In addition to featuring some of the best players in the country, the All-American Bowl comes with a perk.
Eight players are scheduled to make their commitments live during the game.
ALL-AMERICAN BOWL: Everything you need to know
Even during the timeouts, coverage matters. Here’s a little background on the group:
Marcus Banks, CB, Dekaney (Houston)
PREDICTION: TEXAS A&M (Picked Alabama)
Banks, who decommitted from LSU in October, has a top four of Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Texas A&M.
On Thursday, he told Rivals that with Alabama continuing to reach out to him after his LSU commitment, he started having second thoughts about LSU.
But the other three schools have attributes that he feels would benefit him as well.
“I want to go to a school that plays a lot of man coverage, because that fits my style of play,” he told USA TODAY in November.
Jimbo Fisher has been a draw at A&M for Banks, the CB told Rivals, and defensive coordinator Mike Elko’s schemes and technique can suit him. Additionally, the program said Banks could play boundary and find snaps at nickel.
The historically strong defensive backs at Florida appeals to him, while his dad attended Florida State.
“They didn’t have to really recruit me because I already had a feeling for them,” Banks told Rivals.
David Bell, WR, Warren Central (Ind.)
PREDICTION: PURDUE (Picked Purdue)
The biggest question about Bell’s upcoming choice: How important is it for him to stay in-state?
Purdue’s Jeff Brohm has put together a top-25 class headlined by ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year finalist George Karlaftis, who elected to stay home for the Boilers. Could Brohm snatch up both Indiana’s DPOY and Offensive Player of the Year?
The other option for Bell would be Indiana, who he visited on Dec. 8. He told the IndyStar in September the school is making him a priority: “They told me I am the No. 1 priority right now and the last person they want to take to for the (recruiting class).”
He’s keeping his mouth sealed, though, only telling USA TODAY on Wednesday that he prefers a Big Ten school. But that’s nothing new, though; his whole top 5 consists of Big Ten programs. Pros about each:
Iowa has former Warren safety Julius Brents on the roster while Warren OG Justin Britt is committed.
A commitment to Penn State would round out a stellar offensive class that currently consists these four-star players: two QBs, RBs, and OGs, one OT and one WR.
Finally, Ohio State. Bell has six players at the AAB with him – five of whom are on Team East – in his ear about Ohio State. Will the chance to team across from Garrett Wilson be too much to turn down?
Khris Bogle, WDE, Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
PREDICTION: ALABAMA (Picked Alabama)
Experts tend to say it’s a two-team race for Khris Bogle.
According to the Miami Herald, he wore Alabama gloves and had a Crimson Tide towel during the game one weekend after he visited the program.
“I loved Alabama,” he told the Herald.
The night after his visit, he discussed it with his aunt and mother.
“When I came back [from Alabama], the first thing I did was go to my auntie’s house with my mom to talk about school,” Bogle said in November. “My auntie wants me to go to Miami.
He added that his mom was undecided. But Alabama and Miami seem to be leading the way.
But that was a month-and-a-half ago. Since, he and his mother visited Miami, which the matriarch said was “probably” the best visit she had been on, Bogle told 247 Sports.
Miami was also the first to offer him an in-home visit. He later said “University of Miami is home” to the Athletic.
It’s worth noting that Florida and Tennessee are also in his top four. If he’s trying to leave home but still be close, both are good options, and both programs are putting together strong recruiting classes.
Jadon Haselwood, WR, Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.)
PREDICTION: OKLAHOMA (Picks Oklahoma)
The facts we know: Haselwood is choosing between Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma and Tennessee. And we know he’s not saying much more.
He was largely quiet Tuesday when asked about his college thoughts.
Haselwood decommitted from Georgia in October after more than a year and a half of being committed to the Bulldogs, saying he doesn’t think Georgia puts the ball in the air enough. Has the last two-plus months been enough to sway him back into their box?
Experts tend to think Haselwood will choose Oklahoma, his dad’s alma mater and the future home of fellow 2019 All-American Bowl QB Spencer Rattler and WR Trejan Bridges. Adding Haselwood – along with Chosen 25 WR Theo Wease Jr. – would put the Sooner offense in position to remain dominant for the next three years.
But on the flip side, five-star Georgia WR commit Dominick Blaylock is also at the All-American Bowl. Perhaps the two have talked it out and Haselwood is ready to re-commit.
Barring a surprise, those seem to be the two schools experts lean toward.
Whatever his decision is, he’s keeping it close to the vest – though we do know he has made a decision, and we do know that Cam Newton approved.
Bru McCoy, WR, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
PREDICTION: USC (Picks USC)
What is now a two-team battle between Texas and USC, barring some change of heart since Tuesday, has the two programs fighting over the No. 1 ATH in the country.
While Texas’ football situation is more stable than that of the Trojans, it seems like Bru McCoy doesn’t care what state his program of choice is in. Both are historically strong programs that he’s confident can compete.
He’s interested in an education and said a goal of his is to be accepted into USC’s business school. That, perhaps even more than the chance to play with former Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, seemed to be an indication he was leaning USC during a phone call interview Tuesday.
But that was also before Texas’ Sugar Bowl win over Georgia. Does the success there, along with the presence of wide receivers coach Drew Mehringer have enough sway to pull McCoy to the Longhorns?
Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami Southridge (Homestead, Fla.)
PREDICTION: GEORGIA (Picked Georgia)
As of Wednesday, Stevenson didn’t know which school he preferred: Georgia or Miami.
“Miami is the crib, and Georgia is something new,” Stevenson said.
That’s what it’lll come down to for the four-star cornerback.
Is he looking for a change of scenery? Or does he want to stay close to home?
According to 247 Sports, Georgia compared him to former Alabama star and current Miami Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick, saying Stevenson could be used all over the field. Perhaps he thinks Georgia would be able to get him closer to that caliber of play than Miami.
Stevenson told USA TODAY that he would discuss the decision with his mom when she arrived in town for the bowl. If 247 Sports’ report is to be believed, she “got the feeling of Miami.”
Kyle Ford, WR, Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)
PREDICTION: USC (Picked USC)
Ford, who is missing the All-American Bowl with an injury he sustained during the season, has a top-five of Michigan and Pac-12 schools Colorado, Oregon, USC and Washington.
Coaching turnover has made his decision tough, he told 247 Sports. Michigan’s former wide receiver coach is now the head coach at Central Michigan and Colorado fired their HC. Additionally, Ford told the outlet, his main recruiter at USC was let go as well.
Despite that, hometown USC has remained in the thick of things with Kliff Kingsbury at offensive coordinator and Clay Helton at the helm.
But Ford also said Washington has “everything I’m looking for” with a strong coaching staff, former five-star QB Jacob Eason and ample playing time available at the WR position. He told USA TODAY in November that early playing time is one of the most important factors he’ll make in the decision.
As for Oregon, Ford told 247 Sports he has a great relationship with the coaches and called Oregon a “special place” with a bright future.
Chris Steele, CB, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
PREDICTION: USC (Picked Florida)
It’s been a long recruitment process for Steele.
He has been committed to USC and UCLA, both hometown schools near Bellflower, Calif. He was also silently committed to Alabama, LSU, and Oklahoma, according to 247 Sports.
Now, he’s prepared to make what will likely be his final one. His five remaining programs are Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon, USC and South Carolina.
According to Rivals, though, he is no longer considering South Carolina.
Last summer, Steele said his relationship with Florida head coach Dan Mullen “got 10 times stronger” through his visit, according to Saturday Down South, and the school told him he was the No. 1 CB priority.
But that was a full football season ago, and it’s unclear how Steele’s feelings for the Gators has changed in the interim.
If his positivity on the program has diminished, and he doesn’t plan to re-commit to USC or Oklahoma, that would leave Oregon. The Ducks have one of the top classes in the country, headed by Chosen 25 No. 1 player Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is one of 11 players from California currently committed to the school in the state just north. Steele, an ALL-USA First Team CB, would make a devastating duo with incoming four-star CB Mykael Wright.
Of course, he could go back to USC or Oklahoma. Oklahoma has one of the top classes in the country and one of the best-represented programs at the AAB; USC is always a popular destination for SoCal athletes.
His recruitment process has been a mystery that will finally receive closure.