Once again, the nation's best will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Ten players that have been ranked by Rivals.com as five-star prospects have declared their intentions to play in the 10th annual Army All-American Bowl, which will be played Jan. 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The list includes all five of the nation's top prospects, including No. 1 ranked Seantrel Henderson, an offensive tackle from Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall.
Other players that have been previously announced that they will play in the game are McDonough (Ga.) Henry County receiver Markeith Ambles, San Diego Mission Bay running back Dillon Baxter, Chapel Hill, N.C., offensive lineman Robert Crisp, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline quarterback Jake Heaps and Palatine (Ill.) Fremd offensive lineman Christian Lombard.
The game that has featured legendary alumni like Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow, will also include future stars like No. 2 ranked Lache Seastrunk, a running back from Temple, Texas, No. 3 ranked Darius White, a receiver from Fort Worth (Texas) Dunbar, No. 4 ranked Marcus Lattimore, a running back Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, and No. 5 ranked Matt Elam, an athlete from West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer.
"The All-American Bowl's tradition is the biggest attraction," Seastrunk said. "It is more prestigious because all the greats come through here, such as Adrian Peterson, Vince Young and Reggie Bush."
Other five-star prospects that declared their intentions to play in the game include defensive back Lamarcus Joyner of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, offensive tackle James Hurst of Indianapolis (Ind.) Plainfield, running back Michael Dyer of Little Rock (Ark.) Little Rock Christian, running back Malcolm Jones of Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, linebacker Chris Martin of Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd.
All ten of the five-star prospects that have decided to play in the Army Bowl are ranked among the top 12 prospects in the country. The 2010 nomination process is well under way and more than 400 nominations are going out in early spring as local Army recruiters deliver the nominations to the players. The All-American roster and the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band musicians will officially be announced in the fall during the 10th anniversary U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour.
"To be selected as a U.S. Army All-American is an indescribable feeling," Heaps said. "It is such an honor to me, and I take a huge amount of pride. What other chance do you have to show your support and thanks to the troops who put their lives on the line every single day for you? It is also a great opportunity to hang out with purple heart winners. It's awesome."
Heaps knows what the setting is like at the Army Bowl after watching it from the sidelines in 2009.
"The environment of the game is unreal," Heaps said. "Other games may have 5,000 people, but this game is packed with 30-40,000 people. The game atmosphere is so much fun to be around, and it was pretty amazing getting to watch it. I can't imagine how fun it will be to play in it this January."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation's top prep football high school event. The 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a crowd of more than 32,000 to the Alamodome and garnered a 1.7 U.S. household rating on NBC. The Bowl was the highest-rated sports event of the weekend other than the NFL Playoff games.
"My favorite memory was being around all the guys, the best in the country, competing, having fun during the week, all the different festivities and just really getting to know everybody and their different personalities," said Peterson, who was named the 2008 NFL Rookie of the Year and was also a star in the 2004 Army Bowl.
Stay tuned to Rivals.com as more players will be announced in the coming days and weeks for the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.