Photo: USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. — It was the Under Armor All-American Game — a spring board for Amari Cooper, Leonard Fornette, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Jameis Winston and others during the past 10 games.

And of all the All-Americans from the 50 U.S. States in the game’s eleventh iteration, two from Texas launched the opening salvos during Thursday night’s 23-21 blending of the nation’s best talent at Camping World Stadium.

B.J. Foster, one of eight University of Texas signees and No. 1 rated safety in the country per both 247Sports and the ESPN 300, forced a fumble less than three minutes into the game and set up a 21-yard scoring run by Maurice Washington two plays later. Armed with the Angleton, Texas safety in its defensive arsenal, ahe Longhorns currently have the third-most (15) ESPN 300 commits.

“To see some of these kids start in junior high and matriculate up the ladder and end up in the Under Armor Camp Series, is amazing,” said Deion Sanders, the head coach of team highlight, during halftime interviews.

Angleton wasn’t the only city to shine in the game, though.

Washington (left) stands with Team Highlight Head Coach Deion Sanders. The Cedar Hill, Texas, product scored three touchdowns during the All-American Game. USA TODAY SPORTS

Washington, a four-star Cedar Hill Trinity Christian High School running back, made his mark early after scoring Team Highlight’s second touchdown of the game on a wheel route of the backfield. That reception led his team to a 13-0 first half advantage.

The still uncommitted No. 15 overall running back also had a 65-yard kick return and a two-yard rushing score in the second half. Washington,one of the lowest-rated recruits in the game, coming in as the No. 415 player and No. 19 RB overall and No. 54 player in Texas according to 247Sports, became the first player in Under Armour Game history to score a rushing TD and receiving TD and earned the game’s Offensive MVP.

Katy High School’s Seth Small, headed to Texas A&M after graduation, was on the money, nailing all three of his point after attempts and a field goal in the fourth quarter.

So was Foster, who broke up a sure Joey Gatewood touchdown pass on one play and picked the quarterback off seconds later and Arp’s DeMarvion Overshown, who’s goal line tackle helped seep time away from Steve Mariucci’s Spotlight team and secure a victory.

To Sanders, though, the All-American game is a beautiful component of a system that allows iron to sharpen iron and the rarely seen — like Trinity Christian’s unsigned product — to take center stage.

“In high school you don’t always play against the best talent [every week] but when you go to the series you do,” Sanders said. “If you want to [move up] you just jump in there and move up.”

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Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State. Follow him on Twitter, @TheMJMatthews, and read more of his content here.

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