When Marlon Lucky steps onto the field of the Alamo Dome, it will be against the best competition he's faced his entire football career. The best preps from the best teams, Lucky will admit that playing in the league his North Hollywood team did, didn't necessarily prepare him for what he will see this time.
"They're not that good." Lucky said of most of the competition in his league. "You just don't play the kind of teams or against the kinds of players you see at other places and like you are going to face down there."
Knowing this makes Lucky somewhat anxious, but says that for him, the fact that the best of the best will be competing in this makes it more a pleasure than a point of worry. "You always want to know how you would do against the best players or teams." Marlon said. "Before you get to college, this is the best way to find out."
Lucky will get to find out some other things, though, like who some of his future teammates will be, 5 other future Huskers attending the game as well. Along with Lucky will be Craig Roark, Phillip Dillard, Jordan Congdon, Rodney Picou and fellow running back, Leon Jackson.
Yet another reason Lucky is excited about the future. "I think this is the best class in the country from what they are saying." Lucky said. "I don't look at it as competition, but Nebraska building a great team for the future."
"I can't wait to get there."
The wait has been interesting for Lucky and at times, frustrating with all the schools that have tried to convince him that Nebraska wasn't the place to be. Since he and his family told all those schools that they needed to just lay off, however, it's been a lot quieter around the house. "It's much nicer just not having anyone call or whatever trying to tell you that you need to go to their school." Marlon said.
The U.S. Army game will also be significant for Lucky as the 77 other participants, because it will probably be the last game they play in their prep-careers. That along with the competition is reason enough to motivate any and all that they would want this last game to be their best. "Well, you don't know how much you will get to play, but you want to make the most out of it." Lucky said. "I don't have any goals, but I obviously want to do the best I can."
The best he could do amounted to over 2,000 yards on the ground his final year, around 400 yards receiving and from that, scoring just 3 shy of 50 touchdowns. For some, that's a career.
The up-coming bowl game is a segue of sorts into another career, continuing his football at another level. Lucky considers that probably one of the greatest assets of this game in that, it will acclimate him to just an example of what he's going to see in the future. "I'm going to be playing with some of these guys and against some of these guys." He said. "Any chance you can get to do that before the actual games, that's just another chance to get a feel for the speed you are going to see."
"That way you aren't quite so surprised once you see it for real."
Fans can't wait. So much so, Husker fans are expected to show up in droves for the All-American game. Almost typical to their history, the "Sea of Red" seems to be ready to find its way into San Antonio. Lucky is excited about that, because for him, it's just one of the reasons Nebraska is going to be his home for the next four or so years. "They are known for their fans." He said. "I'm sure that if they show up like that, some players will be surprised, but probably not those that committed to Nebraska. We've all seen it already. That's just how they are."
Perhaps it will be amidst a "Husker Power" chant as Lucky takes the field. And, perhaps, he'll get a chance to gallop in for a score in front of those fortunate few Husker faithful in attendance. Lucky will just consider that icing on the cake if it happens, because this experience will for him be all about having fun. "You want to do well, but you want to enjoy the experience." Marlon said. "It's just a one-time deal and you don't want to make it all business. It's about having fun, so I am going to try and do that."
"It should be a great time."