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January 4, 2008

East squad wears its game face on Friday

SAN ANTONIO - Preparations are complete for the East side as the team went through a light walk-through Friday morning to get ready for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"It's getting close to game time," East coach Robert Prunty said.

The starting lineups were released Friday and there are no major surprises. Terrelle Pryor, the nation's No. 1 player, will start at quarterback. Running back Ryan Williams, who will pick either Virginia Tech or Boston College during the game, will start in the backfield.

One of the biggest strengths on the East team all week has been at wide receiver and they have three good ones starting in Kenny Tate, DeAndre Brown and Southern California commit Brice Butler. Notre Dame pledge Kyle Rudolph gets the nod at tight end.

On the offensive line from left to right is Ohio State commit Mike Adams, Alabama commit Barrett Jones, Notre Dame commit Mike Golic, Jr., Pittsburgh commit Lucas Nix and Notre Dame pledge Lane Clelland. Georgia commit Blair Walsh will do the kicking and Ohio State commit Ben Buchanan is expected to punt.

Defensive line coach Troy Davis talked about the front seven on Thursday and it should be an impressive group that will have a tough assignment containing the West running backs.

At the defensive end positions will be William Green, who said Florida is his leader but he's also hearing from Auburn, Clemson and many others. Rivals.com rates him as the seventh-best outside linebacker nationally. He finished with 114 tackles and four sacks this season.

Quinton Coples, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound prospect from Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy, will start on the other side. Coples has Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, Tennessee and others involved. Rivals.com rates him as the 16th best defensive end.

"The speed is there," Davis said of Green. "It's just a matter of him just getting square meals where he's going to put the weight on. This kid here is going to be a big-time player. His first step is very explosive.

"(Coples) improved tremendously this week. Quinton has so much upside to him. The thing about it is it's going to help him being around this caliber of players around here. He likes the competition."

Defensive tackle should be a strength for the East squad mainly because Miami commit Marcus Forston has been a monster all week. If he plays as well as he performed in practice, the 6-foot-2, 286-pound prospect will have his name called many times. Forston is rated as the top defensive tackle nationally and No. 8 regardless of position.

"He's excellent," Davis said. "I like his character, I like his speed. I like the type of kid he is. The thing that stands out with him is he loves to work. He works hard and loves to pursue the ball and he's not going to accept no for an answer. That's what you look for in a d-lineman."

Notre Dame commit Brandon Newman got the starting nod at the other defensive tackle spot. He has been one of the hardest workers all week and his low center of gravity has been tough to neutralize.

Rivals.com rates Newman as the 43rd best defensive tackle nationally but he has played much better than that this week. Fellow Irish commit Sean Cwynar backs up Newman. Georgia commit DeAngelo Tyson, a 6-foot-2, 276-pound recruit, is slated to back up Forston. Tyson is ranked No. 2 at DT.

"(Tyson) is a strong powerful kid," Davis said. "He's a smart, likeable kid. He wants to improve, too. I always say you have to have the three Ds and those are desire, determination and dedication. The two of them (Forston and Tyson) bring that to the table right there strength-wise and they just wanted to try to improve their game. I'm enjoying it."

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