The Under Armour All-America Game can sometimes be known as the “UA Game.” This year, that “A” may stand for Arizona.
Notre Dame Prep athlete Jake Smith is already committed to the game. On Thursday, Chandler tight end and Smith’s future Texas Longhorn teammate Brayden Liebrock committed to the game as well.
Very blessed and honored to announce that I will be attending the Under Armour All American Game!!⚫️🔴 pic.twitter.com/5WHoH4AseL
— Brayden Liebrock (@LiebrockBrayden) September 14, 2018
“This has been a dream of mine to play in this game since I was little,” Liebrock told Sports360AZ. “When I got the invite, I was super excited.”
Liebrock has caught 15 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown in four games this year. He ended his junior season with five straight games with a touchdown.
Smith is putting up video game numbers this year with 16 touchdowns through four games for the 4-0 Saints.
ASU has had its fair share of connections to the Under Armour Bowl. Current coach Herm Edwards was a longtime coach in the game, and, coached his current #1 wide receiver N’Keal Harry in the bowl game in 2016.
There are also two Arizona prep players who are also committed to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio: Pinnacle quarterback Spencer Rattler and Higley defensive end Ty Robinson.
Rattler, an Oklahoma commit, has thrown for 949 yards and has 10 total touchdowns in three game. He has missed time this year due to an ankle injury.
Robinson has nine tackles for loss and a sack through four games. He is the only uncommitted player among the group.
Arizona has strong ties to the All-American Bowl. Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns has coached for the West team the past two years. The 2017 game featured now USC starting offensive tackle Austin Jackson, ASU kicker Brandon Ruiz and safety K.J. Jarrell and UCLA defensive end Odua Isibor. ASU running back Eno Benjamin also played, and made his pledge to the Sun Devils public, in that game.
“I think as the rise of elite, top tier talent in Arizona has been more present in recent years, so has the rise in selections to the All-American games,” 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman said.
“And then you have Jason Mohns being selected as the West’s head coach at the Army All-American Bowl last January, and it’s not just the talent in the state that is respected nationally, but the coaching as well.”
With another strong year coming up in the class of 2020, expect this trend to continue.