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 West defensive line will enter the contest with a lot to prove as the East offensive line unit is very highly touted. R.J. Washington and Chancey Aghayere from Texas will be applying the pressure from their spots at defensive end. Washington has an explosive first step and it will be interesting to see if the mammoth tackles on the East can contain him.
Nebraska commitment Baker Steinkuhler is an interesting specimen. At 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, the mammoth two-way lineman posted a 4.78 forty yard dash at session of the Huskers' summer camp and has 32-inch vertical leap. He could play a number of positions along the offensive or defensive line and it will be interesting to see where the West coaching staff sees him fitting in the best.
Soloman Koehler, Lawrence Guy, Ethan Johnson, and Kavario Middleton round out the rest of the defensive line unit and the first three guys figure to do most of their damage on the interior of line, while the five-star Middleton will be in the mix at end. Many people believe Middleton's game is most suited for the offensive side of the ball, but this game and week of practice will give him the chance to show if he is physical enough to play defense on the next level.
The ESPN game will feature some good linebackers like Jon Major, but the West squad at the Army game appears like it will be strong as well. It does not boast as many stars as the East linebacking unit, but there is definitely some talent at the position. Scout.com five-star prospect Lynn Katoa is only playing his second full season of football and he gets better at the game with every snap he sees. He will most likely be patrolling the middle for the West.
Dravannti Johnson played defensive end as a senior in high school, but will be making the move to OLB for this game. It will be interesting to see if he can dominate the position like he did as a junior in high school. Mike Mauti, Anthony McDonald, and Kyle Prater will round out the linebacker corp. McDonald will get the chance to carry on an All-American tradition as many players from his high school (Notre Dame High, Cali) have played in this game and gone on to star on the next level.
Fans who have followed this game over the years understand how important cornerbacks and safeties will be as the defensive scheme is limited to man-to-man coverage. The West will get a break as the nation's top receiver, Julio Jones, will be playing in the ESPN game in Orlando, Fla., but there are still many weapons to be concerned about.
Texas Longhorn commitment Aaron Williams is a physical cornerback who is not only good in coverage, but also has the innate ability to come up and make tremendous tackles in run support. He may be the guy who draws the East squad's best receiver when he is on the field. The Longhorns have also secured a commitment from the D.J. Monroe who is another corner prospect that will be looking to lock down the East receivers. Monroe does not have the size of an Aaron Williams, but he has great ball skills.
Robert Golden will get the chance to represent the Arizona Wildcats in the game. Arizona will lose Antoine Cason to the NFL this year and they may rely on Golden to come in and see the field right away. He will get the chance to show what he can do by locking down some of the best receivers in the country.
Gerell Robinson is an interesting story as most fans and experts consider him as an offensive player at wide receiver, but he will be playing safety in this game. He definitely has nice size at 6-foot-4, but will he be physical enough to get the job done come game day?
Nolan Brewster, the son of current Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, has great size at 6-ffot-3, 200-pounds. He is physical safety that really understands the game. He may eventually make the move to linebacker as he grows in college, but he will be manning up as a defensive back in this game.
Rahim Moore may be the most interesting prospect on the entire West defense. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound five-star safety has compiled 22 interceptions in his last three years for the ultra competitive Dorsey High in Cali. Moore will knock your head off at safety, but also has the skills to be a lock down corner. I would expect that Moore will be used all over the field similar to the way the East team utilized Eric Berry a year ago.