FINALISTS NAMED FOR 2012 U.S. ARMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Six elite players make final nominee list
San Antonio, Texas (November 30, 2011) – The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee has narrowed down its list of nominees to six finalists for the prestigious 2012 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, including: wide receiver Stefon Diggs (Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Olney, Md.); wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Hillcrest High School, Springfield, Mo.); defensive back Tracy Howard (Miramar High School, Miramar, Fla.); offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (Mallard Creek High School, Charlotte, N.C.); defensive back Shaq Thompson (Grant High School, Sacramento, Calif.); and defensive back T.J. Yeldon (Daphne High School, Daphne, Ala.). The U.S. Army Player of the Year Award is given to the Nation’s most outstanding senior in high school football participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The U.S. Army Player of the Year will be crowned during the U.S. Army Awards Dinner on Friday, January 6, 2012, in San Antonio. The winner will be presented with the Ken Hall Trophy, modeled after Ken “Sugar Land Express” Hall, high school football’s all-time leading rusher.
“These players possess leadership, dedication and strengths similar to Army Strong Soldiers, being named a finalist for this award only underscores their talents,” said John Myers, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “These players are outstanding athletes. We congratulate them on their nomination and are proud to have them wear the Army colors.”
As both a running back and a wide receiver in high school, Stefon Diggs can make big plays from several positions. He has good size and strength, which allows him to take advantage of smaller defenders and shield defenders from the ball. He can stretch the field with his quickness, and his cutting and vision skills make him tough to bring down. He has good hands and is able to adjust to inaccurate passes. Diggs finished the 2011 season with 1,443 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 32 tackles and four interceptions on defense. He is undecided on his college choice.
Dorial Green-Beckham is an accomplished wide receiver who has great size and athleticism. He set the national career receiving yards record with 6,447 and finished the season with 119 catches for 2,234 yards and 24 touchdowns. Both Rivals.com and MaxPreps list him as the top overall recruit. He is strong and can use his size to fight off defenders and to shield the defender from the ball. He has excellent speed and is a deep threat. He has big hands that allow him to catch the ball away from his body or snag the ball out of the air or over his head. Green-Beckham is a red zone threat as a big target who can win jump balls. He has not made a college decision.
Tracy Howard has a complete array of skills for a shutdown defensive back. He enters this weekend’s playoff game with six interceptions on the season, one returned for a touchdown. Howard has the size and speed needed to battle receivers at the line and to stay with them while running downfield. He plays with a physical style and likes to jam receivers at the line. Howard shows great recovery speed and footwork, which allows him to turn and run with wide outs. He reads offenses well and gets good jumps to close down space. Howard shows he can tackle on the edges and he can make plays in the open field. Howard has not decided on which college to attend.
Possessing outstanding athletic ability, D.J. Humphries is one of the top offensive linemen in this class, ranking third among all recruits on the Rivals.com Top 250 and leading his team to a 47-points-per-game average. He has excellent feet and balance and moves extremely well for an offensive lineman. This ability allows him to block in space and find defenders at the second level, but also guard the edge against speed-rushers. He knows how to use his long arms and hands well in pass protection and engage oncoming defenders. Humphries knows how to finish his blocks. Once he adds more bulk to his lean frame, his ceiling is extremely high. Humphries has committed to the University of Florida.
Thompson is a tall, physical defensive back who possesses great athleticism and football instincts. He is the top-ranked player in California according Rivals.com and MaxPreps. He has the ability to make plays all over the field, utilizing his excellent speed and closing angles. He is a solid tackler who can deliver the big hit, but also can use his balance and footwork to cover in man-to-man. Thompson is a playmaker with the ball in his hands, as evidenced by his almost 3,000 combined yards from the running back position over his final two seasons. He remains undecided on his college choice.
T.J. Yeldon is an instinctive runner with excellent speed and acceleration. He has a great initial burst, which allows him to hit small windows and attack the defense. He had a huge senior season, compiling 2,193 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns. Yeldon’s balance and vision allow him to set up tacklers and break tackles. He has big-play potential, particularly using his receiving skills to create mismatches. As he adds weight to his frame, his ability to run between the tackles should improve and he will be able to add more of a power aspect to his game. Yeldon has committed to Auburn University.
The selection process began this fall as players were evaluated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee and by coaches from across the country. Past U.S. Army Player of the Year Award winners include: 2001 - Kevin Jones; 2002 - Lorenzo Booker; 2003 - Chris Leak; 2004 - Adrian Peterson; 2005 - Ryan Perrilloux; 2006 - Mitch Mustain; 2007 - Jimmy Clausen; 2008 - Terrelle Pryor; 2009 - Bryce Brown; 2010 - Dillon Baxter; and 2011 – Demetrius Hart.
For more than a decade, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the Nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Lattimore, and Andrew Luck all made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans. The 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a crowd of nearly 38,000 to the Alamodome, and was the most-watched sporting event on television over the weekend, excluding the NFL playoffs.
Friday, December 23, 2011
FINALISTS NAMED FOR 2012 U.S. ARMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD