When Centerville (Ohio) offensive tackle Evan Lisle takes the field on Jan. 5 at the Alamodome dressed in the black and gold of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, it will be his own chance to carry on a family tradition.
The ties to the Army run deep in Lisle's family. His father is a graduate of The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and went on to serve four years in the Army. Meanwhile, the day Army Bowl representatives were presenting Lisle with the game jersey was the same day his older brother left for boot camp.
"My brother and my dad are both in the Army and it is a huge deal that I can show people about the Army," Lisle said. "It's a huge honor. We've always had a military appreciation. My dad definitely taught us how important the Army is."
Before he grew into a 6-foot-6, 265-pound athlete with outstanding football talents, Lisle himself considered following in his father's footsteps.
"After my freshman year I wanted to play football, but I always thought about it," he admitted.
There will be a contingent of family support for Lisle when he lines up for the East team in the 2013 Army Bowl, but one member of his family will not be present. Lisle's older brother leaves for advanced training two days before the game will be played, but he will not be far from Lisle's mind when Lisle takes the field on Jan. 5.
"Both of my family members who have been in the Army, this will definitely be to show respect for them and to honor what they have done for the country," Lisle said.
When the time came to select his own post-high school graduation direction, Lisle made an early decision to accept an offer from Ohio State less than a week after receiving the Buckeyes' offer. Now having watched the first half of Urban Meyer's first season as head coach, Lisle is excited about the direction of the program.
"They haven't lost a game and they are getting better every week," Lisle said. "Their offense looks amazing and watching them play gets me excited to get out there and help out."
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