January 4, 2008

Offense-Defense: Position match-ups

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons has been scouting all of the all-star action this week in Florida as players prepare for the Under Armour and Offense-Defense all-star games.

Here is Simmons' breakdown of the position match-ups and which squad holds the advantage for the Offense-Defense all-star game.

Offense-Defense Position Match-ups


It has been quarterback by committee for the West team squad this week and just over the last few practices has Matt Scott emerged as the favorite for the starting nod. Scott has really developed throughout the week and has looked more and more consistent at the helm. Beau Sweeney and Nathan Stanley have both had their moments as well. D.C. Jefferson and Justin Tuggle of the East have stuggled at times with the weather but have the tools to step up come game time.

Advantage: West


The threesome of Michael Shaw, Devoe Torrence and Jermaine Taylor have been dynamite in practice for the East. Shaw and Thomas are similar slashing backs with a quick hitting style while Torrence runs with a little bit more punch between the tackles. The duo of Cyrus Gray and Jamal Womble haven't been as spectacular in the West practices but have still command a tremendous amount of respect.

Advantage: East


Both the East and the West possess a dangerous and talented receiving corps. Melvin Ray and Dejuan Miller offer a big one-two receiving punch for the East but the West offers a little bit more diversity. Jeff Fuller is a big possession guy and red zone threat while Kemonte Bateman can cut up a defensive back with his speed and quickness. Throw in speedy Allante Battle and Cal commit Marvin Jones and the West quarterbacks will have some very nice options.

Advantage: West


The tight end duo for the West is a dynamic pair. Matt Branch has shown some good hands and athleticism while his size makes him a great blocking candidate while Steven Figueroa has looked very comfortable catching the football and is more of a receiving threat. On the East, Jabaris Little has had limited opportunities to be productive while Travis Dungee is playing out of position and filling a need.

Advantage: West


A good offensive line always starts with a good pair of bookends and the East team has its pair in Cordy Glenn and Bobby Massie. The two players are similar in their size and strength and should give their quarterbacks some piece of mind. The West strength is found in its interior. Alameda Ta'amu is a versatile guard while David Decastro has been fantastic manning the center position.

Advantage: East


Armond Armstead has been one of the most dominating players at the Offense-Defense practices this on either team and his fellow defensive linemen Datone Jones and Everette Thompson have also looked very good. On the East however, the defensive line has a host of players that can get the job done. Earl Okine, Keith Wells and Glenn Harbin are all very similar and very active players at defensive end. Corey Liuget is also a strong defensive end that can move down and play inside as well. Micanor Regis provides another active threat on the inside and adds to a deep and talented group.

Advantage: East


While the West boasts a linebacking corps with some talented players such as Kyle Mangan, Dewitt Stuckey and Will Compton, the East group is special. Marcus Dowtin has been a star in practice this week and the Penn State trio of Mike Zordich, Mike Yancich and Brandon Beachum all have been very good. Virginia Tech commit Bruce Taylor completes the group and has been one of the defensive leaders.

Advantage: East


Nick Moody is one of the best overall players on either team and has been active and omnipresent in the secondary. He is joined on the East by the diminutive Matt Brown who has played well above his height and Georgia commit Mikiri Pugh. On the West, the corners are manned by two of the best in the nation in Aaron Hester and Marc Anthony. Both players have looked like elite lock-down corners and have been backed up by the solid safety play of Keon Furtch.

Advantages: West


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