Army All-American Bowl 2014: 10 Best Recruits to Watch
The 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl brings several of the nation's star high school seniors to San Antonio on Saturday, Jan. 4. The action begins at 1 p.m. EST on NBC and promises to provide a peek at dozens of premier prospects.
Representatives of Team East and Team West step into the spotlight, ready to show off their skills against the worthiest of peers. Here's our rundown of the top 10 college recruits to keep an eye on during the game.
10. 4-Star WR Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La.)
Trey Quinn may receive less press than some of his fellow premier Louisiana recruits, but the Barbe High School star deserves plenty of attention. He capped off the greatest statistical run for any pass-catcher this past season, setting a new national record for receiving yards (6,566 yards).
The 6'1", 200-pound prospect completed an illustrious high school career with 357 receptions. He caught 108 passes for 1,967 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2013, according to 247Sports.
Quinn committed to LSU in August. He gives Tigers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron an instant-impact threat in the passing game.
9. 4-Star DT Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky.)
Matt Elam makes offensive coordinators think twice before dialing up a run pay. The 6'5", 350-pound defensive tackle dismantles offensive fronts in the pursuit of ball-carriers.
Kentucky's top-ranked prospect tallied 85 tackles as a senior, per 247Sports. He added four sacks in the process.
Elam, a John Hardin High School star, is rated the nation's No. 2 overall prospect at his position by 247Sports. He is expected to choose between Alabama and Kentucky in San Antonio.
8. 4-Star RB Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga.)
Cedartown High School running back Nick Chubb pounded opponents into the ground during his high school career. The Georgia pledge picked up 2,720 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior.
The impressive campaign came after a junior season that featured 2,600 rushing yards and another 38 scores. Chubb simply couldn't be slowed during two of the best years for a running back in state history.
The 5'11", 216-pound playmaker picked the Bulldogs in June. He should receive a heavy bulk of carries for Team East.
7. 4-Star QB Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas)
Jerrod Heard has the ability to take over a game in multiple facets. The Denton Guyer High School star led his squad to state-championship success as one of the top players in Texas.
For the second straight season, Heard surpassed 2,000 yards passing and rushing. He simply has a nose for the end zone, rushing for 67 scores since 2011.
Heard has routinely stepped up in pressure-packed situations and could steal the show in San Antonio. He committed to Texas as a sophomore.
6. 4-Star LB Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio)
Dante Booker brings elite athleticism and mid-play instincts to the outside linebacker position. The 6'3", 212-pound Akron product hails from the same high school as NBA superstar LeBron James (St. Vincent-St. Mary).
He wrapped up the 2013 season with 116 tackles and two interceptions, per 247Sports. Booker rose to national recruiting prominence with 157 tackles and 14 sacks as a sophomore.
Ohio State landed a pledge from the in-state playmaker prior to his senior year. Urban Meyer likely already has a role in mind for Booker in Columbus.
5. 5-Star OG Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif.)
Damien Mama is a dominant interior offensive lineman who punishes even top-level defensive prospects off the snap. The 6'4", 370-pound guard played a pivotal role in St. John Bosco's journey to a California state title.
He will need to improve elements of physicality before he can reach full potential at the collegiate level, but his technique is already outstanding; Mama's attention to detail maximizes ridiculous raw strength.
He is listed as the nation's No. 1 guard prospect by 247Sports composite rankings. Mama, who could line up at tackle during this game, has identified Alabama, USC, UCLA and BYU as programs under consideration.
4. 5-Star RB Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif.)
He provides a unique threat out of the offensive backfield, with an ability to thrive in the short and intermediate passing attack. Mixon is listed as the top all-purpose back in 247Sports composite rankings.
He gained 1,700 yards on the ground in 2013, scoring 23 touchdowns in the process. Mixon also caught three scoring passes.
3. 5-Star QB Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Kyle Allen comes into this contest as another top prospect who has a chance to compete for immediate playing time at the next level. The Desert Mountain High School standout could ultimately seize the starting job at Texas A&M, assuming Johnny Manziel moves on to the NFL.
The 6'2.5", 185-pound passer completed 29 touchdown passes during his senior campaign, compiling more than 2,500 yards through the air. Allen isn't an extremely dangerous rushing threat, but he moves well outside of the pocket and can pick apart opposing defenses with elite arm strength.
Competing in San Antonio with some of his top quarterback contemporaries, Allen will be motivated to prove he's the best of the bunch.
2. 5-Star QB Will Grier (Davidson, N.C.)
North Carolina product Will Grier will be in the mix to start at Florida as a true freshman. The Davidson Day High School star is a dynamic presence behind center, using his rushing and passing abilities to make an impact.
Grier threw 77 touchdowns as a senior, bringing his career total to 195 scoring strikes, per MaxPreps. He compiled nearly 15,000 passing yards at the high school level.
The 6'3", 187-pound prospect also picked up 2,955 yards on the ground during his career, adding 31 rushing touchdowns. Grier could create offensive fireworks in San Antonio with a star-studded supporting cast.
1. 5-Star LB Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill.)
Linebacker Clifton Garrett is a fierce competitor who emerged as the top player in Illinois during a dynamic career at Plainfield South High School. The 6'2", 228-pound playmaker penetrates into the offensive backfield with persistent block-shedding moves and superior quickness.
Garrett, rated the nation's No. 1 outside linebacker prospect in 247Sports composite rankings, committed to LSU in December. He chose the Tigers from a lengthy list of options that includes Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Florida.
Expect Garrett to elevate his tenacity on a big stage Saturday. He'll provide at least a few jolting tackles along the way.