The city of Crockett is normally a sleepy East Texas town but on Monday it was anything but as television cameras and quite a few media descended upon the local high school.
Crockett has a star football player on its hands and he received a huge honor on Monday morning. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour made a stop to officially invite wide receiver Dominique Wheeler to play in January's game. He is one of only 90 prospects from across the country to have the opportunity to do so.
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While the cameras rolled Wheeler received the invitation from current active members of the United States Army. The Texas Tech commit was humbled by the honor and all of the attention placed on him for the day.
"Today was a special day for me and meant so much to me," Wheeler told Rivals.com. "This is only a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I'm glad I got that chance. I'm proud to say I'm a U.S. Army All-American. My day couldn't get any better."
Crockett has produced a handful of college prospects in the past but none have come out of high school with quite the acclaim that Wheeler has received. Head coach Paul Parsons knows he has a special player on his hands.
"He's an explosive, explosive football player and I don't think he's going to get anything but better," Parsons told KTRE-TV, an ABC affiliate in East Texas.
"I'm excited for him and I'm excited for his family. It's also a big thing for Crockett for him to be named to that All-American team. (It's a) small-town setting and it is really a big deal."
Parsons looks forward to watching Wheeler in person at January's game in San Antonio, Texas. He feels his player is not just an exceptional athlete but also an exceptiona; person. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl takes character into account as well as athletic prowess when making selections for the game and Parsons feels the committee did a good job selecting Wheeler.
"He's worthy of that," Parsons said. "He's got that kind of talent. He's the kind of kid you want to really see do well. He's been a pleasure to coach and he's been a great representative of our school and our school district."
For his part Wheeler is doing his best to stay grounded and humble about the honor.
"I'm going to try my best and go out there and give it my all," he said. "I'm trying to make it to the top. I'm always going to keep God first because without him, I wouldn't have this."
Wheeler and the West squad take on the East in the 12th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.