Many of the nation’s premier prospects around will play in a pair of upcoming Blue-Grey All-American Games, the first on Dec. 22 at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The second gathering is on Jan. 11 at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, you don’t have to wait until both games take place a couple of months from now to find out how talented the expected participants are in the Class of 2014. We’ve got you covered. On a weekly basis, we”ll provide updates on players committed to the Blue-Grey All-American Game.
This space will serve as the destination for some much-needed insight on the gridiron goings on for the country’s top recruits. You’ll find information on each Blue-Grey All-American following their recent effort during the Friday Night Lights. That said, let’s look at who did what, when and how.
Luke Rubenzer (pictured), QB, Saguaro (AZ): One of the newer additions to the team from the West for the game in Texas, he was seemingly unstoppable in a 55-28 win over Higley (AZ). The Cal commit finished 15-of-17 for 357 yards with three touchdowns. Rubenzer also rushed for 151 yards and three scores.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Whitehouse (TX): The roster for the team from the West in Texas is loaded. Mahomes, of course, is one of the many talented prospects for that side. Need some proof? The Texas Tech commit threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-21 victory over Nagodoches (TZ).
Jake Whittenburg, WR, Perryton (TX): In a recent 44-6 win over Pampa (TX), he did a little bit of everything. And most of it well. Whittenberg ended with 64 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, he added 103 yards and three scores. He’s a member of the team from the West for the game in Texas.
Taylor Jackson, WR, Texas (TX): The 6-foot-3 and 195-pounder will present an enticing target for Rubenzer and Mahomes when he lines up in Texas for the team for the West. In the meantime, Arkansas has expressed varied levels of interest in Jackson, who leads his prep team in receptions and yards.
Wyatt Porter, QB, Helias (MO): The team from the East for the game in Texas is in good hands with him. Porter has thrown for 1,328 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. Equally effective on the ground when scrambling, he’s gained 522 rushing yards on 74 carries, an average of seven yards per carry.
Michael Fellers, WR, Miami East (OH): Don’t be surprised if he emerges as a go-to-guy for Porter as a member of the East for the game in Texas. Fellers is averaging 29 yards per reception this season, with a long of 84. He can stretch the field vertically with some of the best in the business at this level.
Gavin Dicken, WR, Eastern Alamance (NC): A member of the team from the East for the upcoming game being held in Texas, he played well in a 35-17 victory over Rockingham County (NC). Dick finished with 52 yards on four receptions. Two of his catches, in fact, led to touchdowns for teammates.
Nicoe Pless, WR, EE Smith (NC): He’s a jack-of-all-trades type. There’s nothing that Pless can’t do. He averages 16 yards per reception, 18 yards per kickoff return and 25 yards per punt return. Pless also plays defense. That type of versatility bodes well for the team from the East in the game in Texas.
Austin Thompson, WR, Yuba City (CA): The opponent, Woodland (CA), had no answer for him in a 35-8 loss to Thompson & Co. Come to think of it, plenty of teams have struggled against him considering that Thompson has scored 66 points this season. He’s a member of the East for the game in Texas.
Austin Stilley, LB, Ledford (NC): He gave the coaching staff from East Rowan (NC) absolute fits throughout a 41-14 victory. Stilley was all over the field, sideline to sideline, and ended up with 11 tackles, eight solo stops. Expect him to make plays for the team from the East during the game in Texas.
Hunter Johnson, OL, Bozeman (FL): When the selection process took place for the game in Texas, he was an easy pick for the team from the East. His stats measure up with most out there. Johnson runs a 5.3 in the 40-yard dash. He bench presses more than 350 pounds and also squats close to 400.
Christopher Stafford, OL, West Warwick (RI): Don’t get in the way of the big man down in the trenches. Many have tried and were unsuccessful in the process. At 6-2 and 280-plus pounds, Stafford has ideal size for the next level and colleges are interested in the member of the East for the game in Texas.
Ryan Payne, OL, St. Charles (MO): He can play several positions along the line of scrimmage. The spot doesn’t matter. However, Payne appears most comfortable in the middle when he’s lined up at center. Chances are, Payne will work closely with the quarterback for the East during the game in Texas.
Eithen Sheets, DE, West Wilkes (NC): Another physical specimen on the East for the game in Dallas, he is more than capable of holding his own on his side of the ball. Sheets has been timed at 5.2 in the 40-yard dash and that kind of explosiveness helps him reach the quarterback from his spot on the edge.
Gary Stauffer, DE, Royal Valley (KS): A member of the team from the East for the game in Texas, he has been about as steady as they come this year. Stauffer averages four tackles per game, as well as a sack every time he steps on the field. He must be accounted for all times, this much is fairly certain.
Ethan Fugitt, DE, Oak Grove (MO): When it comes to numbers, he has some of the best statistics of anyone on the team from the East for the game in Texas. Fugitt is a workout warrior. He’s clocked a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. His vertical measures 32 inches. For good measure, he benches 365 and squats 525.
Author: Sean Ceglinsky
Sean Ceglinsky is a freelance writer based out in Los Angeles (Calif.) and has been covering sports in the Golden State, and on the West Coast, for the better part of the past 15 years. He will be a regular contributor for the Blue-Grey All-American Game. Follow him on Twitter: @SeanCeglinsky