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STAMFORD, Conn. - A day after his good friend and future Penn State teammate Khairi Fortt received his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey in a presentation at his school, running back Silas Redd from Stamford (Conn.) King & Low Heywood Thomas had his day in the sun. And the 5-foot-10, 200-pounder is excited about showing what he can do in San Antonio.
"This is an amazing day," said Redd. "I've been watching the U.S. Army Bowl since Reggie Bush was in it and I've always been a huge fan of his. When I was watching it every year I always dreamed of playing in it and now I'm a step closer."
Redd, who rushed for 1,356 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior, only wanted to play in one all-star game.
"It's always been the Army Bowl for me," he said. "My dad was in the military, I've followed the game so closely and I had my heart set on it. I don't even know if I would have played in the Under Armour Bowl even if they invited me and the Army didn't, I would have been too disappointed. I wanted to play in the best game and this is the best game."
Redd, who committed to Penn State back in the spring, was joined by his coaches, friends, teammates and family at the event. Fortt was in attendance and the two will be enrolling early at Penn State in January.
"Going to Penn State together and going to the Army Game before we head off to college is great," Redd said. "We'll both be facing our biggest challenges as students and players so we can lean on each other and push each other like we do now."
The dynamic duo from Stamford certainly push each other on and off the field even though they play for different schools.
"We always work out together and get on each other about things," Redd laughed. "I'm always busting him about being able to squat more than him and telling him he better not let me bench more than him because he's a big, old linebacker and he laughs about running a 40-time that's the same as mine even though I'm a running back. We're always joking around but also pushing each other."
But even without Fortt, Redd would be working hard without a doubt, mainly to prove his detractors wrong.
"I first wanted to prove I was a D-I player, then I wanted to show I was a D-I running back and now I want to show that I'm one of the best running backs in the country even though I play in a private school league in Connecticut," he said. "I'm looking forward to competing down in San Antonio against some of the players from the big football states like Florida, Texas and California and showing what I can do. Every last set I do in the weight room or drill I do in practice is with that in mind."
Unlike Fortt's jersey presentation where he also announced his college destination, Redd's get-together had little suspense since there was no doubt what college football program he was going to attend since the start.
"I've been following Penn State forever, since Larry Johnson was lighting it up there and I always knew I wanted to go there," he said. "Why wouldn't you want to go there if you grew up in this area watching them? There was never really a question in my mind where I was headed and I can't wait for that next chapter to begin. It's nerve-wracking in one way, but it's exciting in another."