Florida commit Driskel helps Red team win Under Armour game

Florida commit Ja'Juan Story, center, battles to get downfield while being blocked on a punt return during first-half action at the Under Armour All-American football game at Tropicana Field. (Dirk Shadd/St. Petersburg Times)

Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 12:17 a.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — When passing wasn't working for Jeff Driskel, he turned to his feet to make a play that almost sealed the Under Armour All-America Game on Wednesday.

With Click-Clack (Red) leading Micro G (White) 14-9 in the third quarter, the Oviedo Hagerty quarterback dropped back from his own 37-yard line. With the pocket collapsing and white jerseys rushing from the outside, Driskel stepped up, cut to his left, pump-faked and tore off toward the left sideline.

Driskel then made a cut to his right as tight end — and future Florida teammate — A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville University Christian) delivered a crushing block to Micro G safety Jabari Gorman (Miami Monsignor Pace), which set Driskel free as he cut to the right and sprinted untouched for a 63-yard touchdown.

“If I see open field, I'm going to take off,” Driskel said. “I was fortunate enough to get in the end zone.

“I saw nothing but green. If there is open field like that, I'm going to take my chances. My speed is kind of underestimated.”

Driskel finished the night with 18 yards on 2-of-8 passing. He had a game-high 80 yards rushing on six carries — more rushing yards than the entire Micro G team.

It seemed as though Driskel's heroics were enough for Click-Clack until Micro G, led by USC quarterback commit Max Wittek, went 90 yards on six plays to go up 22-21 with less than two minutes remaining.

After getting down to the Micro G 6-yard line with three seconds left, Click-Clack kicker Taylor Bertolet had his kick blocked by Micro G's Anthony Johnson, but an illegal procedure resulted in a re-kick — a kick Bertolet drilled, giving Click-Clack the 24-21 win.

While Driskel ended his night victorious, his future school began the night with good news.

During the first quarter, Florida grabbed the 16th verbal commitment of its 2011 recruiting class when Gorman picked the Gators over Ohio State and Miami during his live ESPN announcement.

“I feel good,” Gorman said about his decision. “It's a new program and I want to be a part of an up-and-coming program and win a national championship with the Gators.”

Gorman finished with two tackles.

From there, Florida's commits — outside of Driskel — were relatively quiet.

Micro G cornerback De'Ante “Pop” Saunders (DeLand) didn't record any defensive stats, but returned a punt 15 yards. Brooksville Nature Coast receiver Ja'Juan Story caught a 9-yard pass on Click-Clack's game-winning drive, while Leonard only recorded a tackle. However, Leonard was on the receiving end of a devastating hit by Florida State safety commit Karlos Williams on a pass in the first quarter.

Williams later snatched a tipped pass from Driskel for a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown.

As for prospects interested in Florida, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Marcus Roberson (Micro G) had a tackle and an interception, and Wadesboro, N.C., Anson linebacker Stephone Anthony recorded four tackles.

One of Florida's top remaining targets, Tampa Alonso defensive end Anthony Chickillo earned Click-Clack MVP honors after registering four tackles, 1.5 sacks and recovering a fumble.

Chickillo will officially visit Florida this weekend.

“It's been a great experience out here with all these great guys,” Chickillo said. “I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life.

“Under Armour makes it so good and all these guys, I'm never going to forget for the rest of my life.”

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