SAN ANTONIO - The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee has named running back Bryce Brown (Wichita East High School, Wichita, KS) as the 2009 U.S. Army Player of the Year. Brown, who was crowned tonight during the U.S. Army Awards Dinner in San Antonio, was presented with the Ken Hall Trophy, modeled after Ken "Sugar Land Express" Hall, high school football's all-time rusher.
After winning the award, Brown said, "I want to thank God, the US Army, San Antonio and SportsLink for this award. I really didn't expect to win, but I'm really honored. I also want to thank my parents for holding me accountable to God and what's important, and not getting caught up in my football success."
"Not since Barry Sanders has there been a more dominating player to come out of the Sunflower State. Bryce has been a marked man ever since his freshman season and he's thrived under the media spotlight and constant pressure to succeed. He's an amazing combination of size, speed, athleticism and football skills," said Jeremy Crabtree, national analyst and editor for Rivals.com.
The future Miami Hurricane's fellow Player of the Year finalists included Jamarkus McFarland (Lufkin High School, Lufkin, Texas); Randall Carroll (Cathedral High School, Los Angeles, CA); Rueben Randle (Bastrop High School, Bastrop, LA); Xavier Nixon (Jack Britt High School, Fayetteville, NC); and Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden City High School, Gadsden, AL).
"Bryce practices excellence in his daily life, both on and off the field, and embraces many of the same values demonstrated by every U.S. Army Soldiers – including loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage," said Colonel David Lee, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach for the U.S. Army Accessions Command. "His ongoing commitment to display these values in his community, in the classroom and in athletics makes us proud to recognize him as the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year."
The selection process began this fall as players were evaluated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee and by coaches from around the country. Past U.S. Army Player of the Year winners include: Kevin Jones (Detroit Lions) 2001; Lorenzo Booker (Miami Dolphins) 2002; Chris Leak (Florida Gators) 2003; Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) 2004; Ryan Perrilloux (LSU) 2005; Mitch Mustain (USC) 2006; Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) 2007; and Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) 2008.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation's premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America's future college and NFL stars. Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow all made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans. Last year the U.S. Army All-American Bowl set its own attendance record, as 36,534 fans attended the game at the Alamodome along with being the most watched sporting event on television over the weekend, besides the NFL Playoffs.