There are several super tailbacks in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Rashard Mendenhall separated himself from the other top prospects on the East squad during today's first practice.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas., at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m., Eastern. Scout.com is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen.
"Rashard (Mendenhall) is probably the best running back on the East but Toney Baker is probably the most college ready right now." Said Miller Safrit, the East Coast Recruiting-Analyst for Scout.com.
Mendenhall, a 5-foot-11, 190-pounder, from Skokie (Ill.) Niles West, easily had the play of the day with a one handed grab on a pass from Tennessee recruit Jonathan Crompton.
Rashard physically looks like the most impressive running back on the East as well. Mendenhall has a chiseled physique and his legs are as big as tree trunks.
Mendenhall is very quick. He hit the hole with authority today and showed the speed to take the ball inside or outside. He'll be a durable back at the next level.
"I was just trying to get back in football shape," Mendenhall said. "This is really fun. We were getting after it out there today.
"To run behind an offensive line like I had today is just a dream. Dan Doering, Marques Slocum and I can't forget Alex Boone. He's the biggest human being that I've ever seen."
Mendenhall, an Illinois verbal commitment since his junior year is poised to have a big game this Saturday in the Alamo Dome. The strength of the East team is their offensive line whereas the weakness of the West team is probably their defensive line.
Mendenhall rushed for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2004.
A Good First Impression
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