This year is a unique year for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Scout.com
as a new challenger has emerged and players from all over the country now have
three big all-star games to choose from. Scout.com will provide in-depth
coverage of all three games.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl has lost some very good talent to the UnderArmour/ESPN All-Star game, but never the less there is still a bevy of talent headed to San Antonio this year. So without further ado lets take a closer look at this years East team.
As with any team the focus here is the talented trio of dual-threat quarterbacks led by five-star phenom Terrelle Pryor. Nobody comes into this game with more to prove then the 6-6, 230-pound wunderkind then Pryor. All year long he has heard people question his mechanics and the level of competition that he faces, but all of those questions will be answered on the grandest stage of them all. The Jeannette, Pa., athlete is fresh off of a (16-0) season that culminated with his Jayhawks winning a state championship Pryor totaled more than 3,500 yards of offense and 60 touchdowns this season.
Star Jackson burst onto the scene during the Spring with an outstanding performance at the Scout.com combine in Miami. The Alabama commit continued his meteoric rise with strong summer camp performances and normally would be the man, but it may be tough to get snaps with Pryor in town. Also providing depth will be Indianapolis native MarQueis Gray. Gray missed most of his senior season with an injury, but he is probably the best pocket passer of this very talented trio.
The running back position should be wide open with three talented running backs who are all evenly matched. Jonas Gray from Detroit, Mich., provides a powerful inside running presence. Manassas, Va., native Ryan Williams has a blend of power and speed and the wildcard will be Ohio State pledge Lamaar Thomas or "Flash" as he is referred to. A game like this is a perfect scene for Thomas to showcase his running and receiving skills and his outstanding speed.
The Army game lost a number of talented receivers to the ESPN contest, but they still managed to get a bunch of talented pass catchers at one of the deepest positions in the nation this year. Ocean Springs, Miss., native DeAndre Brown and Aliquippa, Pa., standout Jonathan Baldwin could form a talented 1-2 punch on the basketball court as both players check in at more than 6-foot-5 tall and weigh-in at over 225 pounds. These two will be a serious match-up problem for the West. Baldwin is also a very accomplished blocker and could see time at tight end. Norcross, Ga., star Brice Butler and DeVier Posey from LaSalle High in Cincinnati, Ohio are as good as any wide receivers in the country. Notre Dame pledge John Goodman was the star of the three-on-three action at last years Army Combine. Kenny Tate from DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md., has shown flashes of brilliance during his career. Now we see if he can do it on a consistent basis over a week of practice. Tate is also very capable on defense as well.
A pair of Ohio natives will be manning the tight end position led by Cincinnati native Kyle Rudolph the nation's top prospect at the position and Dublin-Coffman hybrid Jacob Stoneburner who have committed to Notre Dame and Ohio State respectively. Rudolph cemented himself in the No. 1 tight end spot with an incredible performance on national television this year against Independence at the Herbstreit Challenge. Stoneburner one year ago was destroying the competition in San Antonio at the combine.
The East offensive line should be formidable led by a pair of huge tackles Mike Adams and Lucas Nix who are very nimble on their feet. Adams from Dublin-Coffman is staying home and heading to Ohio State. Nix from Thomas Jefferson, Pa., will head to Pittsburgh to play with his brother Nate. Armwood High tackle Matt Patchan is considered by some to be the best tackle prospect in the country. We'll see what the Florida native has to offer as he will battle Marcus Forston in practice all week. Patchan had trouble at the Scout.com combine with Patchan earlier in the year in Miami. Tennessee native Barrett Jones who is headed to Alabama is a versatile prospect that could play a number of positions along the front. Kyle Long is intriguing because of who he is and that is the son of former Oakland Raider star Howie Long and younger brother of Virginia Cavalier standout Chris Long. Kyle turned down several big time football offers to pursue a baseball career at Florida State.
The East team also features three very talented guards led by five-star prospect and native of Parkersburg, W.Va., Josh Jenkins who recently opened his recruitment back up. McDonough High star Lane Clelland is out to show why he is considered as the top lineman in the state of Maryland. The jury is still out on Jefferson County, Ga., standout A.J. Harmon and not because he can't play its a matter of which side of the ball should he really be on?
The East squad will be without one of their best players as Edgewater, Fla., standout and Ohio State commit Mike Brewster suffered an injury and will not be able to play in the game. That will be bittersweet for Mike Golic as the Connecticut native and Notre Dame pledge should have a leg up on the competition at center.
One area where the East team should be much improved in compared to last year is on special teams with the kicking game. Ohio State commit Ben Buchanan and Georgia pledge Blair Walsh give the East two very viable options