What a big day at Wayne High School on Wednesday. The main story on the day was who Marcus Freeman would pick to play college ball at. But the real reason for this day, was Marcus being named to the U.S. Army All-American team.
In being named to this team, many have asked how does this happen. The selection process for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is chaired by Tom Lemming of USA Today and ESPN Sports. Tom makes every effort to visit with the Top 100 players in his rankings and after analysis of tapes and interviews makes the call.
Sportslink Inc. then takes Tom's list and names it All-American team. Criteria for a player is based on "pure football ability" and the "ability to play at the next level" (DI). Not all states will have a player in the game. Many like Ohio will see three players in the 2004 game.
Starting in September and running though December the U.S. Army All-American Selection Tour takes place with visits at each players high school. A local Army recruiter then presents the chosen player with his official invitation and game jersey.
As I said, Ohio has three players slated to play in the 2004 game. The tour has already made stops at Toledo Rogers High School were Fred Davis was named. It has also stopped at Glenville High School were Ted Ginn Jr. was also named. At this time players from Washington DC, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been named with the tour headed to Indiana for its next stop.
How many players were up for this honor? In the final process 400 players were nominated for selection. This is a great honor and many awards may come with it. The winning team is awarded the "Boone Trophy", named after former head coach Herman Boone, who was made famous with Remember the Titans. The game MVP will receive the Pete Dawkins MVP Trophy named in the honor of (retired) U.S. Brig. General Pete Dawkins, United States Army. The National Player of the Year for the U.S. Army will receive the Ken Hall Trophy, named after the legendary running back from Sugarland, Texas.
This year Ohio is showing its strength with three players named. The game will be played live from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on NBC at 12:00 p.m. CST. You can learn more about the game and the U.S. Army at the following websites.www.allamericangames.com www.goarmy.com
Make your plans early if you plan on making the trip to see many of the countries top players before they head to college.