Tag:Army All-American Bowl
Posted on: January 9, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: January 9, 2011 10:34 am
 

2011 Army All-American Bowl Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. – The trophy was raised, the confetti was falling and the hollering from the East squad was energetic.

At that moment, it seemed that the Army All-American Bowl week was over. For the players meandering around the Alamodome floor however, the experiences and friendships developed in San Antonio would prevent the game from ever ending.

“I met a lot of great players from all over, from the east and the west team,” West cornerback De’Anthony Thomas said. “This game, to me, was about friendship. A lot of us are going to the next level and we’ll be competing against each other.”

To a man, from the 5-foot-9 Thomas to the 6-foot-6 Antonio Richardson, players gushed with how they would cherish the memories they made and the bonds they formed.

“Overall, I’m proud of my team, I built a lot of relationships this week,” Richardson said. “I’m sorry I have to leave, it’s almost like these guys are my family now. I’m going to miss these guys.”

Louisville commit Teddy Bridgewater also grasped that the week was more about football, about more than a win or a loss. Standing off to the side as his teammates celebrated their victory, Bridgewater talked at length with an army corporal.

“It’s a privilege, not everyone gets to wear their flag on their jersey and play for their country. This past week has been indescribable,” he said. “It opened my eyes to the world, I sat down and talked with my soldiers and they told me how life is in the army. I was asking them questions. You know you have to have that heart and that courage to be able to put your life on the line each and every day. I just want to say thank you to the soldiers.”

Timing Down Pat

Bridgewater also made a memory on the field, scoring the East’s first points of the game and turning the momentum of the ball game around with a perfectly lofted 22 yard fade to Miles Shuler.

“It was third down and cover zero,” Bridgewater said of the play. “We ran a vertical switch. That’s a hard play to stop when you’re in man coverage. The wide receiver did a good job of selling the out route and converting it into a vertical. Our timing was down pat, we worked on that pass in practice and executed it in the game.”

Developing timing is difficult as is for quarterbacks but Bridgewater was able to overcome that and more during a frustrating week of practice.

“It’s very hard, especially for me, because during the week I was suffering from a groin injury,” he said. “For some reason, every time a game comes around I don’t feel any injury. I was limited in practice to throwing and the little throwing I did, it paid off out here.”

Of course, having so many four and five-star guys to throw to wasn’t a bad perk.

 “To be able to throw to different receivers from across the country, with different speeds, different sizes and with some of the best hands in the country, that’s a privilege,” he said. “We only had four days to really get the timing down but it was something special.”

Hart Rolls Into History

Demetrius ‘Dee’ Hart was going to make headlines no matter what he did in the game on Saturday. As one of the best backs in the nation, his commitment would be him talking the talk. On the field, his performance allowed him to walk the walk as Hart became the first player to eclipse 100 yards rushing in Army All-American Bowl history.

“It’s an honor and I am just humbled by it,” Hart said. “The other guys upfront just went out and did their job which helped me get my yardage. I couldn’t have done it without them. To be the first 100-yard rusher in Bowl history is great and, again, I’m just humbled when you think of the players like Adrian Petersen that have played in this game.

“It’s been an amazing week and this is a great, great way to end it.”

As a result of his efforts, Hart was named Army Bowl MVP. Most of his yardage came on one play, a 69 yard scamper along the numbers before finally being tackled.

“Yeah I thought I was going to (score),” he said with a large grin. “We were trying to set it up, we were running up and coach was like, do we have anybody that can run around the edge? Everybody was looking around and I was like, ‘I’ll get it.’ So he said, ‘Dee go in.’

“When I got it, there was one guy up front and I felt like we were one-on-one so you’ve just got to tackle me and he didn’t. So I got into the second level and saw (Nickolas) Brassell. I thought he was going to block the guy but he was running with me trying to celebrate (laughs).”

Notes:

Hart’s 69-yard run was the third-longest since at least 2004. … The win propelled the East to a 6-5 lead over the West all-time. … Saturday’s attendance of 37,893 was a new Army All-American Bowl record. … The final score of 13-10 made the game the lowest-scoring game. … The East set a Bowl record with 12 sacks. … The East outrushed the West 169 yards to -20 while  the West out-passed the East 164 yards to 90.

Posted on: January 8, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Army All-American Bowl Recap

Posted by Bryan Fischer

 

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t necessarily ugly. It was definitely a “defensive struggle.”

 

And it didn’t matter to the East squad as they came from behind in the fourth quarter to seal a 13-10 win in the 2011 Army All-American Bowl.

 

“On the sideline we were all telling ourselves that we needed to be the best football player on the football field,” East defensive end Aaron Lynch said. “We did that and that’s how we came out with a win.”

 

Alabama pledge Demetrius Hart earned Army Bowl MVP honors after becoming the first person to rush for over 100 yards in Army Bowl history; powered mostly by an impressive 69 yard run up the sideline. The East’s real strength, however, was in a dominating front four that applied pressure in the form of 12 sacks as West quarterbacks were harassed in the pocket all day.

 

“Our O-line was battling back and forth,” West quarterback Cody Kessler said. “But it was kind of hard to drop back and read and then you look up on your fifth step and you have two D-tackles in your face.”

 

Seven players on the East squad recorded at least one sack and three had at least two tackles for loss.

 

“From that first play in the second half, I knew it was going to be on from then,” defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan said. “At the end I saw the guard and the center breathing hard, I saw that we had been working them all night and they were tired. I said it’s time to take over right now.”

 

A slow start set the tone early as the teams managed just one first down and had seven punts between them in the first quarter. Kessler got the start as the West team quarterback and finished the day with 109 yards and one touchdown pass to Jaxson Shipley that brought the record crowd of 37,893 to life in the second half.

 

The rest of the second half would belong to the East though. Louisville quarterback - he's already enrolled he said - Teddy Bridgewater lofted a beautiful fade to Miles Shuler in the back of the end zone for the East’s first points and they never looked back.

 

West defensive back De’Anthony Thomas was one of the best defenders on the West squad, finishing with eight tackles, an interception and a tackle for loss. Despite the impressive game, he told whoever would listen that he, “would be playing running back at the University of Southern California.”

 

Of course, had he done that in this game, he’d probably would have had to block someone from the East defensive line.

 

And it wouldn’t matter one bit. Not even a team full of All-Americans could do that today.

 

Recruiting Update

 

Utah’s move to the Pac-12 in 2011 reaped its first reward as running back Harvey Langi chose the Utes over new conference foes USC and Stanford. Langi is listed as a running back but has the frame to add weight and become either a fullback or linebacker. Houston Nutt also picked up a big in-state commitment in wide receiver Tobias Singleton. Singleton was also considering Mississippi State.

 

The BCS National Championship teams gained several commitments at the game. Linebacker Colt Lyerla chose the Ducks over USC and Cal and adds to an already stellar class. The Ducks’ opponent on Monday, Auburn, picked up verbal commitments from Kris Frost and highly rated linebacker Brent Calloway. Frost projects as a linebacker but said he will start on offense. A report from 247sports shortly after his announcement says Auburn will refuse his commitment due to lack of scholarships available. Despite the conflicting information in Frost’s commitment, snagging Calloway from archrival Alabama is a huge pickup for the Tigers.

 

Offensive tackle Donovan Smith gave Joe Paterno added offensive line depth by putting on the Nittany Lions’ hat. James Sample committed to Washington while Gerrod Holliman added his name to a very impressive Louisville class.

 

Defensive back Wayne Lyons, legitimately the smartest player on the field, chose Stanford despite the departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh. When Lyons said he would choose a school based on academics, he backed it up despite not knowing who he would play for. Across the Bay in Berkley, well-regarded Cal recruiter Tosh Lupoi kept big defensive tackle Vilami Moala close to home.

 

Defensive back Odell Beckham must have enjoyed LSU’s Cotton Bowl win Friday night as he pledged to be a Tiger. A former Michigan commit, Demetrius Hart went south and said he would enroll early at Alabama. Talented linebacker Lateek Townsend stayed in state and committed to Clemson.

 

Posted on: January 8, 2011 8:15 am
Edited on: January 8, 2011 10:00 am
 

U.S. Army All-American Bowl Preview

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Basics: East vs. West high school All-Star game, 1 p.m. EST, Jan. 8, NBC.

Who's playing: The top high school players from across the country. MaxPreps.com has broken down the rosters by school for both the East and the West squad.

Why You Should Watch: With the college football season officially wrapping up in just three days, it's time to turn your attention to the players looking to make an impact for next year. From the quarterbacks to the linebackers to the kickers - yes, even the kickers - some of America's best high school players have descended on San Antonio for the last of the two major All-Star games. Several players are set to announce what school they're committing to at the game so feel free to tune in for kids picking up hats and stay for some good football too. Given all of the great high school talent, the level of play in this game should be much, much higher than Pitt and Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl on at the same time.

Who to watch on the East squad: The linebacking core for the East is loaded with talents like Lateek Townsend (Bennettsville, SC), Curtis Grant (Richmond, VA) and Brent Calloway (Russellville, AL). The group should be able to roam free and make plays thanks to the better of the two defensive lines, led by stud defensive tackles Timmy Jernigan (Lake City, FL) and Michael Bennett (Centerville, OH). On the offensive side of the ball, the running back group is one to keep an eye on. MaxPreps.com’s number one overall player James Wilder Jr. (Tampa, FL) should carry most of the load while being complemented nicely by the speedy Mike Blakely (Brandenton, FL) and Demetrius Hart (Orlando, FL). Paving the way up front is uncommitted tackle Antonio Richardson (Nashville, TN) and very athletic guard Aundrey Walker (Cleveland, OH). A lot of eyes will be on Nick O’Leary (West Palm Beach, FL) because he’s not only the grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus, but the last time he was on national television he made an obscene gesture and was suspended two games.

Who to watch on the West squad: There's a ton of firepower on offense for the West everywhere you look. The triggermen are guys who can step up into the pocket and deliver throws down the field while being mobile enough to escape outside if needed. Of course, turning around and handing off to any of the running backs also works. San Antonio-area stud Malcolm Brown (Cibolo, TX) is the best of the bunch and is looking to cap off a terrific year with a good performance in front of the home crowd. It’s hard to miss him at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds but tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is athletic enough to create a huge mismatch no matter what he does on the field. And when the defense comes on the field, keep your eye on De’Anthony “The Black Mamba” Thomas (Los Angeles, CA) who may be small but is one of the quickest players in the nation.

What else is happening: Besides 41 of the MaxPreps.com top 100 recruits squaring off? A lot. Roughly fourteen of the nation’s top players will select their school. Among the names set to announce is Colt Lyerla (Hillsboro, OR) between Oregon and USC. Alabama commit Brent Calloway is also expected to commit, well, recommit on national television to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. And because the whims of 18 year olds change daily, the final list of who is or isn’t committing won’t be known until a few hours before game time.

No matter what, some big name players are ready to take the field at the Alamodome. Given the talent that the Army All-American Bowl has a reputation for producing, such as Vince Young, Desean Jackson and Mark Sanchez, odds are you’ll be seeing several members of the group playing in the NFL Pro Bowl a few years from now.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com