U.S. National Team players to watch at IFAF U-19 World Championships

By Brent Glasgow | Posted 7/12/2018

U.S. National Team members take a break during a sightseeing tour earlier this week.

With its 10-day training camp at Northern Arizona University wrapped up, the Under-19 U.S. National Team now heads to Mexico City for the International Federation of American Football U-19 World Championships. 


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The tournament includes teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Sweden and Japan. The U.S. opens the event Saturday against Australia. Canada is the defending champion, following its victory two years ago in Harbin, China.

"We're excited to open the tournament versus Australia," U.S. National Team Senior Manager Aaron Ingram said. "In China we didn’t get to play them, so our program is excited to continue to play new opponents and broaden our knowledge of international play."

Matt Hennesy of Pawhuska (Oklahoma) High School is head coach of the U.S. squad. Hennesy was defensive coordinator for the 2016 U-19 National Team, and head coach of the 2017 U-18 squad that beat Canada in the North American Championship.

The U.S. roster consists of 45 players from 19 states. Here's a look at some of the athletes to watch:


Casey Clanton, 6-4, 240, TE, Central (Phoenix) High School

With offers from Hawaii, Navy, UNLV, Northern Arizona, UC Davis, New Mexico State and Ohio, the senior-to-be plays for dad and Central coach Jon Clanton, a former nose guard at Nebraska.

Chaise Ellis, 5-11, 210, RB, Midwestern State University (Texas)

Incoming freshman was unanimous all-district last fall with 701 yards and nine TDs at Stratford (Houston) High School, which reached three straight postseasons during his career.

Ezekiel Ennis, 6-0, 185, WR, Sacred Heart University (Connecticut) 

Played in nine games as a freshman, with 25 catches for 233 yards and two TDs, and eight carries for 85 yards and a score. Had a 24.9-yard average and TD on 10 kickoff returns.

Ali Jennings, 6-2, 186, WR, Highland Springs (Virginia) High School

All-region and all-state as a junior, with 47 catches for 709 yards and 13 touchdowns. Offers include Michigan State, Illinois, Temple and Georgia Tech.

Treshaun Ward, 5-9, 185, RB, Tampa Bay Tech High School

Tallied 1,222 rushing yards and 15 TDs last season. Has offers from Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, East Carolina, South Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Oregon, Kentucky and Missouri.

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Alex Austin, 6-1, 175, CB, Long Beach Poly (California) High School

Had 29 total tackles last season, and recently picked up his first Pac-12 offer from Oregon State.

Shyheim Battle, 6-2, 185, CB, Rocky Mount (North Carolina) High School 

Tallied 31 tackles on defense, and 361 yards and four TDs at wideout last fall. Lists Clemson, North Carolina State, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia Tech as his top five potential schools.

Cooper Beebe, 6-3, 310, DT, Piper (Kansas) High School

The Kansas State commit had 65 tackles (16 for loss) as a junior, including seven sacks, along with four forced fumbles and four blocked kicks.

Rick D’Abreu, 6-3, 235, DE, Thomas Dale (Virginia) High School

Amassed 72 tackles (13 for loss), including seven sacks, during junior campaign. Offers include all three service academies, East Carolina, Yale, Buffalo, Marshall and James Madison.

Immanuel Hickman, 6-3, 235, DE, Matoaca (Virginia) High School

Chose Cincinnati from a pool of 21 offers. Tallied 130 tackles, 10 1/2 sacks, nine forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries as a junior.

Special Teams

Grant Becker, 5-11, 175, K, Oklahoma State University

Made 35 of 37 extra points and all five field goal attempts as a senior at MacArthur (San Antonio) High School.

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