ORLANDO — Cambridge Christian’s Richard Gouraige can roll off the names of former standouts who have played in the Under Armour All-American Game.
"A lot of greats have come out of here. Myles Garrett. Jabrill Peppers," he said.
Those were defensive players.
Gouraige was nominated to play in this game because of his ability to stop defenders.
The 6-foot-5, 271-pound offensive lineman spent Tuesday’s afternoon practice learning the blocking scheme. He did it playing alongside good friend Nicholas Petit-Frere of Berkeley Prep, who will both compete for Team Spotlight in Thursday’s game at Camping World Stadium.
"I can’t even describe it really," Gouraige said. "I’ve been raised as a kid on this game and I’m trying to cherish every moment, every down, every breath really.
"It’s just wonderful here."
Initially, Gouraige was going to announce his college decision during the game. He could not wait, committing to Florida three months ago.
The commitment still stands, but Gouraige did not sign during the early period in December. That decision was due in large part to the coaching change (the Gators hired Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen) and to take more time in making the right choice.
Another SEC school could be in the mix: Auburn, which has a history of landing top locals.
Gouraige watched the Tigers in the Iron Bowl and likely will take a visit this month.
New Gators blood at QB
One of the biggest recruits for Mullen is four-star dual-threat quarterback Emory Jones. Jones (6-3, 195), from Heard County High School in LaGrange, Ga., was originally thought to be heading to Ohio State but changed his mind late in the process when Mullen was hired.
He has enrolled early and will get a jump on trying to become the Gators’ starter. He is one of eight Florida recruits who will enroll early and one of five Gators who will play in Thursday’s game.
Jones said he was never told he could be the starting quarterback as a freshman, but he knows there is a chance at seeing early playing time.
"I’m going to have a chance to come in and compete right away," Jones said. "I see myself fitting in there pretty well. It’s a pro style, spread type of offense and Coach Mullen is good at developing those kind of quarterbacks."
Armwood running back Brian Snead is back in Orlando after playing the Class 6A state championship here three weeks ago. He is committed to Ohio State but won’t leave for Columbus until the summer.
Snead is one of four players in the Under Armour game committed to Ohio State, so part of this week’s preparation is getting to know some of his new teammates.
He said he is also trying to soak up all he can in practices and during the game.
"There’s a lot of good players out here," Snead said. "For me, it’s about learning something new every day, getting better every day. It’s all about getting coached up. I don’t have anything to prove."
While Snead said he’s had fun in Orlando, the only thing he couldn’t do was change Jones’ mind about Ohio State.
"He’s just told me that it was a better decision for him to go to Florida," Snead said.
Under Armour All-American Game
When/where: 6 p.m. Thursday; Camping World Stadium, Orlando