Following the East's 15-8 win at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Saturday, Rivals.com recruiting analysts Adam Friedman and Josh Helmholdt hand out the East game balls to top performers.
U.S. ARMY BOWL EAST GAME BALLS
1. RB Derrick Henry, Yulee (Fla.)
Henry wore a large smile walking off the Alamodome turf. After years of being told he was too big, too stiff and too slow to play running back in college, Henry silenced his doubters by leading all rushers with 10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown. Henry was more explosive and shifty than expected, showing patience in waiting for holes to open and the quickness to bounce it outside when running lanes clogged.
2. WR James Quick, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity
Quick finished with three of the East's eight catches and its only receiving touchdown of the game. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder put a double move on the two West safeties late in the fourth quarter that resulted in a 34-yard touchdown, which proved to be the East's winning score. Quick also showed some explosiveness by hitting a seam and returning the opening kickoff of the second half 31 yards.
Muhammad lived up to the "playmaker" hype, recording three tackles, one and a half sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was one of the best pass rushers on the East squad and the West offensive line had to slide to him on many of the pass plays. Even with the added attention, the MiamiClick 3. DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Here to view this Link. commit was still disruptive in the pass game.
Rodgers was probably the most physical and strongest offensive lineman. He was opening holes all day for the East running backs going against guys such as Scott PaganoClick 4. OL Khaliel Rodgers, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy Here to view this Link. and led the way on Derrick Henry's rushing touchdown. Rodgers was the emotional leader of a dominant East offensive line that helped the East team to 132 yards and one touchdown.
5. RB Derrick Green, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Green showed why he is the No. 1 running back in the country. He averaged six yards per carry and totaled 49 yards. On one play Green broke through the line, made at least one guy miss and ran free into the secondary for a 23-yard run, the longest of the game. Green's vision and the physicality he ran with made him one of the best players on the field.
The East defensive line was dominant all week at practice, and Herron was one of a handful that brought that over to the game. Herron finished with two tackles on the day, including a sack on West quarterback Max BrowneClick 6. DE Frank Herron, Memphis (Tenn.) Here to view this Link. when the LSUClick 6. DE Frank Herron, Memphis (Tenn.) Here to view this Link. commit blew through the offensive tackle and hit Browne just as he was setting up to throw. Herron is an impressive physical specimen who looks much bigger than his listed 6-foot-4, 236 pounds.
7. DB Mackensie Alexander, Immokalee (Fla.)
Alexander sustained a minor shoulder injury early in the game but in limit playing time he made two tackles and at least two pass break-ups. While on the field, it seemed like the West team was targeting him and they were largely unsuccessful. The emotion and intensity Alexander played with also made him deserving of one of the game balls.
8. OL Brendan Mahon, Randolph (N.J.)
Mahon proved to everyone -- and probably himself -- that he can play center. He brought the aggressiveness and pure strength that we saw all week. On one play he drove the defensive lineman almost 10 yards downfield and threw him to the ground. That play was symbolic of the effort and drive the East offensive line played with in the game.
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