Nyan Boateng (left) and Jake Christensen enjoy the action as Michigan punter commitment Zoltan Mesko (No. 15) takes aim during Thursday's U.S. Army All-American Game passing competition held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
In a test of arm strength, accuracy, and endurance, even some of the All-Star quarterbacks in attendance struggled. There were two, however, that stood above the rest. Texas commitment Ryan Perrilloux and USC commitment Mark Sanchez were the best of the best Thursday afternoon.
The event featured a golf cart with fixed targets attached to each side traveling 5-10 mph down progressive yard lines. The first throw was at a moving target (from sideline to sideline) 10-yards away. The next was from 20-yards out, then 30-yards, and finally 40.
When it came to arm strength, Perrilloux had no peer. The 6-1.5 fireballer rifled passes so crisp that you could hear them wiz through air. He had the fewest problems reaching the 40-yard target, a feat that most of the quarterbacks unable equal.
Sanchez countered Perrilloux’s strength advantage with his supreme accuracy. His efficiency from 20 and 30 yards was unmatched. When all was said and done, they had fought to a 600(plus) point tie. That called for the two to settle things in a throw-off. The final challenge found them seeing which of the two could hit the thirty yard target the most times. When the dust settled, Sanchez was the winner.
Zoltan Mesko warms up his arm during Thursday's morning practice. He later joked that he would come to Michigan and show current quarterback Chad Henne how it's done.
The back and forth between the two 5-star gunslingers was certainly exciting, but that wasn’t the only thing that had observers enthralled. Michigan commitment Zoltan Mesko also entered into the competition and acquitted himself quite well. He was almost perfect on his throws at the ten yard target, but as the cart got further away his future as a punter became more and more evident. He salvaged a respectable score by hitting the 30 yard target. When it became clear that his high arcing throws from 40-yards out weren’t going to come close, he drew laughs from onlookers by pooch-punting at the very last target. Much to everyone’s surprise, he almost hit it! It looks like he won’t have any problems with the coffin-corner kick!
By the way, it should be noted that Zoltan beat the East Team’s starting QB (Jake Christensen) with his 300+ point performance.
GBW finished the day by watching the wide receivers show their wares in the pass-catching competition. The task before the contestants was catching as many passes as they could in a 30-second period. They received 20 points for each reception and were penalized ten for each drop.
Former Michigan recruit Desean Jackson showed he had the games best hands by
dropping only two passes to pull out the title.