COLLEGE PARK – On Jan. 4, two highly touted high school players represented Prince George’s County with pride in the annual Under Armour High School All-America Game in Orlando, Florida.
Team Highlight slipped past Team Spotlight 23-21.
Dr. Henry Wise, Jr. High School senior cornerback Anthony (AJ) Lytton and DeMatha Catholic High School senior lineman Austin Fontaine competed against some of the best high school football players in the nation and showcased their talents.
The UA All-America game was created in 2008 and consists of high school seniors from around the nation that had an opportunity to compete against each other on live television through ESPN.
The players were selected by national recruiting analysts and talent evaluators from ESPN Scouts, Inc.
Some of the current NFL players that have played in this game include Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery, A.J. Green, Jadeveon Clowney, Jarvis Landry, Landon Collins, Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, Ryan Shazier, Jameis Winston, Joey Bosa and many more.
Players such as Lytton and Fontaine are judged on their performances in the contest by NFL and college scouts, coaches and staff, which could lead to possible college scholarship offers or a spot in the NFL draft down the line.
In addition to all of that attention, both teams were coached by former NFL Head Coach Steve Mariucci and NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
Lytton finished his high school career with 132 tackles, 10 interceptions, three forced fumbles, 25 pass breakups, seven tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. Lytton also corraled a fumble recovery during the all-star game as well.
His performance on the gridiron led Lytton to receive offers from the University of Alabama, Clemson University and the University of Oklahoma to name a few, before he signed with Florida State University on Dec. 22.
However, Lytton won't have a chance to play with former Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher who signed a deal to coach at Texas A&M next fall. Fisher coached Florida State to a national championship in 2013.
“I kind of knew he was going to leave,” Lytton told rivals.com. “I found that out before I went down there for the game. I talked to the coaches, talked to my parents, and I still want to go to Florida State, but I am still 100 percent committed to Florida State right now.”
Fontaine had offers from colleges such as Clemson University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona.
However, on Dec. 20, Fontaine stayed local by signing with the University of Maryland (College Park), right down the street from DeMatha.
“So many people have been selected (to the Under Armour All-America game), and they're in the league, Fontaine said in an October interview with The Diamondback. "It means a lot to me because I can potentially be on those players, too."
“(Maryland) is a great school, Fontaine said. “I love the academics part. I know the coaches, and they're going to prepare me for if I want to go to the next level. I want to have something where I can make a good living doing what I love. That's the main goal, whether that's in business or going to the league. I just want to do something I love.”
ESPN ranked Lytton as the 4th cornerback in the nation and Fontaine is ranked as the 10th defensive tackle in the nation.