The U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio has had a strong presence of West Coasters in its history, going back to Reggie Bush, DeSean Jackson and last year's MVP, Chris Galippo. This year, more talent from the Golden State will be on display.
Servite teammates Matt Kalil and D.J. Shoemate will look to keep the MVP award in Anaheim, following in the footsteps of their fellow Friar in Galippo. The two future Trojans are one of two sets of teammates from California.
Notre Dame will feature three players this year after a case could have been made that two seniors a year ago were ridiculously left out (Sam DeMartinis and Charlie Carmichael). Representing the Knights will be the state's top quarterback, Dayne Crist, linebacker Anthony McDonald and defensive end Wes Horton. Crist and McDonald will both be heading to South Bend to play for Notre Dame. The Irish, in fact, have the most selections of any school.
Rancho Verde offensive lineman Tyron Smith is the first I.E. selection since Devin Ross and Allen Bradford made it a season ago. Smith is also headed to USC.
Robert Golden came to the U.S. Army Combine last January, earned all-combine honors then performed well all throughout the spring and summer and the top cornerback on the West Coast capped it with an invitation to the U.S. Army Game, only the second player from the valley to be selected (David Ausberry from Lemoore in 2006). Golden has recommitted to Arizona.
This year, Dorsey safety Rahim Moore is the lone City Section pick. Moore is also the third player from Dorsey selected in the past three years, joining Stafon Johnson and Mark Johnson, who were on the 2006 team.
"Man, this has been a goal of mine since I started playing football," said Moore. "When Stafon played in it, he was telling me all about it, so I set out to make this game. It's an incredible honor."
The headliner for the West is Darrell Scott, the #1 ranked player in California and the #1 ranked running back in the nation by Scout.com He's another in a long line of St. Bonaventure HS selections to play in the Alamodome.
Maurice Simmons is the first player from Dominguez HS in Compton to be picked for the team, but Simmons will be merely a spectator, as he continues to rehab a major leg injury suffered midway through the season.
The Army Bowl features a traditional East-West matchup, with the West drawing largely from California and Texas. Kickoff at the Alamodome is Saturday, January 5 at 12 p.m.
New to the all-star circuit this year is the UnderArmour All-American Game in Orlando. The game will be televised nationally on ABC on Saturday, January 5th at 11 a.m. PST.
Eleven current Golden State recruits have been selected to the game and a couple of prominent California coaches, notably Jim Kunau, will be working the sidelines.
The UnderArmour game has a unique way of paring the teams. Instead of going with regional teams (i.e., East-West or North-South), the UnderArmour game is splitting the teams up evenly and featuring positional matchups that are intriguing, even if players are from the same area.
Team (RED) Undeniable features two UCLA commits in linebacker Uona Kaveinga and safety E.J. Woods. Martin Bayless prepped at Castle Park in Chula Vista his first three years before moving to Houston for his senior year, to be near his father, Houston Texas receivers coach Martin Bayless.
Team (SILVER) Click-Clack boasts seven California natives on their roster.
Blake Ayles, the top tight end in California and a commit to USC, will be joined by his prep coach at Orange Lutheran Jim Kunau on Team ClickClack.
The offensive line will have a strong pull from California, with three of the best interior lineman in the state all selected to play as guards in the game.
Allen Carroll from McClymonds HS in Oakland is the most athletic of the three, and he'll be joined by the mammoth Vaughn Dotsy from St. Bonaventure in Ventura as well as Corona lineman Max Tuioti-Mariner, a recent commit to Colorado.
Stanley Yarbrough, a safety from Clovis East in Fresno will be joined with his coach Tim Murphy.
The Offense-Defense All-American Bowl made its debut last year in Boca Raton but this year it moves to the historic Orange Bowl, for the final football game ever to be played in the venerable stadium. It will be televised nationally by FOX College Sports at 4 p.m. PST. It features the more traditional East-West format.
This year the game will feature nine California natives
The top California prospect is the state's top defensive end, Colton's Damien Holmes, a commit to UCLA. Joining Holmes is his future partner at end in Westwood, Datone Jones, from Compton. Between the two future Bruins, though, you'll be able to find a future Trojan in Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove tackle Armond Armstead.
The linebackers will feature the top defensive player in Northern California in Stockton Lincoln's Dewitt Stuckey, one of the top weakside linebackers nationally.
Offensively, California commit Marvin Jones, possibly the best pure receiver in the state, will represent Etiwanda and for the second straight year, a Crenshaw product has been picked in Kemonte Bateman, who follows in the footsteps of Raymond Carter, a pick last year.
Corona Centennial quarterback Matt Scott, who had his Huskies on the brink of a state title and may have had the best season of any senior quarterback in the West, is one of the quarterbacks. Fresno Clovis West quarterback Beau Sweeney, a commit to Jeff Tedford and Cal, will be one of the other quarterbacks leading the West.
In the secondary will be Compton Dominguez cornerback Aaron Hester, a UCLA commit who's keeping his options wisely open. At linebacker, an alum of numerous Scout.com combines, Reuben Willis, will represent Mayfair HS of Lakewood. Willis is headed to San Diego State.
Scout.com will have coverage of all three All-American Games and GoldenStatePreps.com will feature coverage daily of the UnderArmour All-American Game.