Just a few years ago, the Army All-American Bowl was the premier national all-star game for the top prospects in the county. With the Under Armour game, which Breitbart Sports previewed, and the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, which features lesser known prospects, recently emerging, this classic game still features exceptional talent including top quarterback Max Browne (pictured). In addition to the matchups of some of the best players in the country, this game also features an East v. West rivalry that makes for a compelling game with regional pride on the line
While prospects like Robert Nkemdiche (current #1), Carl Lawson, Reuben Foster, and Montravious Adams will be making their case for the top spot on Friday, Browne, Jaylon Smith, Su’a Cravens, and Kendall Fuller will have their chance for a closing argument on Saturday at 1pm EST on NBC. Below are the top 10 players to watch, not necessarily the top ten players, in the Army All-American game.
WR DeMarcus Robinson, 6’2″, 200lbs., from Fort Valley (GA)- UNCOMMITTED
Robinson has to be very thankful that he’s on the East squad and able to avoid the nightmarish defensive backfield of the East squad led by Jalen Ramsey and Kendall Fuller but also including Tray Matthews and Mackensie Alexander, although he will still have to do battle with USC commit Su’a Cravens on the West. He’s had a very good week of practice and is poised for a big game. Robinson will also headline the list of announcements as he plans to end his up and down recruitment that includes two separate commitments to Clemson with a brief commitment to Florida in between. Now, Robinson is uncommitted after de-committing from Clemson as he arrived in San Antonio. Although anything could happen her, my gut says Robinson commits to the Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers.
RB Greg Bryant, 5’11”, 197lbs., from Delray Beach (FL)- NOTRE DAME
After a great week of practice, Bryant is set to challenge for the top spot in the running back rankings. He’s a complete back with vision who can catch the ball well out of the backfield. Despite his initial commitment to Oklahoma and subsequently looking at Auburn and South Carolina, Bryant now seems solid to Notre Dame. He and Green will be leaned on heavily to compensate for relatively poor quarterback play on the East team.
WR James Quick, 6’1″, 180lbs, from Louisville (FL)- UNCOMMITTED
Quick is not one of the headliners of the game, but his performance will be crucial for taking the pressure off of the East quarterbacks. Quick’s decision on Saturday will also be one of the main one’s to watch as it will likely come down to Ohio State or Louisville. While the victory for Louisville this week certainly has caught Quick’s attention, Ohio State may have a slight edge.
RB Derrick Green, 6’0″, 220lbs., from Richmond (VA)- UNCOMMITTED
While Bryant charges for the number one ranking among running backs, Green will be looking to hold on to it. A big, physical back, Green was once an offensive guard in high school before taking physical fitness seriously and shaping up to become the premier power back in the nation. The friendly competition between Green and Bryant will be interesting as will Green’s recruitment. Green has long been leaning towards Auburn, but their woes this year have Michigan firmly in the lead. Auburn continues to be a player in Green’s recruitment as is Tennessee and Florida State. He hopes to commit in the middle of January, and, as of now, I would guess it will be to Michigan.
DB Jalen Ramsey, 6’1″, 190lbs., from Brentwood (TN)- USC AND DB Kendall Fuller, 5’11”, 189lbs., from Olney (MD)- Virginia Tech
I am cheating here a little bit with these two, but the competition between them for best cover corner and the competition between these two and Max Browne will be fascinating to watch. Both have blanketed receivers all week, and Browne will really have to shine to get anything going. Fuller is a solid commitment to Virginia Tech while Ramsey is committed to USC but Oregon, Florida, Auburn, and Vanderbilt could continue to be factors in his recruitment.
QB Max Browne, 6’5″, 202lbs., from Sammamish (WA)- USC
Perhaps no other player in this game is in the conversation for top overall as much as Browne. In order to achieve that status he faces an uphill climb not only in surpassing Robert Nkemdiche and Carl Lawson, but also in performing well against the defensive backfield of the East. Browne has great physical tools with an accurate arm although he is certainly lacking in the mobility department. He is a big part of the top recruiting class that Lane Kiffin has put together at USC.
LB Jaylon Smith, 6’3″, 223lbs., from Fort Wayne (IN)- NOTRE DAME
According to Rivals.com, Smith is the highest ranked player in the game (Nkemdiche and Lawson, the only two players ranked higher, are playing in the Under Armour game). He has a great frame and skill set and has been a consistent top performer at practice. He will be tasked with slowing down Green and Bryant. Smith is firmly committed to Notre Dame and is the crown jewel of an outstanding class for Brian Kelly.
RB Thomas Tyner, 6’0″, 200lbs., from Aloha (OR)- OREGON
If players were ranked based on how good they project to be with their specific college destination, Tyner would be in discussion for number one. The five star Tyner will be a perfect fit in Oregon’s offense, provided Chip Kelly passes on the allure of the NFL. Look for some big plays from the ultra-speedy Tyner.
QB Tyrone Swoopes, 6’5″, 235lbs., from Whiteright (TX)- TEXAS
Remember another Texas quarterback prospect with great size and mobility, but an inconsistent arm? Yep, Swoopes reminds many of Vince Young, and has struggled in the passing game. Whereas Young shined in this game when he played, Swoopes may get lost in the shadow of Max Browne. Having once been regarded as one the the elite players in the country, Swoopes has nearly fallen out of the Rivals100 and Saturday’s game will be his last chance at redemption before suiting up for the Longhorns.
LB Mike Mitchell, 6’5″, 222lbs., Plano (TX)- UNCOMMITTED
Mitchell came out of nowhere this summer and instantly became a camp sensation. With a great frame, Mitchell runs a sub- 4.4 forty yard dash, and is knocking on the door of five star status. A great week at practice followed by a solid game performance should get Mitchell there. He is also set to decide between Ohio State, Oregon, and Texas A&M during the course of the game. While Mitchell certainly finds playing near home and in the SEC appealing, Ohio State appears to have the lead for his services.
Breitbart Sports will continue to provide outstanding recruiting coverage and will have a wrap up of the weekend’s all-star games, the release of the Breitbart 25 (our rankings of the top 25 players in the country), and first-class coverage leading up to, during, and after National Signing Day.