The 2018 Under Armour All-American Game will be played on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 6 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The Under Armour game brings together some of the best high school players in the country, including No. 2-ranked QB Justin Fields, No. 3 WR Justin Shorter and No. 2 all-purpose back Ricky Slade.
The SEC has 28 players in the game, including five from Alabama.
2018 Under Armour All-American Game time
The Under Armour All-American Game will start at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 4.
2018 Under Armour All-American Game TV channel
ESPN2 will show the game live.
2018 Under Armour All-American Game live stream
You can stream the Under Armour All-American Game on WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app.
2018 Under Armour All-American Game notes
- I spoke with Justin Watkins, a 4-star wide receiver out of Florida, again on Tuesday. Watkins is down to Alabama and LSU. He’s expected to make his commitment on TV at the game on Thursday. I think these next few days could get a little weird for Watkins. He told me that he hasn’t notified either staff what his plans are as of yet. Watkins said he may just announce on Thursday and that’s how each school will find out his decision. There’s a problem, though. Neither school is ready to accept his commitment. Alabama has Justyn Ross, Jacob Copeland and Jaylen Waddle ahead of him on the board. LSU is only strongly recruiting one receiver at this time and it’s Ja’Marr Chase. Watkins is a very talented player and has been one of the top performers during the week, but the Tide aren’t in a position to take him right now. There could certainly be space in the weeks leading up to signing day. Right now, there’s not. From talking to people in Orlando this week, it seems like Watkins’ preferred destination is Tuscaloosa.
- Spoke with Stephon Wynn Jr., a 4-star defensive lineman who signed with Alabama, about his teammate at IMG Academy in 5-star running back Trey Sanders. Out of nowhere, Sanders de-committed from Alabama just a few hours before the playoff game. Here’s what Wynn had to say about Sanders’ decision: “He’s still a junior, so there’s still a lot of time left for him. He committed really early (April, 2016). He didn’t weigh any of his options. He wants to make sure Alabama is the right school for him. I think him de-committing is what’s best for him. I will be in his ear trying to get him back. That’s my boy.”
- Nicholas Petit-Frere, who has arguably been the best offensive lineman in attendance, watched the Alabama game. Petit-Frere, a 5-star prospect, has been the Tide’s top target on the offensive line for months. Here’s what he had to say about Alabama’s offensive line performance against Clemson: “They really played together. They came together and played as a team. I saw a lot of them pointing and figuring out exactly what they had to do. When teams are doing well, there’s a lot of communication on the offensive line. I saw that from them.”
Florida has five commits and several targets competing in Orlando this week. Here are the news and notes from Day 3:
- Florida DB signee Trey Dean was the top performer Monday among the future Gators. He has been the most physical cornerback in Orlando this week and his cover skills are elite. Dean had an interception and was aggressive in the secondary all day. He drove 5-star wide receiver Devon Williams out of bounds on one play and also got into a scuffle with top-100 WR Jalen Preston (see below). “They told me he was too big and strong, so I had to find out,” Dean said of the fight. “It’s a dog-eat-dog mentality and the bigger dog is going to win. That’s what I came here for.”
— CONNER (@CJ_Clarke1) January 1, 2018
- The weather created issues Monday for most of the quarterbacks, including Gators signee Emory Jones. He and others made some erratic throws and sailed a few balls as the rain and wind picked up in the afternoon. Jones did connect with Florida WR target Jacob Copeland for a 40-yard touchdown and had another potential TD-pass dropped by 4-star tight end Malcolm Epps.
- Nicholas Petit-Frere showed why 247Sports has him ranked as the nation’s No. 1 tackle and No. 5 overall recruit. After showing flashes of his mean streak in the opening practice, Petit-Frere took his game to another level Monday and was dominant in drills. He won back-to-back reps against top-100 defensive end Jordan Davis and tossed the Alabama signee to the ground.
- Alabama commit Quay Walker had another solid day at linebacker and made a nice stop on a screen play. After practice, Walker discussed his recruitment with SEC Country and revealed his official visit plans. The Gators will host Walker on Jan. 12 and they have a strong shot at flipping him. He is “unsure” about his pledge to the Crimson Tide and called Florida his dream school on Monday. Walker didn’t like Florida’s defense under former coordinator Randy Shannon, but said he’s a fan of Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme. “That’s my style of play,” he said. “I run it in high school, so it will be easy to pick up on.” Walker said the determining factor in his recruitment is finding a coach he can trust and talk to about anything, so he wants to spend time with Florida’s new defensive coordinator on his visit. “I text him and he seems pretty cool,” Walker said of Grantham. “I think I’ll understand him better when I get up there and talk to him more. That’s going to play a big role in it.”
- Dean wasn’t the only cornerback who impressed Monday. Top-50 overall recruit Olaijah Griffin also had a stellar performance, finishing with an interception and a few pass breakups. He received an offer from the Gators on Sunday night and said he will officially visit Florida on Feb. 2. Griffin spoke with new UF defensive backs coach Charlton Warren and said he was “shocked” by the offer. The former UCLA commit is from Mission Viejo, Calif., and has Southern California in his top 5. However, Griffin said proximity to home doesn’t matter to him and he’s willing to leave the West Coast for an SEC school. Tennessee currently leads for him and Auburn is also one of his finalists. “After going to Tennessee and seeing what it’s like out there, I was like, ‘Man, SEC is way different than California.’ I was feeling it.”
The festivities this year feature a quartet of LSU recruits, including two prospects that already have signed and faxed in their national letters of intent and will enroll on campus next week, in addition to a pair of the Tigers’ top wide receivers targets in the 2018 class.
Cole Smith, 3-star OL, 6-foot-4, 275 pounds (signed)
Cole Smith was one of the first dominoes to fall in LSU’s 2018 class, which emphasized both offensive and defensive linemen. The center was offered and committed in March on the first day of spring practice and never wavered. However, things got tumultuous after longtime offensive line coach Jeff Grimes announced he was leaving Baton Rouge for the BYU offensive coordinator position.
Smith nearly made a visit to Mississippi State, where his father Brent Smith played, but wound up not making that official visit right before the early signing period. He stuck with the Tigers and signed on Dec. 20. Smith will enroll early and provide some much-needed depth in the middle of the offensive line as we await word on Will Clapp’s future with the team.
Terrace Marshall Jr., 5-star WR, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds (signed)
The crown jewel of LSU’s 2018 recruiting class committed and signed with the Tigers on Dec. 22, putting a strong finishing touch on Ed Orgeron’s first full class as coach of the team. Texas A&M had always been the 5-star wide receiver’s No. 2 team, and things became muddled when Jimbo Fisher became the Aggies’ coach.
Orgeron, area recruiter Steve Ensminger and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph closed strong and kept Louisiana’s top prospect in-state. Marshall, now 100 percent healthy after fracturing a fibula and dislocating an ankle in his left leg on Sept. 8, will return to the field without any setbacks for the first time in Orlando. He also will enroll at LSU early and compete to replace DJ Chark as the Tigers’ No. 1 wide receiver in 2018.
Justin Watkins, 4-star ATH, 5-foot-11, 175 pounds (uncommitted)
A one-time LSU commitment, Justin Watkins has seen his recruitment take off in multiple directions since pledging to defensive backs coach Corey Raymond as a freshman in 2014. Watkins flipped to Florida State and then to Texas, and as he nears a final decision, again has LSU among his finalists.
The shifty slot receiver/athlete prospect made his official visit to LSU in late November and also officially visited Alabama a few weeks later. His recruitment has boiled down to the two SEC West rivals with the Tigers emerging as the late favorite, again. Matt Canada played an integral role in his recruitment, but make no mistake that Raymond is spearheading efforts with the Florida native.
Watkins is scheduled to decide between the Tigers and Tide at halftime of the Under Armour game. LSU holds commitments from three receivers, including the aforementioned Marshall, and remains squarely in the mix with Louisiana 4-stars Ja’Marr Chase and Lawrence Keys III. Watkins also could slide to defensive back for the Tigers, given that the team did not sign a defensive back during the early signing period.
Alabama, meanwhile, has lost some ground with primary slot receiver target Jaylen Waddle after Fisher moved to A&M. That has led the Tide to dial up the pressure on Watkins ahead of his January decision.
Ja’Marr Chase, 4-star WR, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds (uncommitted)
Ja’Marr Chase has long been a priority for this LSU staff. Orgeron and Joseph together have courted the New Orleans area native, who for the bulk of his recruitment has leaned toward out-of-state options. Remember, he briefly committed to Kansas at the start of the spring; he nearly committed to TCU on the final day of Nike’s The Opening finals and committed to Florida when he returned home in July.
Since de-committing, the 4-star playmaker has made official visits to both Michigan and TCU and will do the same at LSU on Jan. 12. Schools such as Georgia and Auburn are also in the mix, but this likely will boil down to LSU versus TCU based on proximity to home.
For the first time in his recruitment, LSU has grabbed some momentum with Chase. However, it remains a fluid situation until the All-American is ready to announce his decision on National Signing Day. For now, however, the Tigers are the team to beat.