By: Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports | September 12, 2018
It’s rare for a high school to produce more than one All-American. In the Under Armour All-American Game, two from a single school is a bona fide crowd, but it occasionally happens. But four? Now that is really something.
Behold the St. Thomas Aquinas (Fl.) Under Armour All-American Class of 2019: Defensive backs Jordan Battle and Jaden Davis, linebacker Anthony Solomon and running back Daniel Carter. All four are among Florida’s most sough-after recruits, all have committed to or are fielding recruiting attention from major colleges and all four could have an almost instant impact on the next level.
And on Wednesday, all four were very excited to be joining the ranks of Under Armour All-Americans, past and present as the American Family Insurance Selection Tour came to Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Davis, an Oklahoma commit, told USA TODAY. “I’ve been dreaming of playing in the Under Armour All-American Game after watching Asante Samuel Jr., Al Blades and Elijah Moore all play in it. I’ve seen them doing it, so it’s a blessing to play in this prestigious game after them.”
Davis particularly called out the legacy of past St. Thomas Aquinas stars who have used the game as a springboard toward future greatness, with the likes of Samuel and Blades helping pave the way for the current class. That includes Battle, an Ohio State commit who told USA TODAY he planned to take an official visit to Ohio State, but also might attend the Oklahoma-Baylor game and the Miami-Florida State showdown later this year.
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“It kind of sunk in with me that I might be able to be an All-American the summer going into 11th grade,” Battle said. “That’s when I started going up in the rankings because I was doing well in camp. I started getting good ratings and stars and my recruitment opened up, and that’s when I made my decision to go to Ohio State.
“Right now I just started communicating with Coach Meyer again because he was just recently able to start calling recruits and committed players. I got off the phone with him two days ago and he was stressing with me that he was sorry about the situation there and he’s just focused on the football team. That’s what you want to hear.”
The third defensive All-American from the school, the Miami-committed linebacker Solomon, stressed that the most significant takeaway from the quartet’s Under Armour jersey ceremony was just how rare it is to receive the honor for any player, let alone four teammates.
“Not everyone can do this,” Solomon said. “It’s a selected few and you have to go through all the trials and tribulations to prove that you’re one of the best. That I get to play in a game with the real top talent in the country is overwhelming and I can’t wait to do it.
“The feeling of this honor is incredible and I can’t really put it into words. Being able to do it with guys I’ve always played with is great.”
Solomon has no visits currently planned, but said he will likely take one to Miami in December.
As for Carter, the speedy running back is the lone member of the school’s All-American squad that remains uncommitted. He has taken one official visits, to Pittsburgh, and scheduled another to Kansas State in two weeks. He plans to also travel to Oregon and Georgia, though he doesn’t know when.
While his eventual college destination remains up in the air, Carter knows that the Under Armour Game will provide a nice coda to four high school careers that have already seen so much success.
“It will be our last high school football game together, so to finish with these guys will be pretty special to start together and end together.”
The Under Armour All-America Game is scheduled for Jan. 3 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EST.
2019 Under Armour All America Game, anthony solomon, Daniel Carter, football recruiting, Jaden Davis, Jordan Battle, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale FL), Football, Under Armour All-America Game, Under Armour All-America Game Selection Tour