TSD breaks down below all the storylines to watch during today's Army Bowl. You can also follow along the LIVE Game Thread on the TSD Message Board for updates from the Alamodome.
IHEANACHO TO MAKE HIS ANNOUNCEMENT
Today's slate of announcements doesn't set up to have the fireworks that happened at the Under-Armour game, but there is one that's worth watching for LSU fans. WR/TE Frank Iheanacho will make his college announcement and LSU is one of the five finalists among Texas A&M, Oregon, Missouri and Arkansas. The Aggies are the overwhelming favorite because of College Station's proximity to his home in Houston and his potential role in that offense.
There is one other announcement happening Saturday that LSU fans will take notice of. LB Dwight Williams will have a LSU hat on the table as one of five finalists, but it would be a major surprise for him to pick the Tigers. LSU values Kenny Young much more than Williams, and there likely wouldn't be room for both considering the Tigers already have two LBs committed. So don't be surprised to see LSU mentioned during today's broadcast, but do be surprised if the Tigers are actually who Williams picks.
HOW WILL THE COMMITS PERFORM?
Three future Tigers have an opportunity to showcase their talent today on national television, though one remains a question mark. Edward Paris, Trey Quinn and Clifton Garrett have all excelled at certain points during practices this week, but the game will be a different animal.
Paris has probably had the best week of those three, working exclusively at corner, which is where he said he'll play at LSU. Though many doubted that he can handle CB on the next level, Paris has more than proven he can, and Saturday's game will be another opportunity for him to show that. He'll go up against some tough receivers on the East team, particularly Tennessee commit Josh Malone, but if this week has been any indication, he should be able to handle it.
Quinn has also had a solid week, working primarily as an inside receiver in the West's spread offense. Quinn's shown this week that he can get separation against elite corners, and that his video game numbers at Barbe weren't a fluke. He'll also have the benefit of catching passes from two of the top QBs in the nation in Kyle Allen and Jerrod Heard, so Quinn could be in for a big day.
Some question marks still remain about whether Garrett will play in today's game. The five-star LB suffered a shoulder injury in the first practice session and hadn't returned to the field as of the final workout on Thursday. When Garrett did play, he was one of the top LBs and served as the first-team middle linebacker. If he can give it a go, he should give LSU fans a preview of what's to come for the Tiger defense.
LSU target Kenny Young has been one of the more consistent performers on the West squad throughout the week. Young has shown off that sideline-to-sideline ability and also downhill aggression that's made him such a valuable prospect for the Tigers. The LBs have been one of the West's strongest units during practices and Young's a big reason why.
It's obviously a different game once the teams go head-to-head and the physicality and effort rise to another level. But if his senior season was any indication, that should only elevate Young's game. The John Curtis standout could very well be the West's defensive MVP when this game's all said and done.
KEEP BOTH EYES ON VALENTINE
Most of LSU's interest falls on the West team in today's game, but there is one prospect on the East that Tiger fans should pay attention to. Travonte Valentine was the top performing defensive tackle during practices this week, and even at 340 pounds, he showed he can be quick on his feet. Valentine is exactly what LSU is looking for in a defensive tackle, and fans will get a glimpse of why during today's game.
But aside from just his ability on the field, LSU fans should keep a close eye on his recruitment as well. Valentine remains committed to Miami, but with rumblings getting louder that Canes coach Al Golden could head to Penn State, that will really open things up for the Tigers. Valentine is set to take an official visit to LSU in January, though no date has been set for now, and the Tigers are in great shape to land the four-star prospect regardless of what happens with Golden. But if he does leave for Happy Valley, that would just about clinch it for LSU with a final decision possibly coming soon.