Army All-American Game 2013: Top Playmakers to Watch for on Saturday
The 2013 U.S. Army All-American Game kicks off on Saturday, where many of the future stars of Saturdays in college football will all square off against each other.
There are certain playmakers to keep your eyes on in particular, though, that will make the game worth watching by themselves. Two of them are on opposite teams, but are slated to join Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M this fall.
Here is a breakdown of two players on each team that are sure to be electric in San Antonio's Alamodome.
East: Derrick Griffin, WR
Here is the first Aggie commit, who actually projects as a tight end or H-back at the next level. Griffin is physically imposing at 6'7" and 210 pounds, serving as a valuable red zone target.
According to 247Sports.com, the Terry High School (Tx.) standout caught 14 touchdowns on just 36 receptions as a senior, and 13 scores on 37 snags as a junior. That is indicative of Griffin's nose for the end zone, and how many matchup nightmares he can create.
Although he is not incredibly quick off the line of scrimmage and is still acclimating to his huge frame that has plenty of room to fill out, Griffin has great, soft hands and is a threat down the seam.
What makes Griffin special is his ability after the catch. His long arms can keep defenders at a distance, and he has the power to break tackles and the speed to break off a big gain when he reaches full acceleration.
Griffin is truly a physical specimen, and fits the mold of the dynamic tight end athlete that is changing the game at the college and NFL levels. That gives him a bright future in College Station.
West: Ahmad Fulwood, WR
At 6'4", 200 pounds with sub-4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. It's easy to see why Fulwood has Florida Gators fans eagerly anticipating his arrival.
The pride of Bishop Kenny High School (Fla.) has a big frame that should be especially useful in one-on-one matchups.
Fulwood has great, strong hands to catch the ball in traffic, and just a little bit of added bulk once he gets on a college training program will make him even more of a threat to go over the middle as well.
Unafraid of contact, he should have no problem beating press coverage and making people miss in the open field with his subtle agility. Since he is so tall, Fulwood has underrated speed with his elongated strides, which help make up for his lack of burst off the ball.
There is definitely room for Fulwood to polish his game in terms of route-running and attention to detail as far as his technique goes. But most talented tall receivers tend to be upright, and he has the power to fight through smaller defensive backs like the ones he'll face in the All American Bowl.
With so much upside and raw ability, look for Fulwood to make several eye-popping plays in San Antonio.
East: Derrick Henry, RB
Just the type of physical runner that Nick Saban attracts to the Alabama, the fact that this current Crimson Tide commit possesses 4.54 speed while still carrying 243 pounds and standing 6'3" is incredible.
It's not all about measurements, though.
There is one particular accolade that puts Henry in a class of his own: he is the nation's all-time leading rusher in high school. Ever. He has accumulated over 12,000 yards in his career at Yulee High (Fla.)—including an obnoxious 4,261 and 55 touchdowns as a senior, according to 247Sports.com.
Henry possesses shocking agility and can make plays out on the perimeter, but will likely power it between the tackles against elite competition in San Antonio.
No one has been able to even fathom stopping Henry, especially in his outstanding final year in high school. He won't be able to dominate the competition in San Antonio to the extent he's used to, but don't be surprised by a 100-plus yard showing with two touchdowns.
West: Ricky Seals-Jones, WR
Perhaps the most interesting prospect is reserved for last.
As the top-rated athlete in the ESPN 150, Seals-Jones is primarily a wide receiver, but could be in a variety of roles on Saturday. Seals-Jones gets touches at quarterback and can take a hand-off to the house at any time.
That type of versatility, combined with incredible size at 6'5" and 230 pounds makes the Sealy High School (Tx.) product among the most intriguing prospects in the 2013 class.
Seals-Jones is committed to Texas A&M along with Griffin, and will likely be able to play in a number of different spots for the Aggies as a true freshman. He may also, like Griffin, be a tight end or h-back in college, though.
All eyes should be on Seals-Jones because of his uniquely developed physique and his unparalleled ability to play multiple positions. Look for him to light up the scoreboard at least once—wherever he is on the field.
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