By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Mississippi State commits dominated the Alabama-Mississippi roster in December. Ole Miss had no commitments in the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday at Tropicana Field, but the Rebels were a hot topic.
Ole Miss is getting a lot of that publicity because No. 1 defensive end and the nation’s top recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, has the Rebels atop his list a month away from national signing day. Top receiver Laquon Treadwell is also considering Ole Miss, as is No. 2 defensive end Carl Lawson, an Auburn verbal.
Houston defensive end Chris Jones and South Panola safety Antonio Conner gave Mississippi two All-Americans. Jones had three tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. He also had two forced fumbles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.
Teams Nitro and Highlight combined for a total of 25 yards rushing. Nitro went backwards, losing 21 yards on 19 carries. Each team ran 19 times. The two combined for 227 total yards, 139 of them for Highlight. They combined to go 3 for 30 on third down.
There were plenty of recognizable faces on the sidelines of Tropicana Field. Former Florida State quarterback and Heisman winner Chris Weinke served as Highlight’s offensive coordinator. Former Penn State linebacker and No. 2 NFL Draft pick LaVar Arrington helped throughout practice week and former MLB and NFL star Deion Sanders coached defensive backs for Team Nitro.
Five players made their college commitments during the ESPN-televised game: Louisiana ATH Kendell Beckwith (LSU), New York DE Ebenezer Ogundeko (Clemson), Georgia ILB Trey Johnson (Ohio State), California ATH Max Redfield (Notre Dame) and Florida S Leon McQuary III (Southern Cal).
The Tampa Bay Rays averaged 19,255 fans at Tropicana Field last season. There were 20,087 fans at the Under Armour game.