Five Thoughts on the West

SAN ANTONIO — With the first day of U.S. Army All-America Bowl practice finished, here are five quick thoughts on the West team.

1) The West has some talent on the defensive line

In the morning practice, it was hard to take your eyes off No. 19. Jason Gibson might be listed as's No. 10 outside linebacker, but the California commitment looked the part of a big-time rush end at Monday's practice, routinely blowing by West offensive tackles to harry the passer. In the afternoon practice, Jermauria Rasco took over where Gibson left off, using his speed to bend the edge on play after play. When Rasco did so, he was often aided by defensive tackle Todd Peat up the middle. Both Rasco and Peat are uncommitted, and all three are ranked among's top-10 at their respective positions. Rasco, a five-star, is the top-rated player of the trio, sitting as the No. 2 DE in the class of 2011.

2) But the team is even better at wide receiver

Trey Metoyer was arguably the best player on the field at West practices Monday, but he was only one of several impressive performers at the wide receiver position. Metoyer showed off an impressive skill set, toasting every defensive back he went against. Up next was probably George Farmer, a specimen from Junipero Serra (Calif.) High School. Farmer, a USC commit, showed outstanding speed for his size. And Kasen Williams, a Washington commitment, did a great job of walling off defenders with his size. In addition, Jaxon Shipley appears to be a top weapon for the West out of the slot, especially into the flat.

3) The West is much thinner on the offensive line

The West fielded what appeared to be a bit of a mishmashed line, one that lacked a great prospect at tackle (pending Austin Seferian-Jenkins potentially moving, but we'll get there in a minute). The best players on the West line were Texas commitment Sedrick Flowers and Auburn commitment Greg Robinson, both guards. And Flowers, while fantastically mobile and athletic, lacked the requisite bulk at times to carry out his job. The line's struggles led to some problems in pass protection, while the running game was nearly nonexistent.

4) Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a good player

But where will he play? Austin Seferian-Jenkins showed a nice tight end skill set on Monday, moving surprisingly well for his size and pulling in several nice catches. Those catches included a one-handed stab that most tight ends in the class probably couldn't have made. There's a reason the Washington commitment is rated as a five star and's No. 3 tight end. But at the same time, there's also reason to believe that his best fit might be on the offensive line. Seferian-Jenkins stands between 6-foot-5 and 6-6, has a lot of length in his arms and the frame to add plenty of weight. With his athleticism, it isn't difficult to imagine Seferian-Jenkins adding weight once he hits a college weight room and training table, becoming a high-level offensive tackle.

5) There are some raw talents to get excited about

The most obvious raw talent is Bubba Starling, a 6-5 quarterback with a laser arm and 4.3 speed, though any excitement is tempered by the fact that he'll probably be playing minor league baseball next fall. But DeAnthony Thomas is someone to get excited about. A probable college running back, Thomas is playing cornerback this week and has shown up extremely well. He's among the West's best cornerbacks despite not playing the position, and there's little doubt that his upside at the position is through the roof. While he might not be the nation's top cornerback right away, there's little doubt that Thomas has that kind of potential.

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