Toledo St. John's offensive lineman Ohio State verbal Jack Mewhort is among the first 45 players tapped for ESPN's Under Armour All-America Game. The game will be held Sun., Jan. 4, in Orlando. Click here for more details on the game, a link to the roster of players already selected and comments from Mewhort on his selection.
This past January, ESPN launched the Under Armour All-America Game as a showcase of some of the nation’s top high school prospects.
ESPN is already hard at work in putting together the encore to that game. The second annual Under Armour All-America Game will be held on Sun., Jan. 4, 2009. It will again be held in Orlando, Fla.
And ESPN and representatives of Scouts Inc. already have commitments from 45 of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2009 to play in that game. Two of Ohio’s top prospects have already committed to the game in Toledo St. John’s offensive lineman Jack Mewhort and Garfield Heights defensive lineman Melvin Fellows.
Mewhort is an Ohio State commitment. Fellows, rated as Ohio’s No. 1 overall prospect by Ohio High magazine, has made a soft verbal to Illinois but is still considering Ohio State. (In fact, Fellows attended OSU’s spring practice session on Saturday.)
Some of the other key prospects who have committed to play in the game include California quarterback Matt Barkley (USC verbal), Texas quarterback Russell Shepherd (LSU verbal), Hawaii linebacker Manti Te’o, Florida defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and Florida wide receiver Duron Carter.
As many as 35 more players will be added over the next several months and as the 2008 high school season unfolds.
The 2009 Under Armour All-America Game will be held on a Sunday night to avoid a conflict with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which will be held on Sat., Jan. 3. The NFL playoff schedule has not been set, but the Under Armour Game could appear on ESPN immediately following an NFL playoff game.
Mewhort Reacts To ESPN Honor
The 6-6, 283-pound Mewhort is one of the top offensive linemen in the country and he verbally committed to the Buckeyes in December. He has been a starter at center since his sophomore season at Toledo St. John’s High School.
“It’s an honor being picked for the ESPN game and it reflects a lot of hard work,” Mewhort said. “I didn’t even start for my freshman team. To come this far, it’s been an awesome ride and I just want to keep getting better.”
Mewhort learned of the news last week with a phone call from a former OSU assistant coach.
“Yeah, Bill Conley from ESPN called me and told me,” Mewhort said. “My little sister was the first to know because she was sitting right there. It was pretty exciting.”
Mewhort enjoys spending long hours in the weight room. He can bench 385 pounds and squat 425.
“I’m working out a lot right now – five days a week,” he said. “I do four days of lifting and one of conditioning. And then when this snow melts up here, I’m going to be flipping a lot of tires. Actually we’ve been flipping tires indoors, but we’ll do a lot more of it outside. I’ll also be doing work running with power bands, just trying to improve my overall explosion.”
When Bucknuts checked in with Mewhort, he was on his way to Ohio State to check out some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of spring practice.
“I’m actually on my way to Columbus right now for a position meeting,” Mewhort said. “It’s going to be really cool to see (offensive line coach Jim) Bollman in his element and all the guys. It will be interesting to see how he handles the herd and how they all interact with each other. I’m just really looking forward to it. It’s a great mix of guys – some of them are seniors who have done it all and some of them are younger guys I will hopefully be playing with.”