MISSOURI CITY, Texas - The legacy of high school football in Texas runs deep into the core of every Texan. A high school football program is under the Friday night lights pressure of representing both its school and its town.
Missouri City Hightower quarterback and Texas A&M commit Bralon Addison has thrived under that pressure.
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Addison has led his team from Friday night to Friday night throughout the fall and into the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs. Addison has taken it a step further, though, and will be representing his school, hometown and his home state at the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Addison knows there are huge historical implications with such an elite game being played in his home state. Tuesday morning at Hightower High School, he officially accepted his Army All-American invitation and jersey at a ceremony honoring him.
"They say Texas is one of the greatest football states in America," Addison said, "and a lot of guys in Texas feel that way also. With the Army game being in Texas we have to hold it up, hold up the expectations and live up to what Texas is. We have to go out there and have fun and keep the reputation going."
Addison is humbled to be included among 90 of the top players from across the country, especially knowing the history of the contest.
"It is a real blessing from God and a real honor," he said. "It is very rewarding to be in the same group as athletes like Vince Young, Tim Tebow, DeSean Jackson, Mark Sanchez and other successful athletes. To be recognized with them is a real blessing."
Addison is looking forward to that week in San Antonio and having the chance to be around other top recruits, including future teammates Trey Williams and Mike Matthews.
"It will be fun to play with Trey and Mike," he said. "It will be an immediate bond to be able to get to play with my future teammates. We will probably all hang out together throughout the week and as the event goes on we will probably get to know a lot of the other guys also. It will be real exciting to have a chance to get a feel of how we play together in a gamelike atmosphere ahead of time. College is coming up and for us to be able to get on the field together in January for an all-star game is really exciting."
Addison said with all the Aggie commits being on the offensive side of the ball, they will be protecting and playing off one another in what will be a very competitive atmosphere.
"It will definitely be a different level of play," Addison said. "Everything will be up-tempo, much faster. Players are going to be in the right place at the right time. They are going to get there fast. It will be a real challenge and really exciting."
Another challenge facing Addison will be the transition to wide receiver, a position he has not played in a game setting since his sophomore season. Despite lining up at quarterback the past two years he knows he will be back in the groove after the first or second day of practice.
Addison and the West team take on the East in the 12th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.
"We are all different players coming from all different areas of the United States, all coming together talking about our high school teams, the future," he said. "It is nice because we have all been through the recruiting process and a lot of the guys are top recruits so it is nice to see what is going on in their heads and their perspective on everything. This common bond, and us all being passionate about football, helped us to all become close."