SAN ANTONIO — 247Sports national analysts got an initial opportunity Tuesday to see the West squad during All-American Bowl practice, which continues throughout the week. We provide a rundown of the top performances on both sides of the ball, plus some additional notes from the two-session, morning-and-afternoon practice schedule at Trinity University.
ALPHA DOG: Yhonzae PierreEDGE, Eufala (Ala.) — Alabama signee
Throughout the two practice sessions, Pierre’s number repeatedly popped up in the discussion of today’s standouts.
“Who’s that wearing 19 again? Oh yeah, that’s Yhonzae Pierre, duh.”
Pierre got several pressures during a few different 11-on-11 micro-scrimmage sessions, while also winning the strong majority of his 1-on-1 reps against what looks like one of the better West offensive line groups we have seen at the All -American Bowl.
Pierre wins with explosive initial athleticism, blowing by bigger, slower tackles or ripping under and around interior blockers. His only hiccup came against a 6-foot-2, 310-pound fire hydrant Tyson Ruffins when the 6-foot-3, 223-pound Pierre repped from an interior D-line spot in 1-on-1 action. But start to finish, Pierre assembled the most consistently good day from what we saw during West practice. He punctuated his pass-rushing performance with a takeaway in the final 11-on session: Pierre leapt to bat down a pass and snagged the ball out of mid-air to take it the other way.
NEXT FIVE DEFENSE
— Tomarrion ParkerDL, Highland Home (Ala.), Clemson signee: perhaps the most impressive 1-on-1 performance on the defensive side of the ball came from Top247 No. 44 overall prospect Parker, who has the look of a big edge player but the interior play strength and sudden quickness to make an impact as a traditional defensive lineman. The 6-foot-3, 248-pounder won rep after rep in 1-on-1s because of those traits, which suggest valuable personnel and scheme flexibility in the future.
— Bai JobEDGE, Norman (Okla.) Community Christian School, Michigan State signee: the Top247 four-star played with a relentless motor, leading one opposing offensive skill player to walk over saying, “Who is 44 (Jobe), oh my goodness.” Jobe screamed off the edge on numerous occasions and showed impressive back-side chase-down athleticism when required. He played loose and live throughout the day and won the majority of his 1-on-1 reps.
— Anthony HillLB, Denton (Texas) Ryan, Texas signee: vast pursuit range is the name of the game for No. 1 linebacker and five-star Hill, who combined with Jobe on a would-be flea-flicker sack during afternoon 11-on action. Hill tracked boundary to boundary against the run, even cutting off a perimeter cutback alley for the ever-slippery Rueben Owens (more on him below) to end one team session play. Hill weighed in at 225 pounds during Monday’s check-in and brought a lean, athletic look and corresponding functional athleticism to the field Tuesday.
— Jordan Shaw, CB, Downey (Calif.) St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy, Indiana signee: Shaw played some sneaky good coverage early in the morning session with a couple of interceptions in short-to-intermediate coverage: one jumping a route in the flat, the other on a QB-receiver miscommunication that he sniffed out along the boundary. He later added a deep-ball pass breakup in single coverage to further display his awareness and ball skills.
— Joshua MickensEDGE, Indianapolis Lawrence Central, Ohio State signee: Getting a live look at the Top247 four-star pass rusher provided valuable context on a player whose athletic profile suggests immense upside thanks to basketball and shot put prowess. Mickens is quick off the ball and won three consecutive 1-on-1 reps at one point in the afternoon, executing different moves each time to win, including a filthy first-rep spin that quickly got him free.
TOP FIVE OFFENSES
— Spencer FanoOT, Provo (Utah) Timpview, Utah signee: Tuesday’s practice marked the first live exposure for a couple of us in regards to Fano, who measured just shy of 6-foot-5 and 276 pounds with impressive 34-inch arms at Monday’s check-in. The top 100 overall four-star backed up those numbers with an excellent on-field performance Tuesday, when he logged reps at tackle, guard, and even center, winning in team and 1-on-1 matchups. He plays with good leverage and point-of-attack strength for a longer athlete with ample bulking capacity who will likely live on the outside in the long run.
— Ka’Morreun PimptonTE, Fort Worth (Texas) North Crowley, LSU signee: Pimpton’s long-term upside is through the roof and he showed why Tuesday, particularly in the morning session. He’s a true matchup nightmare for opposing defenders thanks to his 6-foot-5+ height and monstrous frame, which includes 36-inch arms, the longest we measured of more than 90 prospects during Monday’s check-in. The Top247 four-star owns the frame of a big flex tight end and the functional athleticism of a dominating outside receiver. His future is bright.
— Malachi ColemanWR / ATH, Lincoln (Neb.) East, Nebraska signee: Coleman is one of the most intriguing prospects in this class. The top 100 overall prospect has shined on both sides of the ball in high school, but at this point, it seems obvious to us that his future is wideout. In the 6-foot-4, 190-pound range, Coleman owns elite height and length (33 1/2 arm), but his short-area suddenness as a route runner and a run-after-catch threat separate him from what you might expect in your typical tall, lanky outside target.
— Rueben OwensRB, El Campo (Texas), Texas signee: Owens entered the week as the No. 1 running back and a five-star in the Top247 and he showed why Tuesday. He’s hell on wheels at the second level thanks to his elusiveness and ability to string multiple moves together while maintaining speed. He’s also a very good pass catcher, and despite one late drop lined up wide, caught the ball well throughout Tuesday.
— Malik ElzyWR, Chicago Simeon, uncommitted: the Midwest wideout repeatedly flashed in both practice sessions and looks like the type of pass catcher who could get on the field early in college. Approaching 6-foot-2 and north of 200 pounds, Elzy often wins with physical prowess, but his run-after-catch acceleration stood out on multiple occasions. He can be a bully of an outside receiver thanks to his size and length, which includes arms longer than 33 inches that make him look like a linebacker or edge defender on the hoof.
NOTES FROM WEST TEAM’S TUESDAY PRACTICE
— Alabama-bound five-star offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor lived up to expectations Tuesday. The Top247’s No. 1 senior OT in the country assembled a solid all-around performance in pass pro, run game, and 1-on-1 reps. His versatility also flashed at one point as he flipped to defensive tackle to win a bull-rush 1-on-1 rep. Proctor’s vast two-way experience and multi-sport athletic profile combine with his 6-foot-5+, 348-pound frame — including 34-inch arms — to make him a ready-to-roll option in college. For good measure, he also threw a football more than 50 yards virtually flat-footed at one point in the afternoon.
— Louisville commit Jamari Johnson, who announced his final decision during Saturday’s All-American Bowl, made a case for top performer status, especially because of a strong morning session. Johnson weighed 270 pounds at Monday’s check-in, but moved quite well Tuesday, catching passes in traffic and running unencumbered on downfield routes.
— Texas-bound four-star speedster Ryan Niblett used those wheels to make a handful of downfield plays during Tuesday’s practice. Niblett gets on top of defensive backs in a hurry and uses his verified track speed to stretch the field vertically. What he showed as a pass catcher was encouraging, especially when the catch window was tighter than expected.
— Highland Home (Ala.) standout a Top247 top 100 four-star Keldric Faulk had his moments during Tuesday’s practice. He’s without a doubt one of the most physically impressive prospects in attendance and puts those traits to use from time to time. He can line up inside or on the edge and use his enormous frame and length to win matchups at the point of attack. He’s just scratching the surface of what he could become in the long run.
— Temple (Texas) standout and Top247 four-star Mikal Harrison-Pilot made one of the more impressive grabs of the day when he ran down a deep ball down the middle of the field for a chunk play in traffic. Harrison-Pilot is one of the better pure football players in the senior class, and while he could play either side of the ball in college, he has asserted himself as an offensive weapon with improved athleticism over the past two seasons. He announces his commitment decision Saturday as well.
— Austin Novosad (Oregon), Lincoln Kienholz (Ohio State), and Pierce Clarkson (Louisville) shared West quarterbacking duties. Novosad looked like the most natural thrower of the group with perhaps the best downfield strength during Tuesday’s practice. Clarkson was generally good in the short-to-intermediate range, and Kienholz probably had the best afternoon session of the three thanks to accuracy and ball placement. Quarterbacks usually find a big learning curve acclimating to the all-star environment, so don’t be surprised if the signal callers get better as the week progresses.
— Punters admittedly do not typically draw a lot of attention at these all-star events, but Texas A&M signee Tyler White prompted some “what in the?” reactions among on-lookers with booming kick after booming kick, sending high spirals beyond 50 yards, while also mixing in a 50-plus coffin corner boot inside the 5-yard line. Seriously, White’s mid-afternoon practice booms dang nearly got him in the top performers group. He’s ranked No. 1 nationally among 2023 punters on 247Sports and backed up that distinction Tuesday.
— Ohio State-bound Top247 four-star cornerback Calvin Simpson-Hunt looked like he could step on campus and give you snaps today. In the 5-foot-11, 190-pound neighborhood, Simpson-Hunt owns the requisite length and excellent track context to support the athleticism we see on the field.
— Speaking of impressive on-the-hoof defensive backs, Top247 four-star Jelani McDonald, an athlete, played in the secondary Tuesday, where he towered over his colleagues. McDonald might legitimately own the physical tools to develop into an off-ball linebacker, but his athleticism and playmaking ability should allow him to become a potential impact player regardless of long-term positional home.
— As noted above, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly offensive lineman Tyson Ruffins stood his ground against some of the top pass rushers in the country during Tuesday’s practice. Primarily playing left guard, the broad, stout Ruffins showed he can drop anchor and negate speed with his leverage and strength. He also played some left tackle in 11-on action, but make no mistake, Ruffins is a bona fide guard-to-guard candidate at the next level.
— Florida State four-star running back signee Samuel Singleton out of Fleming Island (Fla.) High School is at his best getting north-south ASAP. That includes as a pass catcher, which Singleton showed in the afternoon on a running back seam shot that saw Singleton track a deep ball with a nice downfield concentration strong.
— 247Sports’ Blair Angulo and Brandon Huffman contributed to this report.