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Army Bowl notebook: Dec. 31 

December, 31, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO -- The second day of practice for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl -- on the last day of 2013 -- has come to a conclusion. Here is Tuesday’s notebook featuring some of the nation’s elite athletes:

LB Williams: Law and order equals '98 percent'

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It’s been a productive week to start the summer for 2015 quarterback Ty Storey (Charleston, Ark./Charleston). He’s already camped at Alabama and Oklahoma, drawing serious interest from the Crimson Tide and Sooners.


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Autry aching to return to the game 

June, 5, 2013
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Myles Autry is still on the sidelines. A vicious injury to his knee last fall, with tears to his ACL, MCL and meniscus, has kept the Norcross (Ga.) High School athlete from participating in basketball, track, spring practice and now the summer camp series. And it is killing him.


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Summer decision for ESPN 150 WR Sims 

May, 31, 2013
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Earlier this month, ESPN 150 wide receiver Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish) had what he called a quiet spring game, reeling in only four catches. But what Sims fails to mention is that he took those four completions for more than 160 yards and three touchdowns in front of several college coaches, including University of Georgia receivers’ coach Tony Ball, Billy Napier from Alabama and Cam Cameron from LSU.


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NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”


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The Big 12-SEC dream games

May, 16, 2013
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The SEC and Big 12 announced an annual challenge on the basketball court, but colleague Edward Aschoff wondered what it would look like if that challenge extended to the football field.

There are already two games on the schedule this season -- between TCU and LSU, and Oklahoma State and Mississippi State. What else would I like to see?

Let me start by saying that renewing the Texas-Texas A&M and Missouri-Kansas rivalries are a given. I'm omitting those matchups, but I'd love to see them.

Let's get started:

Oklahoma State vs. Alabama: OSU narrowly missed out on playing for the national title back in 2011, and both are among their conference favorites again in 2013. When the BCS "snubbed" the Pokes after the 2011 regular season, OSU coach Mike Gundy half-jokingly suggested these two play for the right to play LSU in the title game. It would be fun to see this one finally played out on the field.

Baylor vs. LSU: Straight up offense vs. defense. That's the Big 12 vs. SEC debate at its heart. Baylor just might be the Big 12's best offense, and LSU will put together another strong defense. These are the matchups we want to see. The Big 12 has faltered on the big stage, helping the SEC stretch its run of national titles, but seeing Bryce Petty sling it around against an athletic defense would be a lot of fun.

Texas vs. Arkansas: Arkansas' exit from the Southwest Conference helped usher in the birth of the Big 12 after the SWC crumbled. Texas has bigger rivals like Oklahoma and Texas A&M, but these two played some of the greatest games in college football history, and as an Arkansas native, I've seen up close how much Razorbacks fans detest the Longhorns to this day. The result would be a great game and a hyped atmosphere.

TCU vs. Texas A&M: Texas A&M fans take exception to the idea that TCU was an on-field "upgrade" over the Aggies in the Big 12. The Aggies largely struggled in the Big 12 after some early success and a Big 12 title under R.C. Slocum. Since leaving for the SEC, the Aggies have gone nowhere but up, and ended 2012 as the hottest team in college football. Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel has a Heisman Trophy. Could he shred the Frogs? Want to prove TCU is not an upgrade? Beat TCU on the field.

Kansas State vs. Florida: Kansas State is perpetually underrated and wins with a bunch of junior college guys, and high school players overlooked by major programs. Florida won big under Urban Meyer, but has been largely overrated since Meyer left and was whacked by Louisville to end 2012. The Gators would be suiting up an army of recruiting stars, but could Bill Snyder, the Manhattan Magician, grab a win for the Big 12?
Oklahoma vs. Georgia: Mark Richt and Bob Stoops have one big thing in common: Neither fan base truly appreciates what their coach has accomplished. Consider this an opportunity for both to quiet the hot-seat talk. It's been a lot more intense for Richt, who endured a 6-7 season back in 2010, but he's won the SEC East in each of the past two seasons. Stoops has averaged just over 10 wins a season at Oklahoma, and Richt has averaged just under 10 wins. Call this the "Underappreciated Bowl."

BUFORD, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) credits his blindingly pink socks and highlighter yellow shoelaces with helping him win the defensive lineman MVP award at the Atlanta NFTC on Saturday.

The award came with a brilliant gold dog tag that complemented his outfit. But what really caught Carter’s eye, and fashion sense, was the big gold box that he was handed that contained his invitation to The Opening.


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ALLEN, Texas -- Some recruits have been all over the country and have taken visits to all their top schools. But ESPN Watch List defensive end Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) isn't one of them.

Clark hasn't ventured far from Oklahoma this year, and that won't change anytime soon. But he definitely will look at schools outside the state.


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Volunteers impress Carolina DT 

March, 17, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two weeks ago, Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head) was in Knoxville, Tenn., to check out the Volunteers. Much like Tennessee’s recent burst in recruiting momentum for the 2014 class, the 6-foot-1, 280-pound defensive tackle recently has seen his offer list explode.


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Todd Kelly Jr. has a list of finalists. He also has a list of potential finalists.

"There's definitely a possibility other schools could climb in," Kelly said, referring to his list of announced leaders. "I've been actually picking up offers this past week. That's kind of surprising. Some still think thy have a chance so I'm going to give them an opportunity."


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ATHENS, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List wide receiver Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) recently cut his mammoth offer list down to a top-15 group of schools that he will consider.

“It got crazy at one point with almost everybody that offered me trying to talk to me,” Kitt said. “So I had to cut my list down to 15 schools. After spring practice I will cut it down to eight or 10. At the end of summer I will do five and then go from there.”


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YUKON, Okla. -- The priorities are simple for the Clark brothers at Oklahoma City Douglass. The player-coach relationship means more than anything else.

It’s the reason Oklahoma State was able to nab ESPN 100 point guard Stevie Clark for its 2013 class, as OSU coach Travis Ford and the Clark family have developed that tight bond.


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Watch List QB has UGA in top four 

March, 3, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) has so far narrowed down his list of 11 offers to a top four. He has offers from all but one of four finalists. On Saturday, he visited that school to take in the start of spring practice.


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Georgia offers Watch List DE Newell 

February, 15, 2013
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ESPN Watch List defensive end Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha) estimates that he has picked up seven new offers over the last two weeks. His offer list stretches from UCLA to South Carolina and from Texas to Michigan State. Twenty-seven schools so far have extended verbal offers to the 6-foot-3, 270-pound junior, including the Georgia Bulldogs who offered on Wednesday.

“Yesterday I got offers from Georgia and Michigan State on the same day,” Newell said. “So it has been definitely crazy. I think I have gotten an offer from every conference. It is overwhelming and exciting. And I am very blessed to be in the situation that I am in with being able to have my choice on where to go. So I am really excited for next year.”

The Bulldogs’ coaching staff may be the latest offer but Newell has been on Georgia’s radar for a while.

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Watch List athlete Autry likes plan 

February, 3, 2013
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ESPN Watch List athlete Myles Autry (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) has close to 20 offers, some as a running back, some as a receiver but most are just as an all-around offensive threat. He plays the slot, runs out of the backfield and even plays quarterback occasionally for the state champion Blue Devils. Where does Autry hope to line up in college? Simply put, everywhere.


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