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Five Things To Know About Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl



Players from this year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl pose for a photo inside the Alamodome, which is hosting the event for the 13th year. / U.S. Army All-American Bowl

1. Saturday marks the 13th installment of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which will be broadcast live on NBC at 1 p.m., ET. Played each January at the Alamodome in San Antonio, the game has drawn nearly 400,000 spectators since its inception, including a record 39,011 fans last year.

2. The game divides 90 of the nation's top high school football players into East and West squads, each of which have won six games. The West won 24-12 last year as Dorial Green-Beckham (now at Mizzou) and Cyler Miles (Washington) shared the Pete Dawkings Game MVP Award. Past MVPs include Vince Young, DeSean Jackson and Beanie Wells.

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3. More than 200 U.S. Army All-Americans have gone on to be drafted by NFL teams. The list includes No. 1 picks (Andrew Luck), Heisman Trophy winners (Tim Tebow, Reggie Bush*), presumptive MVPs (Adrian Peterson), BCS National Championship MVPs (Tebow, Young) and 37 Pro Bowl selections, including current NFL standouts Ndahmukong Suh, Aaron Hernandez, LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin and Patrick Peterson. (*Bush later forfeited his Heisman after the NCAA concluded he'd received improper benefits.)

4. While the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was the first of its kind, there are now a handful of national all-American games for high school football. The Under Armour All-America Game is the Army Bowl's main challenger, competing for players, coverage and ratings. This year the Under Armour game nabbed the consensus No. 1 recruit, American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection Robert Nkemdiche, but the nation's top recruits are generally divided pretty evenly between the two games.

5. It'll be hard not to think of Torii Hunter Jr. during the game. The Notre Dame recruit — and son of Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter Sr. — suffered a devastating injury during the second day of practices on Tuesday, breaking his left femur running a routine route. The 6-foot wide receiver from Prosper High (Texas) underwent surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be out 6-8 months. That means he'll almost certainly miss his entire senior season on the diamond, where he's a potential MLB Draft pick.

 

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