AUSTIN, Texas -
Team USA quarterback Kiehl Frazier
took a two-step drop and fired a strike to wideout Jaxon Shipley
who had run a perfectly clean and quick post pattern. Shipley caught the ball in stride and zipped up the field.
USA Team offensive coordinator Brandon Faircloth wanted to do something between scream, cry, cartwheels or faint.
Instead he offered this.
"Kiehl Frazier..." he shouted.
He couldn't complete the sentence. No words, no expression could do justice of how pretty and precise that simple football play looked. Faircloth just kept shaking his head and finally just let it go.
"Next play," he said.
"Frankly," USA head coach Darren Allman said. "Brandon is sort of in heaven out there."
Frazier has that kind of effect on people - especially those with a penchant for offensive football.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound senior led Shiloh Christian (Springdale, Ark.)
to three straight Arkansas Class 4A championships and took home three state finals MVP awards with it.
He threw for 2,975 yards and 42 touchdowns in 2010 and ran for 1,164 yards and 22 more scores while leading his team to a 14-1 record.
He's got a full ride to Auburn ready to sign this morning, which he should do around 10 a.m. Central Time, before participating in the second annual USA vs. The World international game at Westlake High School. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
The game promises to be bitterly cold - in the low 20s with a wind chill well below that.
Every reference to Newton around the USA camp over the last three days - yes, the squad had only nine hours to prepare for a team of 45 players from 15 countries and four continents - has been warm and fuzzy.
"I've seen a little on TV and heard for years what a special player Kiehl Frazier is," Allman said. "But beyond his vast skills is a truly high character kid. He's the total package."
CBS/MaxPreps recruiting expert Tom Lemming, who has visited all 50 states this year, scouring the nation to find the football gems, said Frazier is the best quarterback in the country. He ranks him the No. 11 recruit overall in the country.
"He can run and he can throw - that's a great start," Lemming said. "He's a smart kid and a great leader on and off the field. He's the perfect quarterback for the American team. He can do it all."
If that wasn't enough, Lemming took his praise to the ultimate level.
"Honestly, he's going to Auburn and he looks to me like the younger version of Cam Newton - just 40 pounds lighter. I tell you what, he has the physical tools and the intangibles. I wouldn't doubt in three or four years, he'll be battling for a Heisman also."
When told of Lemming's remarks, Frazier, with a smooth and easy disposition - much like his delivery behind center - just smiled broadly.
"It's great to be compared to a Heisman Trophy winner," Frazier said. "But I'm not going to try to go in there and do what Cam Newton did. That's unrealistic. I'm just going to go down and do what the coaches tell me and go from there."
That said, he wouldn't mind modeling Newton, someone he has met before during recruiting trips.
"He's a real cool dude," Frazier said. "Even winning the award, he's so humble and it's obviously how much he loves the game."
Though he shares that love, Frazier clearly isn't as exuberant.
"I probably won't be jumping into the stands after a touchdown," he said. "That's just not me."Another star
Shipley, the brother of famed Texas receiver Jordan Shipley, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, was a late addition to Team USA but hit the ground running at the team's first practice on Sunday.
The 6-foot, 170-pound earned everyone's respect with precise routes, great hands and upbeat unselfish attitude.
Lemming ranks him the 25th best receiver in the country. Allman can't imagine any 24 better. He even compares him in a dead heat with Shipley's brother, who broke virtually every state record with career receptions (264), receiving yards (5,424) and touchdowns (73).
Jaxon will follow his brother's path to Texas. He'll sign a letter of intent to go there this morning during a Team USA vs. The World Signing Day ceremony and breakfast. All 45 Team USA players will be signing letters of intent.
"I would say they are very, very similar," Allman said. "I think he's going to be as exciting a player as Jordan was. He's a very special player.
"From the moment he stepped on that field Sunday, there's a level of respect given to him for what's he's displayed. His crispness in routes. His ability to get to full speed quickly. He has unbelievable hands and a knack to go up and get the ball at its highest point.
"He has great leadership ability like Jordan as well. Both are tough."
Despite being seven years younger than Jordan, Jaxon said he and his brother are extremely close. In fact, Jaxon who recently graduated from Brownwood High School did so not to enter Texas early. Jordan is getting married in May and he figured it would be the last chance for him and his brother to truly bond.
"Sounds corny, but we're really best friends," Jaxon said. "He taught me everything I know and I tried to do everything just like him. He took me under his wing and took me everywhere."
Allman thinks Jaxon can accomplish similar things to Jordan, which would be remarkable considering all the numbers older brother put up in college. That helped him earn a third-round selection by the Bengals.
"Jordan has always told me not to try to live up to him," Jaxon said. "If you put too much pressure on yourself it can make you miserable. The main thing about football is to have fun. It's a game."
Though outgoing and jovial in nature, he goes after that game to the fullest.
"He's an impressive receiver," Frazier said. "And an impressive person."GAME NOTES:
With temperatures hovering well below freezing, a capacity crowd of 10,000 fans likely won't happen. ... "We had a hot day, a perfect day and now a real bitter day," Allman said. "Welcome to Texas." ... Adjustments for all teams coming into Texas is that cut blocking is allowed - just like the NCAA. According to Allman, Texas is the only state in the union that implements NCAA standards. The rest of the NFHS schools don't allow blocking below the waist. ... The World team added three players - all from American Somoa - from its developmental team to complete its 45-man roster. They are defensive lineman Justin Taimatuis, wide receover Lawrence Tuioti-Danielson and running back Viavia Manuma. ... All three played in their country's 35-0 victory over Australia in
the Samoa Bowl last month and were named first team all-stars. Manuma won the offensive MVP award of the Samoa Bowl and was also the MVP of the Samoan high school league. ...
Game time is 7:30 p.m. (CT) and tickets are $8.