U.S. Army AA announcement tour galleryClick ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour | Here to view this Link.
There was little suspense leading up to Tuesday's announcement that San Antonio (Texas) Madison running back Aaron Green would be playing in front of his hometown fans in this year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
After all, the sensational running back was one of a select few to be announced at last year's game as early selections for the upcoming contest. Since that announcement, the 5-11, 191-pound four-star running back has had quite a fall. He gave his commitment to the University of Nebraska, helped lead his team into the playoffs by rushing for 1,717 yards and 19 touchdowns with a gaudy 7.2 yards per carry.
Regardless of when he knew he'd be representing the West team in this year's game, playing in the same game he watched for so many years, in person and in his hometown of San Antonio, isn't any less special.
"It's big, you know I'm excited for it and it's just a huge blessing," Green explained. "I just want to go out there and show what I've got in front of the whole United States."
Living in San Antonio, Green said he got to see some future college greats show their stuff in the same game years ago.
"Yeah, I was very familiar and I always went to the games, because it was in my hometown," Green said. "It's not too far away, so I'd always go. I watched Terrelle Pryor, Reggie Bush, Joe McKnight, Tim Tebow - top notch guys like them."
If you ask Green when he knew that he'd also be an Army All-American, he won't tell you last year as an all-star junior when it became official.
"I kind of knew I was going to play in that game since I was a little kid," Green said. "I just knew."
At Madison High School, his head coach Jim Streety also has plenty of insight into this particular game. He was the head coach of the West team last year and has also been an assistant coach in the past.
"I mean we're real honored to have another guy play in the game, and having been an assistant coach and a head coach in that game, it's the best of the best," Streety said. "It's a great honor."
A couple glimpses of Green's highlight film over the last three years usually gives people a clear understanding on why he was one of the nation's top running backs and drew a slew of scholarship offers.
His coach says there is plenty to like about Green.
"He is just tremendously athletic," Streety said. "He has a great burst of speed, great vision, he can return kicks, catch passes and he can just do so many things. He can also be a tough runner. Although he's more of a finesse guy, he can be a tough runner."
Though Green is aware of some minor criticisms of his game, as Streety alluded to, he doesn't feel he has to prove something to the fans in this particular game.
At the college level is when Green plans to show everyone what he can be.
"I don't have anything to prove I don't think," Green said. "I'll save that for when I get to Nebraska."
No one on the Madison staff was questioning his toughness considering Green was fighting an ankle injury for the better part of his high school career.
"I just think there were some games there where he was obviously not full speed, but that he still got the job done," Streety said. "One in particular this year, in preseason, we played a real tough New Braunfels, a tough defensive team. I didn't even know for sure if he'd be able to play. Low and behold, he goes out and plays a great game. It's real close in the fourth quarter, and he breaks a 50-yard touchdown. That just told me the kind of dependability that guy had."
Green rushed for more than 1,100 yards as a junior and his biggest year was as a sophomore when he put up huge numbers including 2,024 yards rushing, an 8.4 yards-per carry average with 27 touchdowns.
The 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played on Jan. 8 at 12 noon CST and will be televised live on NBC.