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Stars shine at Burger King All-American Varsity Skills Challenge

ORLANDO -- In an unseasonably cold evening in central Florida, fans were able to get a sneak peak at the talent in the Under Amour All-America Game as the Burger King All-American Varsity Skills Challenge was held at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex.

And if the 18 players who competed in four events taped on Thursday are any indication of the talent level that will be on the field Saturday, fans should expect to see some of the top high school prospects on display.

The competition will air Friday on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET.

Burger King Pass Attack

Florida State commit and No. 1-rated quarterback E.J. Manuel (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) headlined a group of six quarterbacks in the first event of the evening. The other five participants included Mike Glennon (Centreville, Va./Westfield), Landry Jones (Artesia, N.M.), Kyle Parker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail), Braden Hansen (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte-Latin) and Nick Crissman (Surfside, Calif./Edison).

Similar to competitions seen at the NFL Pro Bowls, quarterbacks competed for distance and accuracy. Players threw three balls at each of the three targets (nine total). Each of the targets were worth different amounts -- 20, 30, 40. Players received 10 points for hitting the board and not the target. The final (10th) ball was thrown from the 35-yard line. The "Landing Zone" will be between the hashes. The player received two points for each yard the ball travels. Points were then added together for the final point total.

Glennon, a 6-6 N.C. State commit won the competition with a total of 286 points.

"This was all about coming out here and having fun," Glennon said. "This is the first time I'll ever be on national television. Millions of people are going to be watching so it's definitely exciting.

Under Armour Hands Competition

Tight end Dwayne Allen (Fayetteville, N.C./Terry Sanford) saw NFL stars Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens participate in the hands competition in Honolulu and thought it was easy.

"It was way harder than I thought it was. Before, I was like 'man this is nothing,'" Allen said. "I really didn't envision myself winning it, going up against wide receivers and DBs, me being a tight end.

Allen, a Georgia commit, finished the course, which included and catching balls on the run in 32.9 seconds.

Players began by catching 10 balls in the first area and couldn't leave the area until catching 10. The players then ran through an obstacle course and had to catch three balls thrown by quarterbacks. There was a penalty for drops. Players finished upon catching the final throw. Results were based solely on time.

Blake Cantu (Southlake, Texas/Carroll), Charles Whitlock (Chester, S.C.) and Janoris Jenkins (Pahokee, Fla.) were among the other participants.

Marines Obstacle Course

As the night went on and the temperature continued to drop the Marine Obstacle course was a test of endurance and will.

Keanon Cooper (Dallas/Skyline) finished the course in 28.5 seconds to win.

The players ran through an obstacle course in the fastest time possible. Penalties were enforced if 1) the ball was dropped running through the gauntlet; 2) the player failed to hit every square in the ropes course; 3) the player failed to push the sled three yards. Results were based solely on time.

While the competition was all fun, the win meant a bit more to the 6-0, 195-pound linebacker.

"To be the first one to ever win this competition at this game, that's something big. Hopefully it will stand long," Cooper said. "This was against some of the best in the nation so I'm glad to come out on top in this event."

In addition to Cooper, Darius Willis (Indianapolis/Franklin Central), Kye Staley (Guthrie, Okla.) and Brandon Barnes (Bunn, N.C.) competed.

Linemen Strength Challenge

The unsung heroes -- lineman, also had their chance to showcase their individual talents in the strength challenge.

The player began with a drill called "pushing the wood," in which he had to push a 2x4 10 yards. The player continued over hurdles, pushed the sled 10 yards and went under an agility chute. Finally, he must find a football in a ball pit and end with a 40-yard dash. Results were based solely on time.

Stanford commit Chase Thomas (Marietta, Ga./Walton) won the challenge, finishing the course in 21.7 seconds.

"I just wanted to go out there and do the best I could," Thomas said. "It was definitely challenging, the weather and the sled was the hardest part."

Omar Hunter (Sugar Hill, Ga./Buford), Tyler Westphal (Menasha, Wisc.) and Brandon Thompson (Thomasville, Ga.) also competed in the competition.

Jamar Hudson is a recruiting editor for ESPN.com