Rouse Will Return

The nation's number one high school football prospect insists he will not be the number one disappointment of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Fred Rouse missed Tuesday's practice, but said he expected to return Wednesday.

Fred Rouse, 6-4, 190, from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Fla., did not appear at the East practice until the midway point Tuesday. He was in sweatclothes as he joined his teammates for a squad photograph. Rouse, who is a favorite of the media because of his bubbly personality, was greeted warmly by his teammates.

Rouse and his East team will take on a team of all-stars from the West at noon CST Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. NBC will televise the game. is the media partner for the game featuring the nation's top high school seniors. has enhanced coverage access to the all-star coaches and players.

Rouse turned his ankle in Monday's practice. He said, "I was running a deep post and the defensive back had inside position. I was trying to get inside him and rolled my ankle."

He said the treatment was not major medical stuff. "We're just icing it down," he said.

"I am back," he proclaimed. He watched the afternoon session, but was not on the field for the morning work. But Rouse said he was not behind on the offensive plan. "We went over it last night (Monday night)," he said. "It's not too much to learn."

Rouse finished the 2004 season with 29 receptions for 608 yards and eight touchdowns.

Most believe he will select hometown Florida State when he announces is school, reportedly on Signing Day (February 2) on the television program, "Countdown To Signing Day." But he continues to flirt with Texas and Alabama.

Rouse said he was "still excited" about his official visit to Tuscaloosa last weekend. "I like it a lot," he said. "A lot."

He was particularly taken with Alabama's facilities. "I expected them to be like everybody else's," he said. "Those facilities got my attention."

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