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January 2, 2012

UA matchup: Highlight DL vs. Blur OL

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Under Armour All-America game is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) Thursday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, and the contest will feature many standout players from across the country. The Highlight team is absolutely loaded on the defensive line. Eddie Goldman, the nation's No. 2 player, is the headliner along with five-star defensive end Noah Spence. The Blur offensive line, which no doubt will have its hands full, counters with players such as four-star talents Vadal Alexander and Jessamen Dunker.

Rivals.com breaks down the matchup.

The players

Highlight defensive linemen: Malcom Brown (Brenham, Texas); Devonte Fields (Martin, Texas], Eddie Goldman (Washington, D.C. Friendship Collegiate Academy); Jordan Jenkins (Harris County, Ga.); Ifeadi Odenigbo (Centerville, Ohio); Alex Norman (Bishop Dunne, Texas), Noah Spence (Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, Pa.; Leonard Williams (Daytona Beach Mainland);

Blur offensive line: Vadal Alexander (Buford, Ga.); John Atkins (Thomson, Ga.); Devon Desper (Madison, Miss.); Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, Fla.); Joshua Garnett (Puyallup, Wash.);Brandon Greene (Cedar Grove, Ga.); Mike Madaras (Good Counsel, Md.); Isaac Seumalo (Corvallis, Ore.); Brock Stadnik (Western Guilford, N.C.).

The breakdown

If Sunday's opening day of practice was any indication of things to come, the Blur offensive line is going to have one serious challenge come Thursday night.

Goldman, Spence and Williams look like absolute terrors. Goldman is a power tackle with excellent strength, quick feet and extremely good technique. Spence is a weakside end who is incredibly light on his feet. Williams is a big-bodied strongside end who is powerful enough to stuff the run, yet has the quickness and moves (both bull rush and spin) to create havoc in the backfield on passing plays. The rest of the group isn't too shabby either. Brown is a strong plugger in the middle. Jenkins is a light, but agile end. Odenigbo has a similar build to Jenkins, and very good speed. This group of linemen has a little bit of everything. These players are aggressive, explosive, versatile and for the most part solid fundamentally. They also appear to have pretty good motors. It's definitely a high energy group.

The Blur offensive line doesn't have the names of the Highlight defensive front, but nonetheless possess some very solid prospects. Alexander, an LSU commit, is a strong and quick lineman who can line up at either guard or tackle. Desper is a technically sound space mover at center. Dunker, Greene and Stadnik are good-looking players, who like Alexander and Desper, are headed to SEC programs. And Atkins is an intriguing prospect as well. A Georgia commit, he's playing guard this week though many project him as a defensive tackle in college. The point is, this unit has plenty of talent on its own and shouldn't be overmatched.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at Keithrivals@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.


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