SAN ANTONIO - Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down the performance and takes a closer look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of eight standout performers from the 10th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
U.S. Army All-American Bowl: West Squad
ILB V.J. Fehoko, 5-11/215, Honolulu (Hawaii) Farrington
CONSIDERING: Texas Tech was in the lead, but things could change with the recent coaching change.
ASSETS: Runs down hill and may be one of the hardest hitters in the country.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Played defensive end in high school, so working on his backpedal and moving in space is a key, because he is too small to play with his hand on the ground at the next level.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: Had a huge hit on Ware in the first quarter which may have been the biggest collision in the game.
CONCLUSION: I think wherever he ends up he will become a special teams monster and the type of undersized linebacker that overachieves and leads his team in tackles.
K Cade Foster, 6-1/215, Southlake (Texas) Carroll
COMMITTED TO: Alabama
ASSETS: Excellent overall athlete that has a very strong leg, especially on kickoffs.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to become a more consistent ball striker on extra points and field goals.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: Was able to get great height and good distance on all of his kickoffs.
CONCLUSION: Could handle kickoffs as a freshman for the reigning National Champions.
OLB Josh Shirley, 6-2/225, Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser
CONSIDERING: Has a top six of Arizona, Miami, Tennessee, UCLA, USC and Washington.
ASSETS: Super-athletic player with tremendous body structure and a motor that never stops.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He got the opportunity to show off his athleticism on a 77-yard scoop and score off a blocked field goal.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME:
CONCLUSION: I predict he will play as a freshman even though playing linebacker is new for this jumbo athlete. He will be too valuable on coverage teams, and too athletically gifted to ride the bench.
PQB Connor Wood, 6-4/209, Houston (Texas) Second Baptist
COMMITTED TO: Texas
ASSETS: Has a nice combination of size and athleticism, and shows excellent poise in the pocket.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Mechanically he needs to keep the elbow higher this will prevent balls from sailing high. Wood will also need to get used to the huge jump in competition he will make.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: Kept his eyes downfield even when being flushed from the pocket, this enabled him to find the open receiver in the end zone after the play broke down.
CONCLUSION: I'm sure Texas would like to redshirt Wood to create separation between him and Garrett Gilbert and allow him to learn the offense. But he is probably one injury away from seeing playing time as a freshman.
U.S. Army All-American Bowl: East Squad
DT Sharrif Floyd 6-3/310 Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington
COMMITTED TO: Florida
ASSETS: He is physically strong enough and quick enough to play at the next level right now.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He really is at the perfect size right now, so maintaining his current size will be important. I think if he gains any substantial weight he could be prone to injuries.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: He busted through the gap between the center and guard and sacked poor Austin Hinder before he could even turn around.
CONCLUSION: It will be hard for the Gators to keep this beast off the field. If he comes into camp in shape and ready to play he most certainly will be in the interior defensive line rotation.
PQB Paul Jones, 6-2/226, McKees Rocks (Pa.) Sto Rox
COMMITTED TO: Penn State
ASSETS: Has excellent overall size, good athleticism and a very strong arm.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Jones has to become more comfortable in the pocket and when under pressure he gave up on too many plays early. He will need to learn patience and have the confidence to rely on his arm.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: Jones came rolling out of the pocket and threw a rocket shot downfield, displaying superior arm strength.
CONCLUSION: With Clark finishing up his senior season and Penn State really only having Kevin Newsome who got little playing time as a freshman, Jones may get a chance to play early. In his favor is the fact that he is enrolling early.
SDE Blake Lueders, 6-5/250, Zionsville (Ind.)
COMMITTED TO: Notre Dame
ASSETS: Huge, long frame that is only going to get bigger once he begins participating in football all year round. Lueders is also very athletic for his size.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Has played linebacker the last two seasons, but will most likely play defensive end or at least the strongside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. He will need to add some size and strength to become a more effective pass rusher
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: He was the leading tackler for the East squad with five tackles and a forced fumble.
CONCLUSION: Notre Dame needs defensive help, and he could make the two deep early because he instantly adds athleticism and size.
PQB Cole Marcoux, 6-5/234, Bronx (N.Y.) The Fieldston School
COMMITTED TO: Dartmouth, but would consider a DI offer.
ASSETS: Has prototypical NFL size, is extremely smart and has a very strong arm.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to continue to work on becoming a better athlete which will allow him to buy more time in the pocket.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN GAME: Led the East squad on its only two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. His touchdown throw to McCartney was a laser shot that few high school quarterbacks in the country could make.
CONCLUSION: After this week some DI colleges have to be rethinking their current quarterback situation. Marcoux is clearly better than a two-star and has more potential than at least a third of the current quarterbacks already committed in this class.