Thursday, January 3, 2013
Army Bowl: Thursday notebook
By Damon Sayles and William Wilkerson
SAN ANTONIO -- In recruiting, players can hate the process one day, love it the next.
ESPN 300 defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) has seen both sides, but is looking to make the process a past discussion.
ESPN 300 DE Joe Mathis is expected to commit on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
Mathis is one of seven players expected to announce where they’ll play college football during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome. While many feel he’s leaning toward one school, Mathis said he’s eyed four schools fairly evenly.
“Truthfully, I really like Alabama, USC, UCLA and Washington,” Mathis said. “They’re like all even. Everybody thinks Washington is in front, but I really like them all.”
Mathis said many feel he’s a Washington lean because of his recent official visit to Seattle and the campus. He left the trip wearing a Washington beanie, but not because of what some fans believe.
“I took an official up there, and I left my hat because it’s cold up north, so I got a nice beanie,” Mathis said. “Since then, people think I’m Washington.”
Mathis, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound end, has an idea of which school he wants to choose, but he said he will take his decision all the way to the morning of the game -- possibly even through his scheduled time to announce.
“It’s going to be a hard decision,” he said. “I mean, it’s the next four years of my life.”
Mathis said he is being recruited by offensive line coach James Cregg (USC), secondary coach Demetrice Martin (UCLA), defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi (Washington) and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (Alabama).
Newsmaker: ESPN 150 wide receiver Marquez North (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) and ESPN 150 quarterback Asiantii Woulard (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) arrived in San Antonio around lunchtime on Thursday. However, neither player will play in the game per bowl officials.
North (6-3, 210) is the No. 12 receiver and No. 133 player overall. There have been whispers that he could announce at the game. He has taken official visits to Florida (Oct. 5) and Tennessee (Oct. 19). North also has offers from Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and others.
There have also been whispers that Woulard (6-3, 205), the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country, could also announce. Woulard took an official visit to NC State on Nov. 9. In addition to the Wolfpack, he also has offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Pitt, South Florida, Syracuse, among others.
Notable: Alabama commitment Tyren Jones (Marietta, Ga./Walton) didn’t think he would make the trip to San Antonio because of a pre-existing knee injury. However, he decided to fly in Thursday and will be at Saturday’ game but will not play. … After a shortened afternoon practice for the West, ESPN 150 quarterback Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and three-star wide receiver Corey Robinson (San Antonio/San Antonio Christian) were spotted getting some extra work in by running routes. Browne, a December high school graduate, has signed his scholarship papers to USC, while Robinson, the son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, is committed to Notre Dame. … Top-rated offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) didn’t participate in much of practice because of illness. Tunsil, who suits up for the East, is expected to be ready for the game.
2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl
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What’s on tap: Friday will belong to the underclassmen, as the U.S. Army National Combine will take place at the Alamodome. Roughly 500 of the nation’s top juniors and sophomores are expected to be in attendance showcasing their skills.
Status update: Playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has its perks. One of them is to get to see a private concert from one of hip-hop’s rising stars.
Several players were excited about Maybach Music Group recording artist Wale, who was scheduled to perform Thursday evening for the athletes. ESPN 150 running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) was one of the many athletes appreciative of the chance to check out Wale in concert.
“Aaaayyyy #wale performing for us!! U.S Army All-American,” Green tweeted via @BrOoKyLn_boii27.