January 8, 2007

U.S. Army AA Bowl top 10: West

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The West came away victorious in the U.S. Army All American Bowl mainly due to solid quarterback play and a stellar defense.

After watching the West all week during practice and during their 24-7 victory, Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell ranks the top 10 players on the West squad.

Army All-American Bowl Friday Hot 11: West

1. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian

Believe the hype, if you didn't already. Clausen does everything well and his mechanics are near perfect. From his footwork to setting up to releasing the ball quickly to his accuracy, Clausen does it all consistently. His poise, confidence and mobility complete the package. He's the most complete quarterback I've seen at the high school level.

2. Everson Griffen, DE, Avondale (Ariz.) Agua Fria

Griffen didn't disappoint during the week or during the game. He a legit 260+ pounds and is as fast as advertised. Griffen consistently beat the West tackles off the ball and he gave Chris Little from the East fits during the game. Griffin is very active and peels back to the inside often to get in on running stops as well.

3. Chris Galippo, LB, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite

Galippo has the mentality you want in a linebacker. He's not afraid to sacrifice his body, he hustles and he wants to be involved in every defensive play. Galippo's vision and instincts are impressive and his leadership and tackling ability make him a great defensive quarterback.

4. Joe McKnight, RB, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis

McKnight is a special player because his burst is amazing. He's somewhat of an upright runner, but it doesn't matter because of his speed and elusiveness. McKnight was banged up late in the week and wasn't 100-percent for the game. When he's healthy, he's nasty.

5. Ryan Mallett, QB, Texarkana (Texas) Texas HS

Mallett has the skills to be a big-time quarterback in college and beyond. He's just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. He showed better mobility this past week than he has in the past, his arm is still a rifle and his poise has improved. He still has some accuracy issues, but once he gets coached up he could be great.

6. Terrance Toliver, WR, Hempstead (Texas)

Toliver is skinny, we all know that. But he's also very quick, surprisingly strong and very hard to cover because of his size. Toliver has good hands and adjusts to the ball well in the air. He has excellent body control for a tall receiver. Once he adds more weight and gets stronger, he could be special.

7. Donovan Warren, CB, Long Beach (Calf.) Poly

Warren came out and proved he should be ranked with the best cornerbacks in the country. He is very good at the line of scrimmage, runs with anybody and plays physical. He showed good recognition and was excellent in run support. His play against Toliver all week and against Arrelious Benn and others in the game put him in elite status.

8. Niles Paul, WR, Omaha (Neb.) North

Paul is the West's version of Benn. He's a thick, physical wideout who can get separation and has sure hands. Paul is a big target and is very strong after the catch. He doesn't have elite speed, but he will make the tough catches - and plenty of them.

9. Tray Allen, OL, Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prarie

Allen was moved to tackle to at least give Griffen more of a challenge in practice and to protect the West quarterbacks from being hurried on every play. He did an excellent job handling Ben Martin and other defensive ends in the game, something the East tackles could not do during practice.

10. Curtis Brown, CB, Gilmer (Texas)

Brown is an outstanding athlete with excellent recovery speed and ball skills. He is very confident in his ability and doesn't have a problem pressing wideouts off the line of scrimmage. His interception in the game was a textbook example of how to jump a route.

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