The U.S. Army All-American Bowl continued its selection tour on Thursday afternoon with another stop in the Pelican State. With New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman athlete Odell Beckham Jr. having received the honor on Tuesday morning, the tour bus did not have to go far for the next game participant.
It made a stop in Destrehan, just outside New Orleans, where offensive lineman Ethan Hutson was officially recognized as a U.S. Army All-American. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound senior says he has watched the game, which currently has over 90 alumni in the NFL, over the years and considers it a huge point of pride to be included among the elite few who have been chosen to participate.
"I've watched over the past few years," Hutson said of the game. "There have been a lot of really good players play in the game. It's a great honor to play in the same spot where a lot of great players have played - guys like Tim Tebow and others.
"There are a bunch of pro guys who have been in the game. There are a bunch of college players now that I remember watching in it, too. It's cool seeing them on TV now every Saturday and Sunday after seeing them in the Army game out of high school."
The game is broken up into East and West squads. With Louisiana being the right on the edge of the cutoff, Hutson will be suiting up for the West. However, the Ole Miss commit realizes he is likely to be lining up against a future teammate or two.
"I think there might be one or two guys on the East team," he said of his fellow Ole Miss commits. If they are in the game, they would on the East. It could be a little weird going up against them now since I'll be playing against them next year. It will be fun, though."
This is one of the most talented classes in the history of the state of Louisiana. While Hutson is the second prospect to be honored from the state, he is not the last as the selection tour is not finished there. He says it is another point of pride for the state to be so well-represented in the game.
"I'm not from Louisiana originally," he said. "I've moved a lot so I can't really call Louisiana home. But, having played high school ball here and the fact that it's my home right now, I'm proud that a lot of players from the state are getting the recognition they deserve."
Hutson is ranked as the No. 2 center prospect in the country and he will likely be playing that position in the game. However, while that is his projected spot in college, it is an unfamiliar one for him.
"It will be a learning experience," he said of playing center. "I've never played a game at center before. I've done some shotgun snaps in practice before but that's pretty much the extent of my experience. I've never snapped with a QB under center. It should be interesting to work on that the week of the game.
"This year I've played left tackle, left guard and right guard for my high school. I've moved around a lot because we have a new offensive line coach and he's brought in different sets to work on. I haven't played any center, though."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is comprised of 90 of the top football prospects in the nation. The game, in its 11th year, is set to be played in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 8 and will be nationally televised on NBC.