SAN ANTONIO - On Saturday, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl will show off next year's top collegiate talent, but tomorrow the U.S. Army National Combine puts on display the best junior talent in the country.
On Thursday morning, a line started to form down the hallway of the Marriot River Center. Hundreds of eager young prospects were licking their chops for a chance to finally receive national attention.
While some came from 15 minutes down the road, others spent all day making the long trek.
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"I had to wake up at 4 a.m. PT and got picked up at 4:30 a.m.," said Portland (Ore.) defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
"My plane took off at 6 a.m. and it was almost a two hour flight to Denver. We waited there two hours and then took another one hour and 45 minute flight to San Antonio."
With over 500 invited participants, the registration process proved to be more than impressive.
The first 15 minutes brought in the most physically impressive individual of the day when defensive end Nick Acree walked into the room. The Virginia Tech commit had previously made his decision after deciding among over 30 offers.
Also hard to miss was Chapel Hill (NC) offensive tackle Robert Crisp. The 6-foot-7, 299-pounder has offers from every team in the ACC along with Michigan, Tennessee and Georgia. Although he went to every N.C. State home game this year, Crisp claims that he's completely open and would like to wait until he takes all his visits.
Fellow offensive tackle James Hurst confirmed offers from Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Oregon, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan State, Mississippi State and Kentucky. The Indianapolis (IN) native likes LSU and plans on camping at Purdue and Indiana.
Nick Saban's name was only mentioned by Hurst though as many of the recruits talked about their interest in LSU.
"I'm going to Baton Rouge on Jan. 31 for a Junior Day at LSU," said Tulsa (OK) wide receiver DeMarco Cobbs. The 6-foot-1, 189-pounder also claimed that Oklahoma is his favorite out of his offers although he'd still like to get one from both the Tigers and Texas.
Longhorn fans will also be happy to know that Temple running back Lache Seastrunk mentioned Texas along with LSU. He believes that he'll receive an offer while in Austin during the Texas upcoming junior day.
Missouri City (TX) cornerback Toney Hurd talked about his offers from Cal, Oregon, Texas A&M and Auburn. The Rivals250 to watch product doesn't have any favorites yet as he's still hearing from Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Miami and Southern Cal. Among those that haven't offered, the Gators stand out because Hurd's been a fan of Florida the longest. He plans to take all his official visits.
Florida 2010 quarterback commitment Trey Burton came in from Venice, Fla. He measured in at 6-foot-3, 203-pounds. He will not take any more visits and chose the Gators over offers from WVU and USF.
Holding offers from all over the country was Cedar Hill (TX) offensive guard Adam Shead. He has offers from Miami, Colorado, and Baylor while hearing from Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
Big 12 country has previously been all over DeSoto (TX) defensive back Adrian White, but most recently White received an offer from North Carolina while waiting to hear from Florida.
DeSoto actually brought several top prospects to San Antonio, including running back Marcus Murphy. With no offers on the table yet, the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is hearing from Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
The wide receiver position didn't disappoint this year as Hillside (Ill.) product Kyle Prater measured in at 6-foot-4, 192-pounds. His top five includes Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa, Purdue and Cincinnati although he will wait until deep into his senior season to make a decision.
Not likely to drop a pass, Markeith Ambles has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Nebraska, UNC, South Carolina, Tennessee and should end up with 40 or 50 by the time it's all said and done. The McDonough (Ga.) wideout will take all five official visits.
Wide receiver is only one of seven positions that athlete Trovon Reed lines up at. The Louisiana native is being looked at for both corner and receiver at the next level. He currently has offers from Oregon, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Georgia. He's been told that both Auburn and USC are going to offer soon.
Ready to shake defenders at the combine will be running back Michael Dyer. Being measured at 5-foot-9, 220-pounds, the Little Rock talent says that while there's pressure to stay in-state he will still take his time. Arkansas does happen to be in his top two though, along with Alabama.
The names mentioned above are only a few of the top prospects that will be competing on Friday. The two offensive and defensive MVP's named for the U.S. Army National Combine will get a guaranteed spot in next year's game.