ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour
HILLSBORO, Ore. - Few prospects in the nation compare athletically to Hillsboro (Ore.) High running back/linebacker/tight end/defensive end Colt Lyerla. While blowing everyone away with his exploits on the football field and on the combine circuit, Lyerla was recognized on Thursday as one of the nation's best when he was officially invited to participate in the US Army All-American Bowl.
The versatile player will suit up as an outside linebacker for the West squad on January 8, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Lyerla's coaches and teammates were on hand for the ceremony as he spoke about his thoughts on being selected to play in the prestigious game.
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"I'm grateful, blessed and excited to get there and to see what it's all about," Lyerla said. "I'm excited to play against the best. They are going to have me play outside linebacker, and I'm looking forward to getting out there and get after some people on defense."
Hillsboro's head coach Ken Ingram was on hand for the ceremony and was proud of his star player.
"He makes everyone around him better," Ingram said. "He's such a teammate. He just wants to win and help his team get better. He just plays hard."
Ingram was well aware of the history of the game, now in its eleventh year.
"It's really special because I lived in San Antonio when they had the first All-American game so I know about the game and how big of a deal it is," he said. "It is a great atmosphere and it is something that Colt will remember for the rest of his life."
"I'm so proud of him and happy for him," Ingram beamed. "He's such a competitor and plays so hard all of the time."
Lyerla was reflective after the ceremony and thankful for all of the help that he's had along the way.
"Everybody at Hillsboro from the teachers to the staff, to my friends and their parents, everyone has been out here supporting me and helping me through my football journey," he said. "I couldn't have done this without them."
His coaches have also been very important to him and he was sure to thank them as well.
"I want to thank all of my coaches," he said. "All of them have been there for me not just as coaches but as family. I am fortunate to be surrounded by such talented mentors.
He currently holds over 30 offers, but hasn't even thought about whether he'll announce his college decision at the game. For the time being, he's set his attention toward the Spartan's season and recruiting has been placed on the backburner.
In the meantime he has been busy doing everything he can to help his team this season as they look to defend their state title. A difficult proposition because Hillsboro made the jump up a division this year going from 5A to 6A (reserved for the state's largest schools.)
"We're doing good," Lyerla said when asked about the season. "We could be doing better, but it is only mid-season and we're going to get out there and turn it around."
He also has big plans for his time in San Antonio.
"I hope to go out there and help my team," he said. "I also want to prove that I'm there for a reason."