SAN ANTONIO - College football’s next generation of stars will hit the Alamodome today.
Notre Dame will be well represented during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with three commitments — four-star offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer, four-star running back Tony Jones Jr. and long snapper John Shannon — along with some targets in action, including one that will make a commitment announcement.
Four-star linebacker commitment Daelin Hayes will also be on hand. But he won’t participate for the West while continue to rehab from shoulder surgery.
Irish Illustrated takes a look at the names and storylines to know for NBC’s 1 p.m. (eastern) broadcast.
East Offense vs. West Defense
- Tommy Kraemer (75) and Tony Jones Jr. (24) will both suit up for the East offense. Kraemer played mostly right tackle during the practice week. Jones figures to get some looks in the red zone and in short yardage as a power back.
- John Shannon (42) will snap on all field goals, punts and extra point attempts.
- Looking for one that got away? Keep an eye on four-star wide receiver Austin Mack (11), a one-time Notre Dame target that committed to Ohio State. Mack has turned in a great week as one of the best receivers on the East. He attends the same high school that produced Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith.
- Five-star tight end Isaac Nauta (18) figures to be a primary target for East quarterbacks. He’s turned in a tremendous week. Catches everything. He’s expected to choose among Michigan, Georgia and Alabama today.
- Five-star linebacker Caleb Kelly (19) will be on the West defense. Kelly performed well during the week, nabbing an interception at one point, in an environment that limits linebackers.
- Four-star defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (99) is an absolute giant of a prospect for the West team. He’s been a brute on the interior defensive line. And yes, the Alabama commitment is really almost 6-foot-8 and probably over 315 pounds.
- There's an argument to be made for five-star cornerback Jack Jones (3) turning in the best week of anyone on the West team. He’s been dynamic in the secondary. Could he snag an interception during the game? It wouldn't be a surprise.
West Offense vs. East Defense
- Notre Dame fans will want to keep a close eye on wide receiver Javon McKinley (88). McKinley will announce his college choice at some point during the game. He has narrowed his decision to Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington.
- Four-star wide receiver Donnie Corley (9) had some strong moments for the West during practice and could be a deep ball threat on Saturday. He’ll also announce during the game, likely for Michigan State.
- Quarterbacks K.J. Costello (5), Shea Patterson (7) and Brandon Peters (18) all had their moments this week but Patterson was head and shoulders above his peers and likely the top quarterback in the game. Costello (Stanford), Patterson (Ole Miss) and Peters (Michigan) have long since been off the board. Costello and Patterson both took visits to Notre Dame.
- Drake Jackson (50), a Kentucky offensive line commitment, had a nasty streak in him during The Opening Regional camp in Columbus. Can he play with the same intensity?
- Receivers Trevon Sidney (4) and Tyler Vaughns (83), both USC commitments, complement McKinley well, providing three dynamic targets for the West quarterbacks. Expect some big plays. Sidney mentioned possibly visiting Notre Dame later this month.
- The West won’t have it easy and will face an East defense consisting of speed rushers Jonathon Cooper (35) and Janarius Robinson (81), plus a big bull-rusher in Jeffery Simmons (94). Cooper (Ohio State), Robinson (Florida State) and Simmons (uncommitted) will test the West offensive line.
- If the defensive line can’t slow down the West passing game the East defensive backs should hold their own. Jordan Fuller (1) was one of the top defensive backs all week and drew rave reviews from his position coach. He visited Notre Dame last month and is a top target down the stretch.