Preps: USC recruit stars in high school All-America game
ORLANDO, Fla. — While quarterback Matt Barkley showed why Southern California is excited about his arm, the biggest winner at the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game might have been the University of Miami.
Barkley, verbally committed to USC, threw for two early touchdown passes to lead his White Team to a 27-16 victory over the Black Team on Sunday night.
"It really felt good out there," he said. "It was a fun game with a lot of great players."
Barkley, from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., hit Marlon Brown of Memphis for a 71-yard score on the game's first possession, then followed with a 35-yard TD pass to Jamal Reid.
Already committed to Miami, Reid will be joined there by safety Ray Ray Armstrong and defensive end Dyron Dye — both from the state championship team at Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida. They were among six players in the game who used the ESPN telecast as a forum to announce where they will play college football.
"We're going to help get Miami back to where it used to be," Armstrong said. "We made our decisions individually, but we're going there together now."
High school teammate Andre Debose, a wide receiver, chose the University of Florida.
Commitments don't become official until Feb. 4, national signing day.
Russell Shepard of Houston, headed to LSU, threw a 92-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 15-yard score for the Black Team.
John Martinez, an offensive guard from Salt Lake City, verbally committed to USC, where he will join Barkley and three others who played Sunday night.
"USC is the right choice for me. It's the place to be," Martinez said. "There is no other place to go. It's just the best fit."
With the Trojans, Martinez could block for Barkley, who completed 11 of 22 passes for 237 yards Sunday night.
"I had all the time in the world at times. That made it look easy," he said.
Center Mark Brazinski of Immaculata High School in Somerville, N.J., decided on California. Cornerback Branden Smith of Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta said he'll attend Georgia.
Three players in the game had already committed to Florida and three more are headed to Oklahoma, the two teams in Thursday night's national championship game.
Among those was Greg Reid of Valdosta, Ga., who intercepted two passes. He is going to Florida.