Teammates Heading To San Antonio
Michael Williams
Michael Williams

Posted Sep 25, 2006

VENTURA, CALIF. -- Mike Williams and Blaine Irby of Ventura, Calif. were named as 2007 U.S. Army All-Americans. They join a group of extraordinary student-athletes selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, January 6, 2007 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

This classic East vs. West match-up will be televised live on NBC at 10:00 a.m. (PT) and will feature the nation’s top 80 high school football athletes.

Since its inception, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been a key launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Williams and Irby join the likes of Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Brady Quinn, and Adrian Peterson who all made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans.

"We are excited to see these fine young men represent their school and community as a U.S. Army All-Americans," said Colonel Thomas Nickerson, Director of Strategic Outreach for the U.S. Army Accessions Command. "The U.S. Army recognizes the value of individual talents toward achieving team goals, and Michael Williams’ and Blaine Irby’s abilities and dedication make them strong additions to the game."

Mike Williams is a standout cornerback and Blaine Irby is a standout tight end at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, Calif. They were two of 400 players nominated nationally and then ultimately selected by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee. The committee consists of, Tom Lemming, and SportsLink, Inc. As a U.S. Army All-American, Williams and Irby are eligible for the following honors: National H.S. Player of the Year Award, Walter Payton Trophy, AFL Ironman of the Year, U.S. Army Scholar Athlete Awards, and the Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard U.S. Army Awards.

"Mike Williams is one of the sharpest defensive backs in the nation. He shows great ability when reading defenses, reacts quickly, and shows tremendous skill when making a play on the ball," said Garrett Shea, Director of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. "Blaine Irby is one of the top tight end prospects in the country. He has a great combination of size, power and speed that make him a very difficult cover. He has also proven to be an outstanding blocker and all-around athlete. Mike Williams and Blaine Irby are extremely talented players, and the Bowl is proud to have them join the U.S. Army All-American class of 2007."

"Irby is being recruited as a linebacker and tight end, but his future is on the offensive side of the ball. He might be a bit undersized for tight-end, but he makes up for that with his speed, ability to catch the ball and great hands," said analyst Brandon Huffman. "One of the smartest players in this class, Williams can read the offense and has excellent instincts. Has good speed and quickness."

As a U.S. Army All-Americans, Williams and Irby will have the opportunity during Bowl week to participate in a series of Army leadership and teamwork sessions, NFL athlete seminars, study hall sessions, and goal setting and achieving workshops.

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