Last year the game featured Scout.com’s top rated linebacker, Mike Hull and there were a number of other talented players on the roster, but this year the talent is literally flocking in to Austin, Texas to represent their home states, countries.
Team USA is stacked with top end division one talent. 26-of-45 players on the Team USA roster are members of the Scout.com Top 300.
Of the 26 eight of the players are recognized as 5-star talents and ranked amongst the tops at their position nationally. It also makes the roster as impressive as any other assembly of talent in any of the other major syndicated All-Star games.
OT La'el Collins -
Collins, the #11 player in the country, is a versatile offensive lineman with very good feet, good length, and good power.
DT Viliami Moala -
He earned the nickname “Tiny” because he is not. A massive defender who is as powerful as they come.
QB Kiehl Frazier -
A balanced quarterback who has a great temperament on the field and guides his team with a steady presence. Can beat you through the air or on the ground.
RB Aaron Green -
A home-run hitting running back who has a knack for making big plays on the edge of the defense.
DE Stephon Tuitt -
Was one of the most impressive players at the Under Armour All-American Bowl, cementing his 5-star status.
RB Savon Huggins -
Has been involved in the discussion to be considered as the nation’s top rusher. Powerful and runs with a good center of gravity.
OT Kiaro Holts -
Fires off the ball with a tremendous burst and drive blocks from his tackle position like a powerful interior lineman.
WR Jarvis Landry -
He runs exceptional routes, some have said that he is tops in the country in that regard, and has very good hands.
The World Team is comprised of players 19 and under and they are heading in from great distance for the opportunity to be the next Jesse Williams, a player who is now committed to play at Alabama one year after starring in the game and putting his name on the recruiting radar by holding his own against the American players.
Williams stood out as the top player on the World Team in 2010. He is now committed to Alabama.
All-in-all the players who are hailing from countries like Austria, Canada, Germany, Finland, Japan, Mexico and Sweden traveled a combined estimated distance of 134,580 miles to try to advance their careers.
Scout.com National Recruiting Director Scott Kennedy, who attended the inaugural event in South Florida last year, explains that Williams may have never been discovered if not for the opportunity to compete.
“Freshman junior college players, from out of the country no less, typically don’t generate a lot of recruiting buzz, but defensive tackle Jesse Williams of Arizona Western first entered the national consciousness when he played for Team World last year on the NFL Network,” Kennedy began to explain as he recanted Williams rise.
“He was consistently called out by the coaches from both sides as the best player for Team World, and was immediately made a 4-Star junior college prospect on Scout.com. The scholarship offers came later for Williams as he had his choice of the top teams in the country before choosing Alabama. I know that having 4-Stars next to his name heading into the spring evaluation period certainly helped bring some eyes his way, and if it weren’t for that game, I doubt he would have been rated that highly before beginning his sophomore year.”
Players playing for the U19 World Team surely have a lot of incentive, but the Team USA players have something to prove as well. Last year USA held off a stiff challenge and held on to a 17-0 victory.
Ohio State commitment Ron Tanner explained that the game not only gives him the chance to compete in the sport that he holds dear, but it also gives him and the other players in the game the chance represent the country on multiple levels.
“Playing against athletes from other countries will be an exciting challenge. I've had the opportunity to compete against elite athletes in the United States but never imagined competing against athletes from other countries,” Tanner explained.
“I'm looking forward to not only the competition but also learning more about the players and their countries. I've always had an interest in other countries and traveling the world so I am excited to play the game I love with young men from other countries. This will be an awesome experience and I'm more than ready to represent my country.”
Where to Watch
The second annual Team USA vs. The World football game will be nationally televised live on Fox College Sports Central as well as on seven regional cable networks. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. CT. on Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas. Among the outlets broadcasting the game on tape delay is NFL Network, which will air the game on Friday, Feb. 11, at 4:30 p.m. ET.