Army All-American Game Roster 2013: Highlighting Candidates to Start as Freshman

Ethan GrantAnalyst IJanuary 5, 2013

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 1: Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks talks with Oregon recruit Thomas Tyner from Aloha High School on September 1, 2012 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

The 2013 Army All-American game is set to kick off in less than two hours, and this year's crop of talent features a slew of candidates to step on campus either in the spring or the fall and immediately grace the starting lineup.

Notre Dame, USC and Texas A&M have some of the biggest names that we will see on Saturday afternoon, but the rest of the field is packed with talent at other big-name programs like Texas, Ohio State and Michigan.

As always, we'll be looking for this year's T.J. Yeldon, Todd Gurley and Karl Joseph in the ranks of the chosen roster, as the East and West look to put up a little more offensive numbers than the Under Armour All Americans did a day ago.

Here's a look at some of the best candidates to start as freshmen next season, with a mind toward the current state of that prospect's position on campus and how well they will mesh based on talent and the system they play in.

Note: For a complete look at the Army All-American roster, check out the game's official site, as well as ESPN's positional and overall rankings of the current teams. 


Tyrone Swoopes, QB — Texas Commit

With the QB situation at Texas in no way settled, there's really only one name that resonates with Texas faithful these days—Vince Young.

Lucky for the Longhorns, these three difficult years in the post-Colt McCoy haze have given way to the team labeling this year's star recruit as the next Young, certainly not a bad thing in the minds of those still hung up on the 2005 national championship game.

Concerns about his ability to play QB are there, but Swoopes has another opportunity to prove he can grow as a passer the way Young did during his UT tenure. If he can, David Ash hasn't been the sole option for coach Mack Brown, and visions of Young's run to seal the '05 title might sway him to try something new for a program that's really in a dry period.


Su'a Cravens, S — USC Commit

Cravens is a safety that's spent time at running back and wide receiver in high school. He has excellent ball skills and has shown versatility at different spots on the field. He even has the size for a collegiate safety, and at 6'1", 205 pounds, he'll only get bigger and better in college.

For USC, the secondary has to be a concern, particularly at safety, where both of this year's starters were seniors and didn't do anything to prove this was a top defense. As the No. 1 safety in the country by many scouting reports, Cravens has the ability to help change the fortunes of a disappointing 2012 team.

USC is going to pull top recruits like this as long as the school is open for business. Lane Kiffin would be smart to take a long, hard look at this kid as his opening day starter in 2013, especially if he puts on a show in the Army game like many expect him to.


Thomas Tyner, RB —Oregon Commit

Kenjon Barner is headed to the NFL. His backfield mates, DeAnthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota, are sticking around, but the offense will need a new running back after Barner is gone.

Tyner, the local product that famously decommitted and recommitted in a matter of hours earlier in the recruiting process, can be that guy for the Ducks.

The total package, Tyner has both speed and power that have him as a fringe Top 10 running back in ESPN's rankings for this year's class and a true candidate to replace Barner's production as a freshman. Oregon has no reservations about playing young kids—the best players will play.

Ayele Ford and Byron Marshall are candidates to be the guy next year, but Tyner will certainly get his shot. Check him out on the West roster today, and again when Oregon starts to sort out the running back situation next season.


Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/Rs Breaking News Team. Check him out on Twitter.