San Antonio Here I Come - Part One

Both teams had their second day of two-a-day sessions in beautiful outside weather in preparation for the U.S. Army All-American game inside the Alamodome. I arrived in time for the start of the second practice and here is pretty much the way the day went.

The beautiful weather was just a bonus as the East team took to the field for the second practice of the day about 30 minutes past noon (CST) on Tuesday. It was the fourth practice in the two days the all-stars have been practicing to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday afternoon, at 1 p.m. (EST).

It was the first practice that I was able to attend after arriving in San Antonio earlier that morning. Ted Ginn looked perfectly at home in charge of the practice sessions and the 85-degree weather was nothing like the punishing 85 degrees during the late summer in Northeast Ohio.

Claude Brown of Akron Buchtel told me that Chris Wells was the best looking (from a pure physical standpoint) running back that he's ever seen. A lot of the people who have been in San Antonio since the players arrived on Sunday have said pretty much the same thing.

But they're all finding out that Wells doesn't just look the part. One of the best attributes that I believe Wells has is that he's able to punish a defender when he has no other option as a running back.

From the way that some people were describing it, Wells laid a wicked hit on Antwine Perez earlier in the morning session and they were still talking about it in near disbelief. Wells has quickly become the favorite of most if not all of the media members of who have already arrived in town for the game on Saturday.

It was good to touch base briefly with Connor Smith, Robert Rose and even Justin Boren. Boren is a young man that I still like a whole lot even though he's an Ohio kid that has chosen to play for the Michigan Wolverines. You can't fault the young man for following his father to Ann Arbor. Smith, who was pretty much limited during the season to giving interviews, has become a virtual chatterbox now. Smith and Boren really give the East offensive line a set of solid guards. And Rose has been steadily earning accolades from the various media types already assembled thus far.

Position wise, the offensive line for the East seems to be the strength of that unit. Sam Young and Andre Smith are the tackles while Young's teammate at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dan Wenger, is being spoken about in Jeff Byers like tones.

From talking with some of the Scout personnel guys who have been there since Sunday, bot Tim Tebow and Zach Frazer have yet to live up to the hype that they arrived in San Antonio with. Demetrius Jones did not make it to San Antonio because of an injury I was told.

With Wells in the backfield, that position is obviously in pretty good shape for the East but James Aldridge and C.J. Spiller offer solid alternatives.

The wide receiving corps seemed to be loaded with talent led by Percy Harvin. Dorin Dickerson, Chris Bell and Vidal Hazelton are all quality pass catchers as well.

On defense, the linebacking unit is a pretty solid one with Micah Johnson, Brandon Graham, Brandon Spikes and Akeem Hebron leading the way.

The secondary seems to be led by Myron Rolle (pictured, left) who has displayed a nasty disposition thus far. He's joined in the defensive backfield with prep stars like A.J. Wallace, Steve Brown and Perez.

Rose and Bart Eddins seem to be the playmakers on the defensive line.

Darrin Walls, Jamar Hornsby and LeSean McCoy, would have added to the strength of the East team but none of the three, like Jones, have made it San Antonio.

Most of the experts think this team is better than the team that was beaten 35-3 by the West last year.

A personal highlight of mine the chance to meet Herman Boone and Bill Yoast, the two men who were portrayed in the motion picture movie, Remember The Titans.

The players basically practice from 9 a.m. to 11:30 and then from 12:30 to 3 and then they return to their hotel to eat dinner and then speak with the media.

Wallace and David Ausberry, a wide receiver on the West team, were two of the guys that I focused in on. Although no one officially knows yet, most of the Scout people believe that Wallace will pull a Penn State hat out of the bag because of the way some of the players have interacted with him since he's been in San Antonio.

Wallace told me that he hasn't made his decision yet but I guess he's perfectly entitled to say that even if he really knows already.

"Ohio State and Penn State are the schools that I'm really looking hard at," Wallace admitted. "Those are like my two leaders per say. And then there's Florida State and Nebraska. They wouldn't be totally out of it. I still keep in touch with all of the coaches. I've brought all of the hats so it's going to be a tough decision for me. I'm still talking with my parents about it."

He claims that he's still undecided.

"That's the reason why I brought all of the hats so it's going to be tough," Wallace said. "I'm still talking with my parents just to make sure I don't leave any stone unturned. It's like a homework assignment. I just made a deadline for myself and this is where I wanted to end it."

Ausberry on the other hand was a bit more believable in his claim that he has still not decided between Ohio State, USC and Georgia. After talking with Ausberry, Ohio State genuinely seems a viable alternative for him still.

"The head coaches at every school just made me feel so comfortable," he said. "And I think that they all can help me in life."

Ausberry currently hails from Lemoore High School in Lemoore, Cal. but his Ohio roots have already been well documented.

"I was born in Ohio," he said. "I was born on campus."

But, like he still has in Ohio, Ausberry has extended family in Georgia too and he just felt really comfortable there.

"Them showing interest in me opened my eyes a little bit and I felt like I should take a look there and I liked everything I've seen there," Ausberry said. "I liked it. I liked the atmosphere and I liked the players and they all treated me like I was on the team and they made feel good."

It seems the people in California however are expecting him to become a Trojan, period!

"That's what people are saying with me just being from California in general," he said. "But I honestly don't know where I'm going right now. If I do (go to USC), I do. If I pick Ohio State or Georgia, then I do."

But Ausberry, at 6-4 and 215 pounds, can't really point to a reason not to go to USC however.

"It's USC. I think I can go and play there, Ohio State or Georgia," he said. "I'm not trying to be cocky but I just think that I can go out and help any program."

If he would pick Ohio State, he would make members of his father's side of the family, that still live in Ohio, very happy.

"I have little brothers and sisters there that want to be around me and I have a lot of family there," Ausberry said. "So that would be a big help to me. If I were to go there it would be just like home."

Ausberry, like Wallace, will make his final decision known during the All-American game.

"I really don't know right now I just hope that I can make the best decision that I can," he said. "That's all that I'm thinking about. I think that I can be comfortable at all three schools."

Getting one out of those two would be a major coup at this point in the recruiting process for Ohio State but, at the same time, they could end up just as easily with neither of them by the time this coming weekend is over.

Rose is making his decision public on Saturday as well but mostly everyone considers his choice to OSU a done deal.

If Small and Browning come on board shortly, as is also suspected, Ohio State's recruiting class could be improved significantly

On Wednesday both teams have intra squad scrimmages early in the morning and after that they will begin to taper down their workouts. It's also Media Day in the Alamodome from 12-2 p.m.

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