Florida high school football stars showcase talents during Under Armour game

football
JAMES P. HILL/SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
Jaleel McRae plays linebacker for IMG Academy and signed with Florida State. Keon Zipperer, a tight end out of Lakeland High School, signed with the University of Florida. They were two of the 20 players at the Under Armour All America Game.

BY JAMES P. HILL
SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Twenty high school seniors participated in the Jan. 3 Under Armour All-America game on at Camping World Stadium.

Team Ballaholics defeated Team Flash 28-27. The Ballaholics were coached by Fort Myers native and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. Team Flash was coached by former NFL Head Coach Steve Mariucci.

Tyler Davis was one of the seniors playing in the 12th annual game.

Clemson bound

He signed with Clemson University on Dec. 19 and maintains that the school provides a family atmosphere, great academics, and championship level college football.

“I felt more at home there. Great program, they have great players,” Davis said. “I felt better connected with the players, that’s why Clemson,’’ he said.

‘Great opportunity’

The Tigers are winners of two out of the last three college football national championships. Davis says he’s played under excellent coaches so far and really looks forward to being coached up at the next level.

“It’s a great opportunity to play for [Dabo Swinney] one of the best coaches in college football right now,” Davis said. “My D line coach – [Brent Venables] great guy, is going to teach me a lot. Can’t wait,’’ he added.

Gator signees

During the game, highly coveted wide receiver Arjei Henderson out of Sugarland, Texas, made his commitment to the University of Florida.

After the game, Henderson sported his blue and orange Gators cap with a big smile.

“I’m extremely excited, I can’t wait to get to work,” said Henderson. “It’s been a long process, it’s been a roller coaster. I’m excited we’re at the finish line.”

Florida Gators signees from the FHSAA Class 7A state championship team in Lakeland who played in the Under Armor game include tight end Keon RaZip-perer and offensive guard Deyavie Hammond.

FSU commits

Several Florida State committed players also showcased their talent during the game.

They include Akeem Dent, a defensive back from Palm Beach Central High; Travis Jay, a defensive back from Madison County; Raymond Woodie III from Florida State University School in Tallahassee; Brendan Gant, a safety out of Lakeland Kathleen High; Jaleel McRea, a linebacker from IMG Academy; and Kalen DeLoach, a linebacker from Islands High School in Savannah, Georgia.

More signees

The University of Miami was represented by Jeremiah Payton, a wide receiver from Jacksonville Fletcher High. Payton is 6 foot 5 with a 32- inch vertical leap.

“It’s just a legacy,” Payton said. “I got to go in there and make plays, make a name for myself, and my city. That’s really it.”

During the game, Tre’Mon Morris-Brash, a defensive end out of St. John’s College High School in Washington D.C., committed to UCF.

Rian Davis, a linebacker from Wekiva who signed with Georgia, did not play due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury rehabilitation.

Marcus Washington earned MVP for the Ballaholics after making seven catches for 89 yards. Jerrion Ealy won MVP for Team Flash after rushing for 119 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

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