SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The West team entered camp on Monday with a very talented trio of running backs, but Klein (Texas) Collins standout Michael Goodson definitely opened up the most eyes with his flash both on and off the field.
Goodson showed the most burst of all the running backs on Monday by making a handful of breakaway runs against the West's talented defensive line.
Off the field, Goodson flashed his style even more with his diamond plated "Nelly like" gold grill and earrings in the media room.
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"I just picked up my grill not too long ago," Goodson said. "I like to show a little bit of flash."
The 6-foot, 205 pound Goodson is currently undecided on what school will end up with his services, but he plans to make his announcement on Saturday between Texas A&M, USC and Oklahoma State.
"I've kind of got an idea of what I'm going to do," Goodson said. "It's going to come down to the last minute."
WEST CORNERS STAND OUT
Both Waco (Texas) University corner Perrish Cox and Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) corner Devin Ross had very strong practices on Monday.
Ross was arguably a cut above the rest of the West defensive backs and that may have to do with the fact that he just got done playing in the CaliFlorida Bowl this past Saturday.
The West roster is loaded with three very talented quarterbacks and after day one nobody really appears to have an edge.
Josh Freeman, Mitch Mustain and Jevan Snead all had their moments on Monday. One thing that looked like it played a factor for the quarterbacks was the special arena indoor footballs the Army requires the teams to play with.
The bigger ball was harder to grip for the quarterbacks and the 6-foot-6, 230 pound Freeman seemed to have the best handle on the unorthodox looking football.
Mission Viejo (Calif.) tight end and Notre Dame commit Konrad Reuland gave his thoughts on the play of the quarterbacks after day one.
"All three of them were pretty even," Reuland said. "I caught from all of them at the EA Sports Elite 11. My coach (Bob Johnson) runs it, so all of our receivers had to be down there to catch passes.
"All of them have a little different style and for the most part all of them looked good and I can't really pick a favorite."
WEST HAS SOLID COACHING EXPERIENCE
West head coach Jim Rackley has a nice advantage heading into this year's All-American game. The Converse (Texas) Judson head coach worked on John Barnes' staff as an assistant coach last season, so he enters this year's game with a better idea of what he can and cannot get done in week's time.
"We're having to start kids in a new program," Rackley said. "We've got kids that are used to different terminologies and different ways of doing things. This first practice we did a lot of teaching and really backed down from the hitting.
"We aren't going to do a whole lot of hitting throughout the week and we aren't going to have a scrimmage situation other than the inside drills. We'll just 'thud up.' We want our kids to know what to do and we want to do it with a lot of energy and we want to be healthy going into Saturday."
Last season the West squad did a lot of hitting in day one, which led to several injuries to key players on the lines. Rackley said he doesn't want to run into a situation where linemen have to play two ways this year.
"I think you kind have to ease into it and start out teaching," Rackley said. "There are different approaches and I feel like this might be the best for us. We have to become a team in four days."
Rackley led Judson to a state runner-up finish and a 10-5 record in 2005. Jusdon started the season out 4-4, but won six games in a row before losing in the state finals.
For the first time ever, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl will fall during an evaluation period, which means several big time coaches and schools are expected to be at practice this week.
A coach can visit practice in San Antonio, which would be no different than a coach going to watch a prospect play a high school basketball game at this time of year.
USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Nebraska and several other teams are all expected to make their way to San Antonio to catch a glimpse of practice this week. The appearance off several big time coaches will add even more to the big time atmosphere the U.S. Army Game already has.
NO SPECIAL TREATMENT
Kilgore (Texas) defensive end and Texas commit Eddie Jones was by far one of the most vocal players at Monday's West practice.
Jones even caught himself yelling at the kickers to run out on the field and do their jobs. Jones said being a vocal leader is how he's used to playing the game.
"I'm going to be up," Jones said. "If I'm up, I know my teammates are going to be up. I'm trying to keep these boys up for Saturday. When we get on the field with the East, we got to be ready."
***Destrehan (La.) cornerback Jai Eugene was the only player to leave Monday's practice with an injury. Eugene hobbled off the practice field with an ankle injury that appeared to not be very serious.
***Kahuku (Hawaii) defensive tackle Joseph Faifili is the first ever Hawaiian to take part in the All-American Bowl and his quick feet impressed several of his West teammates.
"That boy has got some feet," Elton (La.) defensive tackle Al Woods said. "He gets real low and has some quick steps."
***Southlake Carroll (Texas) head coach Todd Dodge is the offensive coordinator for the West squad.
***Rackley made it a point to emphasis he will not endorse any sort showboating or individualism from his team on Saturday. He said last year's incident where Long Beach (Calif.) Poly wide receiver DeSean Jackson did a front flip over the goal line was unnecessary.
***When selecting an all-star team, one position that often gets over looked is long snapper. When Rackley asked for a show of hands of how many players know how to long snap, not one hand was raised. Ada (Okla.) offensive lineman and Oklahoma commit Chad Roark looks like the likely candidate to handle the long snapping duties on Saturday.
***The West team conducted a 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. practice session on Monday. The West will hit the practice field for another six-hour workout on Tuesday.