year.
Once again, the USC Trojans will be well represented in both games by current commitments like Max Wittek, George Farmer and DeAnthony Thomas.
Along with the committed players, several other talented prospects that are considering the Men of Troy, including Greg Townsend Jr. and Marqise Lee, will have a chance to test themselves against the best players in the 2011 class.
The Under Armour game in Orlando (FL) will include four Trojan commitments with Max Wittek, Antwaun Woods, Andre Heidari and Peter McBride participating on the White Team.
Wittek, McBride and Heidari are all early enrollees that recently signed their financial aid agreements with USC, and will be able to participate in spring practices in March.
Wittek, a four-star signal caller from Mater Dei High School, is one of three quarterbacks that will get the chance to lead the White Team, and it’s collection of future stars.
Greg Townsend will make his college choice at the Under Armour game.
The 6-3, 205-pound quarterback passed for 24 touchdowns this season and added six rushing touchdowns.
Wittek is the latest Mater Dei quarterback to continue his playing career at USC, following in the footsteps of Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and current starter Matt Barkley.
With UCLA commit Brett Hundley leading the Red Team; we could be getting a sneak peak at the future of the Crosstown Rivalry.
Also on display this week in Orlando is the Trojans’ new emphasis on special teams, with long snapper Peter McBride and kicker Andre Heidari occupying the only two special teams roster spots for the White Team.
First-year special teams coach John Baxter made an immediate impact for the Trojans in 2010, and his reputation as one of the best assistant coaches in the business - along with the chance for early playing time, has McBride and Heidari excited about their futures at USC.
Four-star defensive tackle Antwaun Woods will be representing the Trojans along the defensive line.
Woods, who gave his verbal commitment to USC last year on Signing Day, is one of the most intriguing prospects in the game. The 6-1, 310-pound lineman has a ton of potential but had an up and down senior season, so it will be telling to see him matchup against guards like Cyrus Hobbi.
Hobbi and Christian Westerman are two players that Max Wittek will likely try and convince to join him at USC.
Both linemen plan to visit USC in January, and you can be sure that Wittek would love to have the two impressive prospects from Arizona protecting him in the pocket.
Westerman is currently committed to Texas but has started looking around after the recent coaching staff shakeup in Austin.
Other offensive players to keep an eye on during the week of practice in Orlando include: Cyrus Kouandjio, Savon Huggins, Amir Carlisle and Devon Blackmon.
Of the uncommitted players on the defensive side of the ball, Greg Townsend Jr. and Marqise Lee are two local players that would be great additions to USC’s 2011 class.
Securing commitments from these two recruits down the stretch could take USC’s class from being very good to one of the very best in the nation, which would be an impressive accomplishment for Lane Kiffin and his staff.
Townsend is one of the premiere defensive ends in the country and would add to the Trojans’ already-impressive defensive line class.
The five-star standout from Beverly Hills High school plans to make his college choice during the Under Armour game, with USC and TCU considered the frontrunners.
Serra WR/DB Marqise Lee was overshadowed by Robert Woods and George Farmer last year as a junior, but this season he has emerged as one of the most dynamic players on the West Coast.
Lee has the ability to play on either side of the ball in college but will focus on safety during the week of practice in Orlando. He has interest in USC, Oregon and Cal and remains a very high priority for the Trojans.
6-3, 266-pound defensive tackle Christian Heyward is another player that is interested in the Trojans.
The big defensive lineman from San Diego hasn’t revealed much about his recruitment, but his high school coach recently told Scout’s Brandon Huffman that Heyward is down to USC, UCLA, Arizona and Oregon.
Heyward will take official visits to UCLA and Oregon after the Under Armour game and plans to host USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron for an in-home visit in January as well.
Other defensive players to keep an eye on during the week of practice in Orlando include: Erique Florence, Ryan Henderson and Anthony Chickillo.
* The Under Armour All-American game airs on ESPN at 4 p.m. PST on Jan. 5th.
Antwaun Woods is one of four USC commits in the Under Armour game on Jan. 5th.
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