As the recruiting dead period continues into the new year, and with the bowl season nearly in the books, it’s the time of year for high school all-stars to shine on the big stage before heading off to college.
What separates the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl from the rest of the many comparable all-star games is that its selection process of the 90 participants leans just as much on character as it does on field performance.
Sponsored by the United States Marine Corps, the event "provides an opportunity for high school athletes to showcase their football skills, while the Marine Corps demonstrates how its traditions of honor, courage and commitment seamlessly translate on the football field,” per the Marines' official site.
Here is a look at this year’s roster for Sunday’s event at the StubHub Center in suburban Los Angeles and a glance at a few top recruits:
|2016 East Roster|
|Cameron Brown||OLB||Penn State|
|Logan Byrd||QB-PP||North Carolina|
|Danny Dalton||TE||Penn State|
|Messiah deWeaver||QB||Michigan State|
|Joel Dublanko||OLB||Penn State|
|Will Fries||OG||Penn State|
|Harrison Gee||C||N.C. State|
|Jamir Jones||ILB||Notre Dame|
|Khalid Kareem||DE||Notre Dame|
|Jacob Long||CB||West Virginia|
|Jay Jay McCargo||OT||North Carolina|
|Zechariah McPhearson||CB||Penn State|
|C.J. Morgan-Walker||CB||Mississippi State|
|Martell Pettaway||RB||West Virginia|
|Andrew Pyrts||S||Penn State|
|Sean Ragan||OG||Boston College|
|Amir Rasul||RB||Florida State|
|Chris Riley||S||Holy Cross|
|Drew Wilson||OG||Georgia Southern|
|2016 West Roster|
|Tyler Brown||OG||Oklahoma State|
|Jared Bubak||TE||Arizona State|
|Josh Manchigiah||CB||South Dakota State|
|Dillon Sterling-Cole||QB||Arizona State|
|Shurod Thompson||S||Oregon State|
|Austin Warner||OL||Northern Illinois|
Top Recruits to Watch
East: RB Amir Rasul (Florida State)
Florida State has long been known as "Running Back U" within the confines of the ACC, and it will add to its dense arsenal next season when Amir Rasul gets to campus.
Right now, he said he is “80 percent committed” to the Seminoles, per Blair Angulo of Rivals, and he still plans to visit Alabama, Miami, North Carolina and USC before signing day.
Rasul packs a punch at 5’10” and 200 pounds and is listed as the nation’s seventh-ranked running back, per 247Sports.
He’s not afraid of contact and possesses the power to drive through the line of scrimmage and take on defenders. He’s smaller than the ideal-sized Power Five tailback, but he makes up for it with elusive agility and the knack for creating holes.
He’s also a threat in the aerial game, and should he stay at FSU, would complement Dalvin Cook quite well.
West: DE Isaiah Chambers (TCU)
TCU is keeping one of Texas’ best in state, winning out for Isaiah Chambers’ services over at least 28 other schools, per 247Sports.
MaxPreps shared a video of Chambers' highlight reel earlier this season:
He’s so fully sold on the Horned Frogs that he’s touting fellow prospects in the 2016 class to join him.
Chambers has the ideal build—6’3” and 250 pounds—of an elite pass-rusher, per Scout:
Chambers is an impressive end prospect. He has a very nice combination of height and size and possesses the upper and lower body strength to squeeze and shed blockers who also have size. He moves well for his size with above-average short-area burst, which allows him to consistently put pressure on quarterbacks and deliver hits. It seems like he is hitting the quarterback or pressuring him more often than not. Can and will deliver big hits.
He had a whopping 21 sacks during his junior season in 2014 and should immediately help TCU in the Big 12, where offense runs rampant.