The state of Alabama is just learning what they lost after both Reese and McKissic proved they are the best of the best in Saturday's Alabama-Mississippi All-Star clash.
Even to the common fan it would be easy to realize that Reese had a brilliant performance by just reading the stat sheet. A 12-for-15 showing for 140 yards, not to mention touchdown throws of 25 and 54 yards were more than enough to win the game's Most Valuable Player award. Reese was perfect in the second half. In fact, for those who tuned in after the ten minute mark in the second quarter, you didn't see Reese throw one incompletion.
Although the stat sheet was impressive, what was even more impressive was Reese's ability to make all of his throws. Fans saw Reese throw the deep ball, find receivers over the middle and even make throws on the run, each time placing beautiful tight spirals in the breadbasket of his receivers. In fact on his 54-yard touchdown pass, he checked off his first two targets to find an open receiver cutting across the field.
And as impressive as Tribble Reese was, Clemson fans should feel even better about the 6'7, 270 pound McKissic.
In this game, big, dominant defensive linemen come at a premium and McKissic showed he has the potential to be dominant on the next level. Although he lined up on the Alabama defensive line, McKissic spent most of his night in the Mississippi backfield harassing ball carriers and quarterbacks alike.
Although Reese won the MVP award, it could have very well gone to McKissic whose performance included a sack and an interception. He was most impressive pushing back offensive tackles and chasing down ball carriers on both sides of the field.
The big man turned in the key play of the game, what probably was the difference in the outcome. Trailing 9-7 with less than two minutes in the half McKissic read the screen that was being set up. He drove his blocker into the play and was able to reach out with his right hand and snag a one-handed interception returning the ball to the 13-yard line. Alabama kicked the field goal to end the half and take the lead for good.
Combining brute strength with a huge frame, McKissic was the steal of the class in 2004. He should move down to defensive tackle and has the tools to be a three-year starter for the Tigers.
Reese, McKissic Best of the Best in Bama
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