football Edit

Army Bowl: The Farrell Awards

SAN ANTONIO -- The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is in the books once again with the West dominating the East 37-9. After following practices in San Antonio all week leading up to the game, here are the Farrell Awards from the event.

LIGHTNING IN A BOWL

Mecole Hardman
Mecole Hardman

ATH Mecole Hardman Jr., Bowman (Ga.) Elbert County

This award goes to the most dynamic and exciting player during the week, the guy who gets everyone's attention when he has the ball. Hardman started off at defensive back early in the week but moved to his true position, wide receiver, and had a big impact. But where he really excited was on special teams where he was dynamic, fast and made some folks look foolish.

Honorable Mention: ATH Demetris Robertson from Savannah (Ga.) Savannah Christian School showed flashes of his amazing speed and shake-and-bake ability all week. Long Beach (Calif.) Poly athlete Jack Jones always seemed to be around a big play. Mililani, Hawaii running back Vavae Malepeai was also exciting when he touched the ball and Naples, Fla. athlete Tyler Byrd did a little of everything it seemed in the game.

PHYSICAL PROWESS

DT Raekwon Davis, Meridian, Mississippi

This award is given to the best-looking prospect on the hoof, the guy who looks like he could play in college or even the NFL right now. It’s hard to find a bigger prospect than Davis, who dwarfed teammates on the West squad and was impossible to compare historically, at least in Rivals.com history, as a 6-foot-7, 330-pound defensive tackle. This kid is simply huge and doesn’t have much bad weight at all and showed off his power by slamming down a running back in the backfield in the game.

Honorable Mention: Toccoa (Ga.) Stephens County offensive tackle Ben Cleveland looks like a million bucks and is one of the few offensive linemen you’ll see turning his jersey into a crop top. Miami (Fla.) Miami Central safety Jamel Cook looks great for his position. Macon (Miss.) Noxubee defensive end Jeffery Simmons looks the part for sure. Darien (Ill.) Hinsdale South defensive end Josh King has a great frame. Lexington (Ken.) Lafayette offensive tackle Landon Young has a great frame as well to fill out.

BULL MARKET

ATH Tyler Byrd, Naples, Fla.

This goes to the player who raised his stock the most during the week. This year it could go to many prospects but the show that Byrd put on, a kid who isn’t ranked in our Rivals250, was off the hook. For this category I usually look for a three or low four star kid who could shoot up the charts and Byrd fits the bill despite an average week of practice.

Honorable Mention: Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf linebacker Shaquille Quarterman proved to be a lot quicker than expected. Fellow linebacker Erick Fowler from Manor, Texas really raised his stock as well. Macon (Miss.) Noxubee County defensive end Jeffery Simmons also improved his stock quite a bit and could be pushing for a fifth star. Offensive tackle Tramonda Moore from Oklahoma City (Okla.) John Marshall is a three-star who looks like a four and the same can be said for Missouri City (Texas) Elkins defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek defensive end Josh Brown could also be in for a bump.

BEAR MARKET

DeKaylin Metcalf
DeKaylin Metcalf ()

WR DeKaylin Metcalf, Oxford, Miss.

This award is not one that you want; it's for the player whose stock dropped the most during the Army Bowl week. This is a tough call for sure and it's always hard to talk about one or two players who didn't impress in a week of action, but every year there are a few guys who are simply disappointing. Metcalf had a bad case of the drops all week in practice, had a hard time getting separation and in the game seemed a step too slow for the West corners. He’s a big kid, but if you’re not going to outrun speedy guys you had better catch everything.

Honorable Mention: RB Tavien Feaster from Spartanburg, S.C. was injured off and on all week and was effective off and on when he was in, but his performance wasn’t close to his No. 27 overall ranking. Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla quarterback Feleipe Franks was up and down in practice, but his memorably bad performance in the game really dropped his stock. He threw two picks that were just inexcusable and tried to rely on his big arm too much while not seeing the field. Coconut Creek, Fla. teammates Binjimen Victor and Trayvon Mullen didn’t help their stock either and offensive lineman Frank Martin was arguably the most overmatched tackle all week in practice.

FANCY FEET

ATH Demario McCall, North Ridgeville, Ohio

This award goes to the player with the best feet, whether it's an offensive lineman or a cornerback, big man or mighty mite. McCall has great feet and showed it in the game and flashed it at times in practice. He has a very good jump cut and he can change directions quickly, living up to his reputation as a guy who can make people miss.

Honorable Mention: ATH Jack Jones from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly has great feet for a cornerback and is dangerous after a pick. Mecole Hardman is lightning quick with those feet. Vavae Malepeai has good feet in traffic, as does Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete scat back Melquise Stovall.

HARD HAT

LB Mique Juarez, Torrance (Calif.) North

This one goes to the biggest hitter, which is essentially the guy who laid the lumber in the game or by accident in practice because there was not much tackling to the ground during the week. Juarez had a big tackle in the game and then flashed the Landshark for Ole Miss fans, and his block on Jordan Fuller on the opening kickoff was devastating.

Honorable Mention: Shrevport (La.) Calvary Academy defensive back Chanse Sylvie had a huge hit on special teams in the game as did Meridian, Miss. defensive tackle Raekwon Davis. Miami (Fla.) Miami Central athlete Jamel Cook had some hits in practice. Macon (Miss.) Noxubee County defensive end Jeffery Simmons also had a huge hit in the game. Linebacker Caleb Kelly from Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West was in on a few big hits as well.

LUNCH PAIL

LB Carter Coughlin, Eden Prairie, Minn.

What's the difference between Hard Hat and Lunch Pail? The Hard Hat Award is for the biggest hitter while the Lunch Pail Award is for the guy who does the dirty work that doesn't get into the box score or noticed by many. Coughlin is a technically sound player who covers a lot of ground and does a good job of forcing plays back into traffic or filling a lane to clear up other defenders to make the play.

Honorable Mention: Paintsville, Ky. Linebacker Kash Daniel does a lot of what Coughlin does while Raekwon Davis holds up numerous bodies as a defensive tackle. Sugar Hill (Ga.) Lanier defensive tackle Derrick Brown accounted for two and sometimes three blockers in the game itself. West DesMoines (Iowa) Valley offensive guard John Raridon did some nice, unnoticed work in the middle. Antwuan Jackson from Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove also provided a nice push during the week and in the game which allowed others to make plays or led to incompletions or minimal gains.

STICK'EM

Tyler Vaughns
Tyler Vaughns ()

WR Tyler Vaughns, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat

This award sounds like it's for a defender who hits, but it's really for a receiver with the best hands during the week. Vaughns caught everything thrown his way and does everything so effortlessly that it looks like he’s just gliding to the ball. He provides a big target and has a huge catch radius.

Honorable Mention: Corona (Calif.) Centennial wide receiver Javon McKinley didn’t drop much and the same can be said for Concord (Calif.) De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi. Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback Jack Jones showed great ball skills on defense as well. I have to mention Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers receiver Austin Mack who made some amazing catches even though he dropped some easy ones.

POISE UNDER PRESSURE

QB Shea Patterson, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

This is essentially for the best quarterback who performs when the lights come on and there is actually a live pass-rush coming at him and this year it’s Patterson who came out and simply dominated. He was on point every time he was in the game, ran when he had to and threw some of the prettiest balls you’ll see not only in the game but all week in practice.

Honorable Mention: Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. quarterback K.J. Costello had a very efficient game and threw for two scores while Columbus (Ga.) Carver quarterback Jawon Pass had a solid game despite his teams struggles.

ROCKET ARM

Shea Patterson
Shea Patterson ()

QB Shea Patterson, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

This award goes to the quarterback with the best arm who showed the ability to make all the passes with zip on the football. You’d think this award would go to Feleipe Franks, but it’s not about who can throw the ball the farthest it’s about who can sling it the best. That’s Patterson in a tight battle over Jacob Eason. The ball comes off Patterson’s hand with such velocity and almost always in a perfect, catchable fashion and his arm strength made the other two quarterbacks on the West look weak-armed at times.

Honorable Mention: Eason and Franks also both have cannon arms with Franks able to throw it nearly 70 yards it seems and Eason throwing one of the best 15-yard outs you’ll ever see.

ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT

ATH Mecole Hardman Jr., Bowman (Ga.) Elbert County

This goes to the player who was the best overall athlete at the event and there were many. Hardman gets the nod because he started off as a cornerback, moved to wide receiver and was always on special teams as a return guy. He could probably have played some running back and maybe even thrown the ball as well.

Honorable Mention: Torrance (Calif.) North linebacker Mique Juarez played linebacker and running back and has shown in high school and this week how versatile he can be. Kingswood, Texas athlete Sewo Olonilua was expected to play linebacker but moved into a running back role on the West and showed athleticism. Guys like Demetris Robertson, Jack Jones and others also showed great athletic ability.

THE SNUGGIE

Jack Jones
Jack Jones ()

ATH Jack Jones, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly

This is for the player who provided the best coverage on defense during the week, and Jones was all over everyone. His instincts are excellent, he can bait the quarterback when he wants to and his closing speed and timing are both on point. There were a few impressive cornerbacks this week, but Jones stood out as the best.

Honorable Mention: Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro cornerback Byron Murphy was solid in coverage all week. I liked Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola corner David Long. Warner Robins, Ga. cornerback Marquez Callaway had his moments for the East team. Oh, and let’s not forget Tyler Byrd who was okay all week but was amazing during the game itself.

MIGHTY MOUSE

ATH Jack Jones, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly

This goes to the smallest guy who made the biggest impact and played bigger than his size and Jones was that guy. I’ve already talked about how explosive and exciting he is as a little defensive back but as a return man he can be dangerous and it wouldn’t surprise me if he played some offense as well in college, he’s that good.

Honorable Mention: Demetris Robertson isn’t the biggest guy in the world but always brings speed and excitement. Mecole Hardman Jr. is a little receiver and return guy with a big personality and ability to make plays. Tyler Byrd and Byron Murphy aren’t that big either, but they are excellent prospects.

ANGER MANAGEMENT

Erick Fowler
Erick Fowler ()

LB Erick Fowler, Manor, Texas

This award goes to the scrappiest player, the guy who competed not only to the whistle but at times beyond it. Fowler played some at end and mostly at linebacker and he was always running to the football and that hustle and desire showed in the game as well. He also lays the lumber when he arrives and lives to play physical.

Honorable Mention: Offensive tackle Matt Farniok from Sioux Falls, S.D. tossed a guy out of bounds during the game and was mixing it up a bit in practice. Raekwon Davis body-slammed a running back in the game and knocked some people on their butts during the week. While he didn’t have a great game, Brian Burns from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage showed excellent hustle all week. Eden Prairie, Minn. linebacker Carter Coughlin was also all over the field.

ALL OR NOTHING

Austin Mack
Austin Mack ()

WR Austin Mack, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers

This is for the player who will either make a huge play or potentially make a mistake or be invisible at times. Mack is perfect for this because he can make some amazing plays with one hand or by contorting his body but then drop a pass that is perfectly thrown. He catches more than he drops, let me make that clear, but he’s a big play waiting to happen who can drive you a bit batty with some inconsistency.

Honorable Mention: Hardman can be put in this category as he had some nice catches but some big drops as well and was very erratic on defense early. Demetris Robertson had some drops to go along with some big plays. Brian Burns is a guy who will either beat you with speed or get stuffed. La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat wide receiver Trevon Sidney flashes at times and then disappears. And speaking of disappears, Tavien Feaster out of Spartanburg, S.C. was injured, looked good, then got injured again.

POSITION PRECISION

Brian Burns
Brian Burns ()

LB Brian Burns, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage

This goes to the player who stood out despite playing a position he is not likely to play at the college level. Burns is being recruited as a linebacker at Miami but all week he was beating tackles with his outside pass rush with his hand down. He was handled fairly easily in the game itself which was disappointing, but he has very good upside as a hybrid.

Honorable Mention: Kingwood, Texas star and TCU commitment Sewo Olonilua was forced into offensive duty early in the week due to a lack of numbers on the West at running back but many feel he could be a bigger threat on defense. Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek defensive end Josh Brown did some nice work standing up. Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln defensive end Jonathon Cooper is playing with his hand down but I could see him as a stand-up guy in college.

MR. CONSISTENCY

QB Shea Patterson, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

This award goes to the player who was simply good all week long and could be relied upon to bring it each and every day. Patterson was clearly the best quarterback on the West squad all week, he was the most consistent offensive player and threw nearly every pass with precision and then he went out and dominated the game. It’s rare for a quarterback to win this award because the positon is so demanding and they are working with new receivers and an offensive line trying to gel, but Patterson pulled it off.

Honorable Mention: Derrick Brown and Wake Forest, N.C. defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence were both consistent pocket pushers during the week and in the game. Erick Fowler and Shaquille Quarterman had good day after good day and Tyler Vaughns was the best wide receiver for the West each day in my opinion.

GAME CHANGER

Shea Patterson
Shea Patterson ()

QB Shea Patterson, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

This award goes to the player who had the biggest impact in the game itself and Patterson gets another award here. While others had big games, Patterson set the tone for the game and really put it away with his first two touchdown passes. He threw for more yards than anyone else, tied for the most completions and touchdowns and was the third leading rusher on his team with his one run.

Honorable Mention: K.J. Costello threw two touchdown passes, Mecole Hardman Jr. led everyone in all-purpose yards, Tyler Vaughns had the most receiving yards and a touchdown and Vavae Malepeai led everyone in rushing yards. On defense, Jack Jones led everyone in tackles and had an interception.

VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES

TE Isaac Nauta, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

This award goes to the player who couldn't really show what he could do because of his surrounding cast. Nauta wasn’t a big part of the gameplan as is the case with tight ends in all star games, but he should have been. He’s a nice safety valve for the quarterback, especially under pressure, and he can stretch the field but none of that was taken advantage of.

Honorable Mention: There aren’t many I can think of here. You could make a case for some of the East wide receivers because the quarterback play was so bad, especially Demetris Robertson who was wide open on one of Franks’ interceptions, but this award usually goes to a running back who couldn’t get untracked because of poor line play and that didn’t happen.

STAR GAZING

WR DeKaylin Metcalf, Oxford, Miss.

This award goes to the player entering the game that was in prime position to earn that extra star, whether it was a fifth or fourth star, but didn't meet those expectations. Metcalf was the highest-ranked four star coming into the game and coming off a really good Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game and then he had a really rough week against the best. Very little separation coupled with dropped passes equals not much momentum heading into a rankings meeting to determine the final five stars.

Honorable Mention: Tavien Feaster certainly didn’t have the week, or show the toughness, needed to make a great case for a fifth star. Feleipe Franks had one of the worst games you can have when the lights came on so that hurt his chances.