Under Armour game is decision day for top recruits

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- St. Augustine's Leonard Fournette (5), an LSU commitment, is congratulated by Errol Brown, Jr. after grabbing an interception from Archbishop Rummel High School and running it back for a touchdown in the last seconds of the fourth quarter in October at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- St. Augustine's Leonard Fournette (5), an LSU commitment, is congratulated by Errol Brown, Jr. after grabbing an interception from Archbishop Rummel High School and running it back for a touchdown in the last seconds of the fourth quarter in October at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie.

TAMPA, Fla. — LSU or Alabama?

St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette hasn’t given any clues about which college he’ll attend.

But Fournette, the country’s most coveted recruit, will let the nation know Thursday during the Under Armour All-America Game. Kickoff for the game, which boasts many of the nation’s top high school seniors, is set for 3 p.m. CST at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game will air on ESPN.

It will be the final high school game for Fournette, who has drawn comparisons to running back greats like Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings.

“None of that goes to my head,” Fournette said. “I am just trying to stay humble and stay calm. I’m trying to be better than Adrian Peterson and anyone else they compare me to. I want people to remember me as not only a great player, but a great person that everyone loves to be around.”

Fournette, who will play on Team Highlight, is one of six New Orleans players in the game. Also on his team are Karr athlete Devante “Speedy” Noil, Karr defensive lineman Gerald Willis and St. Aug cornerback Jermaine Roberts. The other two New Orleans area players in the game — Covington defensive lineman Garrald McDowell and John Curtis receiver Malachi Dupre — are on Team Nitro.

“I’m looking forward to playing against (Fournette) a lot,” McDowell said. “He’s a great player, so we have to gang-tackle him. … I’m looking forward to competing with the best of the best.”

Almost all fans watching the game won’t pay much attention to the score. Instead, they’ll be more concerned with which schools some of the top players will decide to attend: Seven players are expected to make their choices known Thursday.

Noil and Willis are set to announce their choices: Noil picking between LSU and Texas A&M, and Willis going with LSU or Florida.

LSU coach Les Miles, whose team beat Iowa 21-14 on Wednesday in the Outback Bowl, said he’s looking forward to the announcements. Two other players in the game, both standouts from Texas, are also possible LSU commits.

“It will be a good day one way or the other, I’m certain,” he said. “We hope to welcome some young men unofficially.”

Roberts committed to Texas in April, and McDowell committed to Ole Miss in December. Dupre plans to wait to take his official visits and likely won’t make an announcement until Signing Day on Feb. 5.

Three LSU commitments are also in the game: University High’s Garrett Brumfield, Parkway’s Brandon Harris and Westlake’s Jacory Washington.