The annual high school football All-American Games are football contests first and foremost, but they also serve as prominent national platforms for commitments from a crop of the nation’s top players, all in one place. That led to five commitments from Under Armour All-Americans on Sunday, including Grayson (Ga.) defensive back Deangelo Gibbs, who picked Georgia.
More than 1,100 miles away, in San Antonio, Texas, Georgia coach Kirby Smart landed a commitment from another top in-state prospect, Terrell County High athlete Tray Bishop. The No. 4 overall athlete prospect according to a composite ranking of recruiting services, Bishop and Gibbs together made for one of Smart’s most successful recruiting days of the year, if not his entire stay since arriving in Athens.
The twist, of course, is that the two future teammates made their announcements at competing events. While the decision to announce on Sunday may have been Bishop’s, there’s no doubt that the U.S. Army marketing officials were thrilled to be taking an iota of attention away from their competitors with Under Armour.
After all, it’s not just the players in the games who are competing against foes in their game of choice, it’s the selectors of the games themselves, pushing to land the top prospects earlier and earlier in an escalating arms race for attention and exposure.
With the Under Armour Game now in the books, the focus will turn firmly to San Antonio in the lead-up to the 2017 U.S. Army Bowl. Bishop is on the board for Georgia, but with any luck the game’s selectors will see plenty more players announce their college commitments in the days ahead, too.