Notre Dame commit Jaylon Smith stood out in a losing effort - Courtesy of All American Games
Breaking down the players who showed out at the 2013 US Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.
Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry (Alabama) -- There aren't many 6-3, 240-pound running backs out there, raising the inevitable question about Henry's future position in college. Well, suffice it to say that he answered many of his skeptics throughout the week and especially in Saturday's game. Henry racked up a game-high 53 yards on 10 carries, scoring one touchdown and adding a big 2-point conversion late. It's really not fair for someone that big to have such good feet and be so fast, several times taking the edge against the West.
Montgomery (Ala.) Carver quarterback Jeremy Johnson (Auburn) -- The dual-threat prospect didn't have the best day of practice on Tuesday, looking rather inconsistent with his passing. When the lights came on at the Alamodome, however, Johnson responded with an efficient 4-for-6 performance, good for 64 yards and the big 34-yard touchdown pass to James Quick that provided the final margin. Clearly a good scrambler to pick up yardage with his feet, the touchdown pass was particularly impressive because Johnson scrambled to make a play downfield in the passing game, showing he can keep his eyes on his receivers when he vacates the pocket.
Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (Miami) -- It was a big day for Muhammad with his nationally-televised pledge to Miami, but his impact on the field was probably just as significant. Though not known as an outstanding edge rusher since he has weakside size, Muhammad showed that he can be more than just a run-stuffer, registering a sack and a forced fumble, making a spectacular play on the latter by knocking the ball out even after Texas commit
Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers linebacker Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame) -- The Fighting irish will need a physical presence to replace departing star Manti Te'o and Smith looks poised to fill the bill. Faced with the unenviable task of tackling Henry and Derrick Green, Smith more than held his own, drawing praise from virtually everyone at the game for his fast, aggressive style of play. Smith even added a big field goal block that kept the West in the game.
Elkton (Md.) offensive guard Khaliel Rodgers (USC) -- The listing of Rodgers at 6-3 may be quite generous. And the last time that he was 300 pounds was probably in middle school. No matter, though, as Rodgers uses his leverage advantage, well, to his advantage, getting lower than opponents when coming off the ball in the running game. Rodgers was a big part of the reason why the East was able to dominate on the ground, on one play pancaking defensive tackle Scott Pagano and then making sure the Hawai'i native knew what just happened.
Shreveport (La.) cornerback Tre'Davious White (LSU) -- No defensive backs on the East were as good as White during the week of practice and it carried over to the game, as he was excellent shutting down East receivers. More impressive was his work in the return game, piling up 52 yards on two returns, a number that would have been about twice as high had another effort been called back by penalty. If White wasn't going to get a look in the return game prior to the Army Bowl, he should definitely get one now.