2013 USC commit Max Browne - Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)
The final day of practice before the game on Saturday was an abbreviated one for the West team.
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. -- Another cold, gray day in preparation for the 2013 US Army All-American Bowl had the West team spending the morning session indoors at the Blossom Athletic Complex with some freezing rain in the area.
Fortunately, the afternoon session was a go with some one-on-one and team drills.
-- The quarterbacks were all sharper than they were on Monday, hardly surprising given the greater level of familiarity at this point and more favorable weather conditions that did not have them battling the wind and the rain. Max Browne returned to his typical level of accuracy, though he was wearing a brace on one day. It was Tyrone Swoopes who seemed to have made the biggest leap, however. The Texas commit made one perfect throw on a deep route to a streaking future teammate in Jake Oliver and overall was as accurate and consistent as he's been at any major event going back to last March.
-- The wide receivers were working some on catching the ball with one hand and LSU commit John Diarse really stood out among the group for his ability to make those catches look easy. He also demonstrated some arm strength on a reverse pass on which he hit Oliver in stride for a touchdown.
-- Tre'Davious White was once again the best cornerback for the West, getting physical with wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and showing some hand strength, but also showing lateral quickness that would serve him well if he played offense in an open-field tackling drill where one defensive back had to tackle another with the ball acting as an offensive player.
-- Despite going down briefly with a little tweak to his ankle, Ricky Seals-Jones had a much better day catching the football than he did on Monday. In particular, he showed the ability he has flashed at previous times of being able to use his strength to create separation against smaller cornerbacks, in one situation beating Texas commit Antwuan Davis, who may be the strongest cornerback at the event.
-- In twisting drills for the defensive line, Eddie Vanderdoes showed some nice hand work to slice past an offensive lineman. The most impressive defensive lineman in the deep West group was once again A'Shawn Robinson, who nearly tracked down a running back taking the edge and physically man-handled nearly every offensive lineman put in front of him. On one play, he beat one lineman, then pushed another 320-pounder backwards with one hand like the kid was a featherweight.
-- There was a dropped pass in the endzone by USC commit Steven Mitchell, but his quick-twitch abilities were once again on full display Thursday after a strong day on Monday. He's smaller and faster than the other big wide receivers on the West team and was picked out by Tahaan Goodman after practice as the toughest guy to check among the wide receivers.
-- Ezekiel Elliott is difficult to check out of the backfield, even for the athletic linebackers at this event. Jaylon Smith is one of the most athletic big linebackers in the country, but he couldn't match the change-of-direction ability by Elliott in one drill.