NCF On The Trail: 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl

SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 outside linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) will be the first to admit there’s prestige for being a Big Ten Conference linebacker. It was one of several reasons why he chose Ohio State during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.

Mitchell, No. 121 in the ESPN, chose the Buckeyes over Texas A&M and Oregon. Along with building a great relationship with his recruiting contact, offensive coordinator Tom Herman, Mitchell said he did his homework on the resume of the prototype Big Ten linebackers.
SAN ANTONIO -- Three-star athlete Myles Jack (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) has been UCLA solid since June. Whether he stays that way depends on three upcoming visits.

Jack, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound projected outside linebacker in college, confirmed he has an official visit to Arizona State on Friday. Following Arizona State, Jack will visit UCLA on Jan. 18, Washington on Jan. 25 and Oregon on Feb. 2.

Jack is solid with his commitment, but he said the three visits are necessary in reassuring that he wants to be a Bruin.

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SAN ANTONIO -- Before he heads off to college, Notre Dame commit Corey Robinson (San Antonio/San Antonio Christian) chose to continue being the respectable hometown kid. After Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he took pride in signing autographs, taking pictures and even giving away some of his game gear.

“I only have two of these … but here you go,” Robinson told a fan, referring to his Army bowl wristbands, which he then signed and gave away.

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SAN ANTONIO -- Unlike many football recruits, ESPN 300 defensive end Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) had the opportunity to pick his bowl game. He received multiple invitations, but he chose the U.S. Army All-American Bowl because of the opportunities to play for the soldiers who put in work daily for the country.

While his team didn’t win on Saturday, Prevot said he enjoyed the bowl experience. A USC commit, Prevot had the chance to play alongside several future college teammates and established new relationships with fellow standouts.

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SAN ANTONIO -- It’s funny what can come from All-Star game weeks.

One minute a school isn’t even a blip on someone’s radar and the next, well, it's a blip that could grow into something much bigger.

Take ESPN 150 offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), for example.

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SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 outside linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) has been a hot topic of discussion for months. On Saturday, he became even more of a topic for the followers of BuckeyeNation.

Mitchell verbally committed to Ohio State and became the Buckeyes’ 21st commitment. The 6-foot-5, 222-pound linebacker chose Ohio State over Texas A&M and Oregon.

“I love the coaches, and it’s a really good opportunity for me to play early and play for a starting job,” Mitchell said. “I really feel good going to that school. I felt like I fit in really well.”

Ranked No. 121 in the ESPN 150, Mitchell was recruited by offensive coordinator Tom Herman.

Army Bowl: James Quick stays home

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 wide receiver James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity), the top-ranked player in Kentucky, decided to stay home rather than head upstate or head west.

Quick verbally committed to Louisville during the second half of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome. Ranked No. 98 in the ESPN 150, Quick became the Cardinals’ 12th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class. He also is the second receiver committed and now becomes the top-ranked commit of the class.

Recruited by defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, Quick chose Louisville over Ohio State and Oregon.

Army Bowl: Muhammad chooses The U

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- Of all the athletes making their commitment announcements during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, ESPN 150 defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) might have been the one with the most questions about where he’d end up.

At the start of the second half of the game, Muhammad ended all questions and verbally committed to Miami. Ranked No. 95 in the ESPN 150, Muhammad chose the Hurricanes over Alabama and Notre Dame.

Muhammad is the No. 8 defensive end nationally and the No. 3 player in New Jersey among the 2013 recruiting class.
SAN ANTONIO -- Once committed to Florida State, ESPN 300 wide receiver Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) decided to take his talents to the Lone Star State.

Stevens verbally committed to Texas A&M during the U.S. Army All American Bowl. Ranked No. 207 in the ESPN 300, Stevens chose the Aggies over Florida State and Ohio State.

Stevens becomes the 35th commit for the Aggies and the ninth commit to potentially play receiver in 2013. The 6-foot-4, 184-pound athlete is the No. 29 receiver in the nation.

Recruited by Texas A&M receivers coach David Beaty, Stevens decommitted from Florida State in October.

Army Bowl: Joe Mathis chooses UW

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 300 defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) once thought he’d be a star basketball player. Even before then, he wondered if he’d be around to see an event like the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Mathis on Thursday reflected on life decisions made during his earlier years in high schools. He never thought two years later, he’d be announcing where he would play college football on national television. On Saturday, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound end verbally committed to Washington.

Mathis chose the Huskies over offers from USC, UCLA and Alabama. He is No. 251 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 22 defensive end.

“God blessed me with something I didn’t know I had,” Mathis said. “My life wasn’t headed the right way. Freshman and sophomore year, I was doing the stuff I wasn’t supposed to be doing. I finally changed it around.

“I thought I was going to be a basketball player, but I’m really happy I went this way.”

In addition to being a standout defensive end, Mathis also is a four-year varsity basketball forward. He said once he stopped growing, he began to lift weights and focus more on football.

“Best decision I ever made,” Mathis said.

Army Bowl: Tyler Boyd picks Pitt

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) was believed to be a Pittsburgh lean entering the week, and on Saturday, the ESPN 300 athlete made the belief a reality.

Boyd chose Pitt during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, choosing the Panthers over Michigan State and West Virginia. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound athlete became the Panthers’ 22nd commitment of the 2013 recruiting class and the first of the new year.

Boyd, who also thought about attending Arizona, Penn State and Rutgers, visited Pitt on Nov. 16. He helped Clairton win its fourth straight state title last month. Boyd is ranked No. 161 in the ESPN 300, the No. 17 athlete nationally and the No. 7 player in Pennsylvania in his class.
SAN ANTONIO -- 2014 wide receiver Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) committed to TCU in August. What many seem to forget is that he’s still relatively new to the offseason lifestyle of a football player.

Porter, a longtime basketball player, took in his first football combine experience Friday at the U.S. Army National Combine at the Alamodome. He said he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds and also recorded a 32 -inch vertical -- noteworthy for an athlete just shy of 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds.

“It was great. I was nervous, but I just relaxed and did what I have to do,” Porter said. “It was crazy.”

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SAN ANTONIO -- Three-star offensive guard Reeve Koehler (Honolulu/St. Louis) confirmed Thursday evening that he will not announce his commitment during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. His decision, however, might have received some unexpected swaying.

Kansas and Tennessee made Koehler’s final list, and on Thursday, three-star inside linebacker Colton Goeas, his high school teammate, verbally committed to Kansas. Goeas once was committed to Tennessee but decommitted from the Volunteers last month.

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SAN ANTONIO -- Programs and fan bases get a knot in their stomach whenever a committed recruit takes an official visit elsewhere.

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SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 300 wide receiver Shelton Gibson (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights) has continuously looked like one of the best slot receivers for the East during practices for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

It’s no wonder why schools from across the land are going all in for him.

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