December 29, 2008

All-American Bowl: West Hot 11

MORE: West Practice Photo Gallery | Army AA Bowl coverage | More all-star coverage

SAN ANTONIO - The first day of practice for the West team consisted mainly of learning the alignments that the offense and defense will use throughout the week. At half speed some of the players true athletic ability may have been hampered as they tried to absorb the new schemes. The Hot 11 are some of the players that did impress on Day 1.

West Team Hot 11 - Monday
6-3/213, Mission Viejo (CA) Mission Viejo
Bridgford had the best accuracy on short and mid-range passes on the day for the West squad. He also had the most consistent spin on his passes as the quarterbacks struggled with the brand new slippery footballs. But the most impressive thing about his game is his ability to put the ball on the money on most passes that require timing.

6-0/192, League City (TX) Clear Creek
Davis is a very physical corner that is not afraid to lower his shoulder and lay a crushing blow. Don't be surprised if he gets looks at safety since he does a nice job of reading run or pass. In run support he was able to upend Christine Michael even though players were not supposed to knock each other to the ground.
6-7/345, Foley (Ala.) High
This amazing physical specimen makes defensive linemen like Chris Davenport and Jamarkus McFarland look small. He has quick enough feet to disrupt defensive ends from making an effective outside rush and when Fluker locks his big mitts onto the defender they will be driven to the turf. Defensive lineman need to be on the lookout when he down blocks because on runs to the outside because he is looking to take them all out with one crushing blow.

6-0/165, Fresno (CA) Edison
Even though Harris does not look physically imposing he may have the quickest feet and hips of any corner on the West. He has the uncanny ability to know where the ball is even when his back is turned to the play. And his ability to break on passes makes him a threat to return a pick for a TD at anytime.

6-2/180, Gadsden (AL) Gadsden City
Easily the tallest corner, Kirkpatrick really did a nice job of taking receivers off there routes by using his long arms to keep them in check. Another part of his game that is underrated is his ability and willingness to come up in run support. He like Cliff Harris has great ball skills, good body control and actually looks like the receiver not the defensive back on long pass plays.

6-7/245, Broomfield (CO) Legacy
Really showed a quick first step in the afternoon session wreaking havoc before plays could really develop for the offensive unit. His long arms make almost anyone in the backfield appear to be in reach. Several times coaches called him out for playing disciplined football and giving high effort.

6-2/170, Minneapolis (MN) Breck
McNeal may be the most fluid athlete playing receiver for the west squad. He has exceptional hands and is a definite threat on deep passes. The other thing that sets him apart is his ability to make yards after the catch using his superior change of direction.

6-1/188, Harbor City (CA) Narbonne
Moore is a high effort defensive back that could be cross trained as a safety or a big cover corner. He really impressed the coaching staff when he dropped a sure pick and then - without being asked - got down and did 10 pushups in front of the defensive unit. On the very next play he was able to make an interception on a deep ball.
5-11/202, Beaumont (TX) West Brook
He is the only running back on the west squad that could fit into any style of offense at the next level. He demonstrated superior change of direction, great acceleration, and very good hands out of the backfield. Michael also had one of the biggest hits of the day when he lowered the boom on Patrick Hall by accelerating just before contact on a sweep.

6-5/235, Pflugerville (Texas) High
He may be the most physically gifted defensive end on the West team with excellent height, long arms, and the quickest first step. But what really separates Okafor from the rest of the defensive lineman is his stellar lateral movement. Once he learns to play with lower pad level against the run he will be near impossible to beat to the outside.

6-4/270, St. Louis Gateway
Outside of D.J. Fluker he may be the other dynamic physical anomaly in the U.S. Army All-American Game. He fires of the ball like a charging bull, and also has lateral movement similar to Vontaze Burfict - but he is carrying 30 more pounds. His combination of size, speed, and strength is just too much for less athletic offensive lineman to handle. Richardson was given one opportunity to field a kick off and looked as natural catching the ball as smaller skilled position players.




 

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