Army All-American Bowl preview
SAN ANTONIO -- The 10th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl is set to take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET in front of a nationally televised audience on NBC. As always, the East will take on the West with another year of bragging rights on the line.
This year's West team features the top two ranked defensive ends in the country in Jackson Jeffcoat (Plano, Texas/West) and Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde), although Jeffcoat will not play due to a sprained ankle suffered on the hardwood last week. Jeffcoat is the No. 1 prospect in the ESPNU 150; Powell checks in at No. 3.
A third defensive end, Owamagbe Odighizuwa (Portland, Ore./David Douglas), is one of the top rising seniors in the country. Odighizuwa is the No. 38 prospect in the country and Texas commit Reggie Wilson (Haltom, Texas/Haltom) is the No. 89 prospect in the ESPNU 150, rounding out the West's immensely talented group of pass-rushers.
A pair of big hitters lead the charge in the West's secondary. Ahmad Dixon (Waco, Texas/Midway), the No. 15 prospect in the ESPNU 150, is one of the hardest hitters in the country and the Baylor commit will visit USC in two weeks. Joining Dixon is future Oklahoma Sooner Tony Jefferson (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake), who checks in at No. 10 in the ESPNU 150.
The nation's top offensive line prospect, Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall), will anchor the West's offensive line along with Texas A&M commit Jake Matthews (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) -- the son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Henderson is the No. 4 prospect in the ESPNU 150, while Matthews has the versatility to play anywhere along the line. These two will be responsible for protecting the West's three quarterbacks -- Texas commit Connor Wood (Houston/Second Baptist), BYU commit Jake Heaps (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and future Golden Bear Austin Hinder (Steamboat Springs, Colo.).
The West team also includes a number of explosive playmakers at receiver and running back. USC commit Robert Woods (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) is the most explosive player in the game and ranked No. 23 in the ESPNU 150. He will team with receiver Trovon Reed (Thibodaux, La./Thibodaux) to give the West two players that have the ability to score anytime the ball is in their hands. USC running back Lache Seastrunk (Temple, Texas/Temple), the No. 29 prospect in the ESPNU 150, also brings explosive straight-line speed to the West's running back position.
The East squad has three standouts quarterbacks -- Penn State commit Paul Jones (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox), future Spartan Joe Boisture (Saline, Mich./Saline) and West Virginia commit Barry Brunetti (Memphis, Tenn./University) -- who will be responsible for getting the ball to their top-notch receivers and running backs.
A trio of talented pass-catchers is led by Clemson commit Martavis Bryant (Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna), who is the No. 28 prospect in the ESPNU 150. Tennessee commit Markeith Ambles (McDonough, Ga./Henry County) and Kyle Prater (Hillside, Ill./Proviso West) join Bryant. Ambles is the No. 39 prospect in the ESPNU 150, while Prater checks in at No. 43.
Running back Marcus Lattimore (Duncan. S.C./James Byrnes) is one of the top uncommitted players in the country, while Penn State commit Silas Redd (Stamford, Conn./The King & Low Heywood Thomas) is another talented runner for the East.
The East also has two of the top tight end prospects in the country in Florida commit Gerald Christian (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) and future Hawkeye C.J. Fiedorowicz (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg). Christian is the No. 32 prospect in the ESPNU 150.
On the other side of the ball, three big-time playmakers -- defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, Pa./George Washington), defensive back Matt Elam (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) and Jaylen Watkins (Fort Myers, Fla./Cape Coral) will do their best to contain the West's potent offense.
Floyd is another top uncommitted player in this game and will choose between Ohio State, North Carolina and Florida this week. The Buckeyes are considered the favorites to land the No. 70-ranked prospect in the country. Elam, No. 13 overall prospect, and Watkins were headed to Florida as recent as last week, but Elam just sent shock waves through the state of Florida after dropping the Gators for rival Florida State.
Gerry Hamilton has covered recruiting in Texas and the Southwest for more than a decade. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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