Analysis: Four Takeaways From The Army All-American Bowl

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Photo via Chris Brown,


San Antonio is a sports crazy town

The Alamo City loves football, judging from the 40,568 fans that showed up. The tally marks the highest turnout for a high school game or event this season and the largest crowd in the championship game history. Originally established in Dallas in 1985, the Army Bowl made the four hour jump to San Antonio in 2002, marketing the nickname “Military City USA” because of the area’s strong service presence.

The Alamo City has long been in the running for a professional football franchise; dwindling numbers for the UTSA Roadrunners and the failure of the AFL Talons is causing some concern for potential franchise owners. However, the television market is grouped with Austin and is the only major Texas city with a sizable population that has only one professional sports team and no NFL franchise. With a famished fanbase salivating for Texas football, the popularity of the Army Bowl and the Alamo Bowl will be indicative of future football events at the Alamodome.

The intensity of in-game commitments

We’re assuming Baron Browning got into Okudah’s ear about Ohio State. According to the No. 7 player in the country, the Buckeyes recruiting efforts throughout the week were lax compared to the hounding of fellow suitors Florida and Oklahoma. Additionally, Browning is a pal with the South Grande Prairie standout, so a persuasion to join the Columbus campus seemed like a no-brainer.

Between time-outs during the Bowl, six other student athletes gathered behind an erected table positioned in the far corner of the end zone. Team hats were positioned in line stretching before the player, heightening the suspense as the athlete gave thanks to God and their families before selecting the cap embroidered with the logo of their choice school.

Wylie East running back Eno Benjamin chose the Sun Devils over Baylor, Michigan, Texas, and Utah.

ASU already has senior depth at the position, which may cause Benjamin to redshirt. The all-purpose back possesses a 3.94 GPA and plans to pursue a degree in Business Law.

Aledo’s Chuck Filiaga chose the tutelage of coach Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, selecting the Wolverines over Oklahoma and Nebraska. Outside of Texas high school athletes, Calabasas cornerback Darnay Holmes chose to stay local at UCLA, much to the chagrin of his young nephew.

Bishop Gorman safety Bubba Bolden had us experiencing deja vu in the press box when he committed to the Trojans for a second time after dropping USC back in the summer.

Rounding out the remaining commits: Graham OT Foster Sarell chose Standford and Cathedral wide receiver Jamire Calvin picked Oregon State.

Texas grads so-so in West outing 

Texas talent didn’t do much on the West team, falling to the East 27-17.

Baron Browning accounted for four tackles on the defensive side and Eno Benjamin compiled 35 yards of total offense; his 24 rushing yards was second best behind quarterback Tate Martell’s 31 yards.

The defense had a difficult time containing the East’s surging offense, sacrificing 316 total yards – a troubling reminder of how lousy Texas college programs were at stopping the ball this year, the attention of coaches focused primarily on uptempo, high scoring offensive schemes.

The rest of the Lone star roster didn’t do so well: DeSoto’s Shawn Robinson had -9 yards of offense; K.J. Jarrell and Jeffrey Okudah accounted for two tackles respectively.

Offensively, the West sputtered to get anything past an oppressive East front, barely managing 155 yards against a unit that was only penalized once.

Buckeyes eye Army Bowl competitors

Ohio State had their pick of the high school football litter, securing nine participants of the Army Bowl to their 2017 class. Five-star pickup Okudah was the latest addition and became the fifth defensive back to join the program this season. The Buckeyes class currently ranks No. 2 in the nation and have three Texas high school athletes in tow. Commits from the Army Bowl include Miamisburg OT Josh Myers, St John Bosco OL Wyatt Davis, Trinity db Shaun Wade, Dematha dl Chase Young, Bishop Gorman wr Tyjon Lindsey, La Grange RB J.K. Dobbins, Bishop Gorman QB Tate Martell, and Bishop Gorman DT Haskell Garrett.


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