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SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas - There was no school-wide presentation for Sulphur Springs (Texas) High star Tyrik Rollison's U.S. Army All-American announcement on Thursday, but that's only because the whole town was invited to celebrate the latest honor of its star quarterback.
A smiling Rollison was honored at a city-wide pep rally at Gerald Prim Stadium for the Wildcat's first round playoff game against Lindale.
With the Sulphur Springs band and his teammates behind him, the cheerleaders to the front and a crowd in the stands, the four-star quarterback was presented with his West jersey for the 2009 U.S. Army All-American game.
"This honor means a lot to me. A lot of people don't get this honor, so I'm very honored to have this," said Rollison, who was selected as one of 90 players to compete in the game. "I really want to thank a couple people like my teammates and my coaches and my mom and our Lord for helping me achieve this goal."
Admittedly Rollison never really thought about having the opportunity to play in the game, which counts recent Texas high school greats Adrian Peterson and Vince Young as alums, but he quickly realized the opportunity at hand late last year.
"I really didn't know too much about the Army Bowl until the end of last year when they told me I might be nominated to play in it," said Rollison. "Ever since then I've been playing hard trying to get that spot. Now it's here and I'm just happy to be here."
As a junior the 6-2, 185-pound signal caller threw for over 3,600 yards and 37 touchdowns on his way to 4A All-State honors. Through 10 games as a senior he has thrown for 2,903 yards, 31 TDs, and completed 198 or 276 passes on the season.
The nation's No. 2 dual-threat quarterback can also get it done on the ground, rushing for 507 yards and 6 TDs while leading the Wildcats to an 8-2 record in 2008. Expect him to show off both his arm and his legs on January 3 in San Antonio, Texas.
"I'm going to get out there and play my hardest and bring some of my style of football out there," said Rollison. "Some people see me as a pocket quarterback and some see me as a dual-threat quarterback and I'm just going to get out there and play how I know how to play and we'll see what people think then."
It was easy to see the excitement on the faces of not only Rollison, but his family, friends, coaches, teachers and those who have watched him grow and play up close and a far over the last few years.
However for now the East Texas standout, who patterns his game after Vince Young, is focused on his team and getting ready to play Lindale and hopefully five more games.
"We're going to try and go out there and give it our best and come home with the win and move on to the second round," said Rollison.
When the season is over the Rivals 100 prospect will have plenty of options to choose from. Arizona, Baylor, Florida State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Colorado State, Oregon and Texas A&M have all extended scholarship offers and he has listed Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Kansas State and Baylor as his top schools.
Rollison said he was still undecided on Thursday and did not indicate when a decision would be made, but in the past has said he would like to make his announcement at the AlamoDome in San Antonio.