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January 3, 2011

Under Armour: Monday's best

More Under Armour: Players hit the field | UA: Sunday's best | More all-star coverage

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Rivals.com analysts Chris Nee took in the Under Armour practices Monday in Florida. Below are his top performers from the day, listed alphabetically.

Monday's Top Performers: Under Armour
OLB STEPHONE ANTHONY, 6-3/220, WADESBORO (N.C.) ANSON
Anthony played a lot of inside linebacker on Monday and, during inside drills, he was all over the place. He plays from sideline to sideline and has very good lateral movement. On runs to the outside in either direction, he was almost always there to make the play or flush the runner back inside. He didn't allow himself to get sealed by pulling lineman or by the play-side tackle. He could play defensive end at the next level but he has shown this week that he is very capable of making an impact at linebacker as well.

WDE ANTHONY CHICKILLO, 6-3/226, TAMPA (FLA.) ALONSO
Physically, Chickillo isn't as impressive looking as some of the other defensive linemen in Orlando this week. But he seems to produce as many, if not more, big plays than most. Chickillo's quick burst at the snap is difficult to deal with, but it's his tenacity that is the real problem for opposing offensive tackles, whom he has dominated in one-on-one drills. Simply put, he goes all out, every play, until the whistle is blown. Some coast through practice; Chickillo is treating this week like a job interview.

SDE JADEVEON CLOWNEY, 6-6/247, ROCK HILL (S.C.) SOUTH POINTE
The nation's No. 1 overall prospect has physical attributes that obviously are attention-getters, but when you watch him closely you realize that's not the only reason he's so good. On Monday, Clowney showcased a lethal first step that routinely befuddled offensive tackles. In one-on-one drills, he regularly went right by his man, or simply overpowered him. Once, he even flipped a tackle completely over with his tremendous strength. Fellow five-star Cyrus Kouandjio, an offensive tackle, pancaked Clowney once during practice, but Clowney otherwise was dominant.

DT Christian Heyward, 6-2/269 SAN DIEGO (CALIF.) POINT LOMA
Heyward is a bull on the inside. He plays low to the ground, which allows him to get a good amount of leverage. He's also relatively quick for his size. Those fast feet made the uncommitted four-star recruit incredibly difficult for interior linemen to neutralize in one-on-ones Monday. It's not his strength or his quickness that caused the most problems. It was his combination of the two.

DT ANTHONY JOHNSON, 6-4/298, NEW ORLEANS (LA.) O. PERRY WALKER
Johnson finished just shy of the high school career national sacks record, which is incredibly impressive for an interior defensive lineman. He was the most dominant lineman in one-on-ones and team drills for the Red squad on Monday. He has a very quick first step but also a powerful base. It allows him to use both his quickness and leverage to get into the backfield. He blew up several plays before they even had a chance to really get started. The LSU commit, nicknamed "Freak," is one of the most impressive prospects on the hoof in some time.

WR JARVIS LANDRY, 5-11/178, LUTCHER (LA.)
Landry has been arguably the top wide receiver at the Under Armour event through three days of practice. About the only knock on Landry is his height, but that is overstated. He is a quick wide receiver who possesses excellent hands and great body control. He does a very good job adjusting to the ball and bringing it in. His highlight on Monday was a grab where he fully extended his body out of bounds, scooping the ball with his hands while dragging his toes in-bounds.

CB DEMETRIOUS NICHOLSON, 5-11/167, VIRGINIA BEACH (VA.) BAYSIDE
The Virginia commitment had another strong day of practice. He does everything well in the secondary but the spot where he is able to stand out is when put into press coverage situations. Nicholson is aggressive when he locks up with a wide receiver and tends to have a strength advantage against his opponents. When covering downfield he is smooth in coverage staying step-for-step with wide receivers and does a good job playing the ball in the air.

WR ELI ROGERS, 5-10/180, MIAMI (FLA.) NORTHWESTERN
A three-star recruit, Rogers says he came to Orlando with a chip on his shoulder. He wants more respect for his abilities, and on the practice field he's doing his best to get it. Among the Red team receivers, nobody ran better routes than Rogers on Monday. He isn't the fastest receiver. Isn't the tallest or most physical either. But against an athletic group of defensive backs, he was the one guy who consistently got open.

WR MICHAEL THOMAS, 6-3/180 WOODLAND HILLS (CALIF.) TAFT
Thomas was the master of the acrobatic catch Monday. More than once, he came up with one-handed receptions. Another time, he found the end zone by keeping his concentration after a pass was tipped by an opposing defensive back. Thomas ran nice, precise routes and showed off an excellent pair of hands all day. By doing so, he was able to beat solid coverage more often than not. If the ball was near him, he found a way to haul it in.

WR JAMAL TURNER, 6-1/175, ARLINGTON (TEXAS) SAM HOUSTON
Turner, who is a dual-threat quarterback, is showing his skills at wide receiver at the Under Armour practices. While many parts of his game are raw, he has quickly shown an ability to get on the same page with his quarterbacks and force defensive backs into a difficult day. He possesses a long, lean body with good height and did a good job shaking defenders. He has very good ball skills and high-level athleticism. If he remains at wide receiver, he will need to improve his routes.

RB BRANDON WILLIAMS, 6-1/188, BROOKSHIRE (TEXAS) ROYAL
Williams has been a standout in all three practice sessions with Monday possibly being his best showing. The Oklahoma commitment is a complete back who has a strong body , excellent speed, good hands and nice vision. He attacks the hole with a purpose and runs strong between the tackles. He is also able to run toward the outside and turn upfield while losing no momentum. He is also a threat in the passing game displaying good, strong hands.



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