MOBILE, Ala. (Oct. 9) – Many of the best collegiate football prospects in the Southeast, as well as the state of Alabama, will display their talents in the 23rd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, set for Saturday, December 12 in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The entire 37-member roster of high school stars and top collegiate prospects which will represent the state of Alabama in the annual talent showcase was announced on Thursday by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The Alabama roster is filled with future SEC and major college players. The team includes 17 players who have already made verbal commitments to attend SEC schools next year, ten members of the Press-Register’s Super Southeast 120 list of the top collegiate prospects in the South, and many other highly-recruited prospects who have yet to announce their college preference.
Alabama leads all SEC schools with six team members who have verbally committed to play for the Crimson Tide next fall, while Auburn has four verbal commitments on the list. Mississippi State has two players, while Ole Miss, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Florida have one apiece.
Among the top collegiate prospects on the roster are Stanhope Elmore defensive back Demarcus Milliner, a selection who is ranked as the state’s top prospect on the Press-Register’s Elite 18 list.
The roster also includes the son of a former Crimson Tide great. Hoover wide receiver Maudrecus Humphrey, whose father is the former All-SEC and NFL running back Bobby Humphrey, made the elite group.
The players were chosen by a special selection committee of the AHSADCA from nominations submitted by AHSAA member schools. The squad is comprised of at least one player from each district and one player from each classification by AHSADCA parameters. All players are current high school seniors.
“We are excited about this year’s team. Our selection committee has done an outstanding job of researching and reviewing each nominee. We feel confident that we have put together a representative product for the state of Alabama," said Steve Bailey, Director of the AHSADCA.
Defending 6A state champion Prattville leads all schools with three selections on the team, while Auburn, Fairhope, Gadsden City, Hoover and Springville have two apiece.
The quarterbacks are Fairhope’s Daryl Norris, whose undefeated Pirates are ranked fifth in 6A, and Coty Blanchard of Cherokee County, who led the Warriors to the 4A championship game in 2008 and a 6-0 start and number two ranking so far this season.
Alabama has won nine of the last eleven games including last year’s 28-3 victory as St. Paul ’s quarterback A.J. McCarron, a University of Alabama signee, won MVP honors with two TD passes.
Alabama holds a 15-7 edge in the annual series which began in 1988.
Head coach for this year’s squad is Hoover’s Josh Niblett, whose Bucs are currently 6-0 and ranked number one in the ASWA 6A poll. He guided the Bucs to the 6A finals in 2008, and led Oneonta to the 3A state title in 2004. He has twice served as an assistant coach in the All-Star Classic during Alabama victories in 2003 and 2006, and sports an 86-33 career record as a high school head coach.
His staff includes Jay Brown of Pell City, Prattville’s Jamey DuBose, Keith Etheredge of Leeds, Hoover’s Tad Niblett, Gardner Gilliland of Oneonta, Vigor’s Kerry Stevenson and Dickey Wright of Homewood.
The Mississippi team of all-stars will be announced later this month.
Over the past 21 years, the All-Star Classic has built an impressive legacy of featuring close, exciting games, as well as the best home-grown talent from Alabama and Mississippi over that time -- players who have gone on to enjoy tremendous success at both the NCAA and NFL levels.
A total of 17 first-round NFL Draft picks and 116 overall draftees have played in the contest since its inception, an impressive list that includes stars such as Antonio Langham, Deuce McAllister, Jason Campbell, John Copeland, Cadillac Williams, Steve McNair, Willie Anderson, JaMarcus Russell and Andre Smith, the sixth pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Over 80 former All-Star Classic players are currently listed on Southeastern Conference team rosters, which includes pre-season All-SEC selections such as Julio Jones and Rolando McClain of Alabama, Antonio Coleman at Auburn, Mississippi’s State’s Anthony Dixon and John Jerry of Ole Miss.
The Mishkin Group, a Mobile-based sports marketing firm, assumed management of the All-Star Classic earlier this year, and plans on a host of changes to the event including expanded game day and game week events and activities for both players and fans.
This year's All-Star Classic Week in Mobile will run from December 7-12, with the game set for Saturday, December 12. Kickoff time is TBA.
For more information, visit the All-Star Classic’s new website at almsclassic.com.
The complete 2009 Alabama team roster:
Quarterbacks – Daryl Norris, Fairhope; Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County.
Running Backs – Corey Grant, Opelika; Deon Hill, Central-Phenix City; Jamal Woodyard, Fairhope.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – Cameron Groce, Gardendale; Nehemiah Henry, Millry; Maudrecus Humphrey, Hoover; Josh Magee, Hoover; Solomon Patton, Murphy; Jeremy Richardson, Springville; Corey Shelton, Prattville.
Offensive Linemen – Drew Dearman, Vestavia Hills; Quinterrius Eatmon, Vigor; David Fowler, Daphne; John Hix, Auburn; Chase Hughes, Springville; Judd Hunt, Oneonta; Seth Ready, Piedmont.
Defensive Linemen – Fred Carter, Gadsden City; Jeremiah Jackson, Spain Park; Corey Lampley, Dothan; Wilson Love, Mountain Brook; Jared Morse, Oxford; Craig Sanders, Ariton.
Linebackers – Quashan Lee, Prattville; C.J. Mosley, Theodore; LaDarius Owens, Jess Lanier; Jay Prosch, UMS-Wright; Jawara White, Charles Henderson.
Defensive Backs – Deion Belue, Deshler; Dequavious Cobb, Auburn; Nick Perry, Prattville; Demarcus Milliner, Stanhope Elmore; Dale Trimble, Gadsden City; Jarrick Williams, Blount.
Punter/Kicker – Jorge Santa Maria, Foley.
Coaching Staff – Head Coach: Josh Niblett, Hoover. Assistants: Jay Brown, Pell City; Jamey DuBose, Prattville; Keith Etheredge, Leeds; Tad Niblett, Hoover; Gardner Gilliland, Oneonta; Kerry Stevenson, Vigor; Dickey Wright, Homewood.