Rivals100 for 2007: No. 94 overall
Rivals.com athletes: No. 6
Rivals.com Maryland top 15: No. 1
Athlete Joe Haden hoped he would get a shot at playing in an All-American game after his senior season. The Ft. Washington (Md.) Friendly prospect is now excited knowing he has an invitation to the Offense-Defense All American Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"It's really big for me," Haden said. "I had a feeling I might have a chance after I started picking up a lot of offers as a junior.
"I still had no idea I'd be invited to any of the all-star games though. It's so good to get the chance to perform and see how I can play. It means a lot to me that I was noticed as one of the top players in the nation. I feel really good about that."
Five facts about Joe Haden
• His personal heroes: His parents.
• His sports heroes: Michael Vick and Steve Smith
• His biggest sports dream: To become like Steve Smith in the NFL.
• Plans to major in sports management in college.
• Wears jersey No. 1.
The Rivals100 prospect will play wide receiver for the East squad in the bowl game on Jan. 4. The all-star game will be televised live by ESPNU.
"I'm an athlete, but in the game I will play receiver," he said. "I've changed from quarterback. I've worked hard staying after practice training with my quarterback and wide receiver coaches in preparation for the game. I definitely want to show off my speed at the game."
The 5-foot-10, 189-pounder has committed to play for the Florida Gators. Haden plans to try to recruit for the Gators while he's at the game.
"Oh yeah, I plan to talk to a bunch of players about how Florida has a good team," he said. "I want to tell them about their chance to win a national championship, too."
Haden went on to state what made him become a Gator.
"It came down to the coaching staff, atmosphere and team," he said. "The coaches are really down-to-earth people and tell you how it is. I've also liked Florida since I was a kid."
Haden has helped Friendly to a 10-0 season and a playoff game this weekend.
"I've done well this year," he said. "I've passed for 1,900 yards, ran for 600 yards and have 200 yards receiving. I have 39 total touchdowns. I'm actually three touchdowns away from the career state touchdown record.
"It would mean a lot to obtain that if I could. It wouldn't mean nearly as much though if we don't win a state championship."