January 6, 2008

U.S. Army All-American Bowl: Expert's View

SAN ANTONIO - Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every got an in-depth look at some of the top prospects in the nation at the recent U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Here is Every's breakdown on a handful of prospects from both the East and West squads, including thoughts on where they might be headed in the final rankings update for the 2008 class.

U.S. Army All-American Bowl: East Team
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Jeannette, Pa.

Assets: Tremendous size superior athleticism.
Needs improvement: He needs to eventually learn to take a snap under center and he has a tendency to let his elbow drop on throws, causing the ball to sail high.
What was most impressive: He showed off his athleticism on the big stage playing against great competition.
Conclusion: He proved why he is the No. 1 ranked player by capturing the U.S. Army All-American Bowl most valuable player award. He will be deadly in the spread offense at the next level, especially running the read option.

MarQueis Gray, QB, Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis

Assets: Has great size and is a great athlete.
Needs improvement: Needs to work on passes that require timing with the receivers.
What was most impressive: He also ran the read option to perfection and can make plays with his feet.
Conclusion: He will be the crown jewel of the Gophers recruiting class. Coach Tim Brewster has to be excited about building an offense around this guy.

Arthur Brown, LB, Wichita (Kan.) Wichita East

Assets: He has great lateral movement and showed he will chase the ball all over the place.
Needs improvement: I'd like to see him to put on about ten pounds and work on getting a little stronger.
What was most impressive: Just his pursuit of the ball, even down field after the other team made a big gain.
Conclusion: The Hurricanes should be really excited about getting this guy out of Big 12 territory. He proved very worthy of his ranking in this game.

U.S. Army All-American Bowl: West Team
Blaine Gabbert, OB, Ballwin (Mo.) Parkway West

Assets: He is a tall, mobile quarterback with a quick release.
Needs improvement: I would like to see him become a more vocal leader.
What was most impressive: The throw he made running all the way to the right side of the end zone then throwing across his body for an 11-yard completion was amazing.
Conclusion: This guy is an excellent pickup for the Tigers, and he should help bring other great players to help Missouri stay in the upper echelon of the Big 12.

D.J. Monroe, CB, Angleton, Texas

Assets: Quick as a cat, and he is always around the ball.
Needs improvement: He is not the biggest corner and will need to get as strong as he can in order to battle the large receivers.
What was most impressive: He was very opportunistic on the muffed punt as he not only was in position to make the hit but he made the fumble recovery.
Conclusion: This kid is special and Longhorn fans will be very pleased with this elite player in Austin.

Justin Sorensen, K, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham

Assets: He is extremely strong, and has potential to kick and punt.
Needs improvement: I'm not a kicking expert, but I thought is operation time on the extra points was just a tad slow.
What was most impressive: His two punts hung in the air for a very long time. I wish I had a stop watch on them.
Conclusion: He should really shine and possibly break records at BYU kicking in the high altitude.

R.J. Washington, DE, Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge

Assets: He is so fast coming off of the snap of the ball.
Needs improvement: Needs to add some size in order to help himself at the point of attack.
What was most impressive: He had one of only two sacks in the entire game.
Conclusion: He is a great pickup for the Sooners and still the top prospect in Texas in my eyes.

Michael Floyd, WR, St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall

Assets: He has great hands. I saw it in practice and in the game.
Needs improvement: I'd like to see him add some lower body size and strength.
What was most impressive: He got deep twice and scored twice.
Conclusion: Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish should be real happy with this kid coming to South Bend. He has a good chance to play as a freshman, and he will be under serious consideration for a bump in the rankings.

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