The game is being billed as “the last game of the Orange Bowl” and here is a preview of the two squads that will take the field for the last time in one of America’s most historic stadiums.
We’ve already previewed the East squad for the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl and now it’s time to take a look at the West and see what it is bringing to the table.
The Pac-10 will be well represented in the offensive backfield led by Scout.com 4-star quarterback Matt Scott, who is committed to Mike Stoops and Arizona, and Beau Sweeney, who is headed to play for Jeff Tedford and Cal.
Nate Stanley is making the trip down from the Sooner State and he will add a little Big 12 flavor to the guys playing under center.
A pair of 4-star running backs, Sausan Shakerin (Utah) and Jamal Womble (North Carolina), gives the West a good 1-2 punch with Shakerin’s tough inside running style between the tackles and then Womble’s ability to make people miss and get to the outside.
The wide outs for the West have a good combination of big, physical receivers that are tough to jam off the line with Jeff Fuller (Oklahoma), Marvin Jones (California) and Jake Murphy (BYU), then there are the ones that do their damage after they make the catch and get in the open field in Kemonte Bateman (Arizona State) and Allante Battle.
While the tight end may not be very involved in the passing game for the East we expect that to be an area that could create some mismatches for the West.
The nation’s 12th ranked tight end Matt Branch (LSU) has good size and has shown the ability to make a lot of plays and then Arizona State commit Steven Figueroa will have a chance to use his 6-5, 220-pound frame to his advantage and give the quarterbacks a big target across the middle.
The offensive line will have its work cut out against the East defense but with players like Almeda Ta’amu (Washington) and Andrew Sampson (Arizona State) on the edge, flanked by Kermit Tyler (Ole Miss) and Derek Tuimaugua on the inside with David DeCastro (Stanford) at center there definitely isn’t a shortage of talent to tackle the task.
All it takes is one look at the roster for the defensive side of the ball and the thing that jumps out at you are the quality of players on the defensive line.
Scout.com 4-star defensive end Chase Clement (LSU) could man one side and two guys who will also come off the edge are UCLA commit Damien Holmes and Washington commit Everette Thompson. All three rely on their speed and quickness to make plays and they have all made plenty of them throughout their high school career.
Armond Armstead (USC), Trevor Guyton (Washington), Tony Gillespie and Mandela Kazi will make things very strong up the middle on the front line and Armstead is someone who is athletic enough to also come off the edge and he may also see a little time at tight end as well.
DeWitt Stuckey (Oregon) and Kyle Mangan (Texas A&M), a pair of 4-star linebackers, play sideline-to-sideline and will be tough to run on and they will get some help from Kurt Mangum and Rueben Willis. Don’t be surprised to see Chase Clement play some linebacker too because he moved around from linebacker to defensive end over the past three years and is athletic enough to make the move at any time.
The secondary is led by 4-star cornerback Aaron Hester (UCLA), and a pair of 3-star corners in Marc Anthony (Cal) and Keon Furtch (Texas A&M), and 3-star safety Corbin Brown. The ranks are thin in the defensive backfield so putting pressure on the East signal callers will be critical for the West to come out on top.
The country’s 2nd rated kicker Quinn Sharp (Oklahoma State) will handle all of the kicking and you will be hard-pressed to find someone better to handle those chores.
The rosters are set and players will be arriving in Miami on Monday for what is shaping up to be an exciting week for some of the nation’s top prospects for the 2008 class.
The Scout.com staff will be bringing you tons of coverage throughout the week so be sure and check SuperPrep.com
for updates on the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, as well as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the UnderArmour/EPSN All-Star Game several times a day.