Over the years, the thought of facing North Little Rock (Ark.) running back
Altee Tenpenny has kept many opposing defenders up all night. On
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Thursday, Tenpenny was the one battling a bout of insomnia.
It is not that Tenpenny was worried, he was just anxious and excited as he
prepared to be named a 2013 U.S. Army All-American in front of his peers.
"Growing up, I always wanted to play in an All-American Bowl," Tenpenny said.
"To be chosen to play in the Army All-American Bowl and be recognized for my
abilities is a blessing."
It may be a blessing but Tenpenny has put in plenty of work to achieve his goal.
The standout running back burst on the scene rushing for over 1,000 yards as a
sophomore in 2011. Then he followed up the breakout season with the nation's
second highest SPARQ rating later that summer.
The future was bright for the standout running back, who held six BCS offers
before his junior season and he had a feeling if he stayed on track his goal of
playing in an All-American game was within reach.
Then an ankle injury derailed his junior season before it ever started. Tenpenny
never played a down in 2011, but he also never got down. He knew there was work
to be done, and Friday morning as he put on the Army All-American jersey on, he
He thanked coaches, family, teachers, and teammates who saw him through his
tough times, and admitted the reality has yet to set in. It may be a while
before it does set in, but he does know what he is looking forward to the most.
"I'm looking forward to being able to play in the game and experience the
competition level that I'll be facing for the next three or four years of my
Tenpenny is slated to face that competition over the next three to four years at
a number of reasons
"It's just the tradition they have at the school and at the running back
position," Tenpenny said. "The coaches they have and everything they've been
able to do."
Despite his commitment other schools have not stayed away, and Tenpenny plans to
take official visits to both Alabama and Arkansas.
"I've been trying to figure out dates," Tenpenny said. "I've been talking to my
parents about it, but nothing is set in stone right now."
His visits may not be set in stone and his recruitment may go down to signing
day, but Friday morning one thing was clear and Tenpenny could not hide his
"All that's going through my mind is I have to give God the glory," Tenpenny
said. "To be able come back from an injury as junior to play in an All-American
Bowl is a testament of God in my life."
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