ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour
Jordan Rigsbee has watched the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for a few years and even though he's one of the best offensive guards in the 2011 class the Chico (Calif.) Pleasant Valley prospect never considered playing in the game.
That is until the Army selection committee talked to him about possibly playing in the game.
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It was an immediate no-brainer for Rigsbee, a Cal commit, who said he's thrilled to have the opportunity to compete against many of the nation's other top recruits for a week in San Antonio.
"It means a lot to me," Rigsbee said. "I'm really excited to be in one of the elite all-star games in the nation so it's really fun.
"It's kind of crazy to think about sometimes. It is kind of humbling and it's going to be really fun to be on NBC in front of everyone. It's my first big experience with something like this.
"I've been watching it for a couple years now and I always thought it would be really fun to play in but I really never thought about it until they told me they were considering me for the game."
Rivals.com rates Rigsbee, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound prospect, as the fourth-best offensive guard, No. 134 nationally and No. 15 in the California state rankings.
His brother, Tyler, plays for the Golden Bears and that was a big reason why he chose to play at Cal as well.
Arizona, Boise State, Duke, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State also offered but Cal had always been considered a favorite in Rigsbee's recruitment. He committed in early June.
Northern California prospects are well represented in the Army game this year with Rigsbee joining Livermore Granada athlete George Atkinson and Sacramento Grant teammates Viliami Moala and James Sample on the West squad.
Other California prospects have been invited as well - including the nation's top wide receiver George Farmer and the second-best athlete De'Anthony Thomas - but this year's team has a healthy dose of players from the northern part of the state. That is important to Rigsbee, who said football in that area is quite competitive as well.
"A lot of people think Northern California isn't as good," Rigsbee said. "I think some people don't take our talent level as serious as some other places."
More than anything, though, Rigsbee is excited to not only be a part of the Army All-American festivities but to also head to San Antonio to compete against many of the nation's top players.
He will have an opportunity to block against some of the best pass rushers in high school football, learn from some of the best coaches and be on a team stacked with all-star talent.
It will be an early taste of what college football will offer and Rigsbee, a fierce and competitive player, is certainly looking forward to the test.
"It's going to be kind of crazy but I'm also excited," Rigsbee said. "I'll get to meet a lot of the guys who are also high talent-level players and just kind of get there and practice and run around with everybody. It's going to be fun."