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January 3, 2009

Army Bowl Analysis: Stars of the game

MORE: Army Bowl: Game gallery | Army All-American Bowl coverage | More all-star coverage

SAN ANTONIO Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down some of the top performers from the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

U.S. Army All-American Bowl Standouts: East Team
QB Tajh Boyd, 6-5/290, Richmond (Va.) King William
ASSETS: Very good pocket presence and great leadership skills.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to get healthy since he has been playing on one leg for quite some time.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: He never panicked in the pocket and showed enough mobility to buy time for receivers to get open.
CONCLUSION: I have felt for a long time that this kid may be the next Donovan McNabb. He is a high character kid that teammates will follow into battle on the gridiron.
RB Bryce Brown, 6-0/215, Wichita (Kan.) Wichita East
ASSETS: Has very good speed, quickness and is a multi-purpose, every-down back that can do it all.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Brown is a leader through his ability and I would like to see him become a more outspoken leader.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Just like all week in practice he demonstrated his ability to slip out of the backfield and become a vertical threat in the passing game.
CONCLUSION: He proved to the whole country on a national stage that he is the top running back in the nation. The only question now is will he end up a Hurricane?
ATH Orson Charles, 6-3/230, Tampa (Fla.) Plant
ASSETS: A physique like a Greek God, soft hands and excellent body control.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Is he an athletic tight end, or a big, inside receiver? Will need to find where he fits into the offensive scheme at he school he ends up at.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: He displayed the ability to reach out and catch the ball with his hands and away from his body.
CONCLUSION: Should be able to make an impact wherever he ends up as a freshman. He played in a prolific passing offense and should be further along in his route-running and pass-catching than most freshmen.
WR Willie Downs, 6-2/192, Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby
ASSETS: Has very good speed, body control and ball skills.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to play lower at the point of contact as a receiver or a safety.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: His ability to stay with the fastest receiver the west threw at him.
CONCLUSION: He could play receiver or safety for the 'Noles. The instant he steps on campus in Tallahassee he will improve the overall speed and athleticism of the team.
SDE Malliciah Goodman, 6-5/255, Florence (S.C.) West Florence
ASSETS: He has long arms, large, strong hands and has a very quick first step.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Even though he is 255 pounds he still needs to fill out and gain some upper body strength.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: He really wore David Barrent out using his speed, quickness and long arms to disrupt the West passing game.
CONCLUSION: He could be Clemson's Julius Peppers. He may not be quite as tall but he has the same skill set and similar athletic ability.
S Justin Turner, 6-2/186, Massillon (Ohio) Washington
ASSETS: Has great quickness, ball skills and is very aggressive in run support.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to find out early in his career if he has the outright speed to play corner, if not he should be a dynamic free safety.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Was the game's leading tackler and made a nice pick in the fourth quarter.
CONCLUSION: What a steal for the Big Blue. He will instantly add serious athleticism and ball skills for the Wolverine defense when he gets on campus.
West Team
ILB Nico Johnson, 6-3/226, Andalusia (Ala.) High
ASSETS: Has the size and strength to play inside and the speed to play outside linebacker.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to play hard on every snap whether in practice or a game.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Johnson led the West squad with four solos, two of which where TFLs on supposedly faster players.
CONCLUSION: The defensive-minded Nick Saban has to be real excited that he is adding a very versatile 'backer that should make an impact as a freshman.
SDE Nick Kasa, 6-7/245, Broomfield (Colo.) Legacy
ASSETS: Has great overall size and is very quick off the ball.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to work on pad level at the point of attack, especially on running plays run right at him.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Led the way with two QB hurries using his speed to beat the left tackles of the East squad.
CONCLUSION: Another case of the rich getting richer as this Rocky Mountain native heads to Gainesville. He should have the potential to play either SDE or WDE in the SEC.
RB Christine Michael, 5-11/202, Beaumont (Texas) West Brook
ASSETS: Superior change or direction and has the speed to beat linebackers to the corner.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Will need to get a tad stronger and get used to carrying the ball more times in a game then he did in high school.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Showed off his speed and acceleration in the first quarter 25-yard gain around the right side.
CONCLUSION: The combination of Cyrus Gray and Michael should be one of the deadliest rushing attacks in the Big 12.

WR Patrick Patterson, 6-3/215, Macon (Miss.) Nuxobee County
ASSETS: Runs very good routes and may be one of the best at catching the ball at its highest point in the country.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Would like to see him practice and play with a little more fire in his belly.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: His TD catch which he reached over the defender and hauled the ball down with one hand in the third quarter.
CONCLUSION: Should make a great slot receiver that has enough speed to also play outside and go deep. He is just so dangerous catching the ball over the middle and in traffic. His recruiting should get very intense over the next month.
WR Rueben Randle, 6-3/195, Bastrop (La.) High
ASSETS: Excellent height, soft hands and superior body control.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to get back into the swing of running routes on a regular basis since he played quarterback this year.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Leading receiver in the game with seven catches for 75 yards, and he was not at full strength all week because of a pulled hamstring which happened during the first practice.
CONCLUSION: Will have a similar impact as a freshman as Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Michael Floyd and DeAndre Brown wherever he ends up.
QB Tyrik Rollison, 6-2/185, Sulphur Springs (Texas) High
ASSETS: Tremendous pocket presence, strong arm and throws one of the prettiest balls in the country.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to add muscle mass and get stronger to take the physicality of D-I football.
WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE IN THE GAME: Easily the most effective quarterback for the West team. He never seemed to panic in the pocket and when he had to scramble he showed excellent speed.
CONCLUSION: Another DQB who is actually a PQB that happens to have superior athletic ability. He could wreak havoc in the high-scoring Big12.



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