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January 7, 2013

Army Bowl - A&M commits & targets speak out

Army Week Awards:

Honorable Mention: Kendall Fuller from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel had the play of the week with a one-handed interception and showed excellent ball skills all week, Tony Stevens from Orlando (Fla.) Evans was consistent catching the ball, and tight end DeSean Smith from Lake Charles (La.) Barbe dropped one pass all week that we saw. He was impressive.

Honorable Mention: Hawkins showed off his athletic ability as did White, Mackensie Alexander from Immokalee Fla., Mizzell and many others.

East Top Performer:.
A shoulder injury late in the second quarter derailed what was beginning to look like a standout performance for Alexander in Saturday's bowl game. He led the East team at the half with two solo tackles and was all around the football until the untimely injury. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Alexander was not as consistent as Ramsey or Fuller during practices, but his level of play was nonetheless high all week and he showed great competitiveness. He was one of the East's punt returners and led his squad with two returns for 22 yards in the game.

West Top Performers:
At first glance the idea is that Prevot is too small to play defensive end, but he proved doubters wrong during a good week of practice and a strong showing in the game. Yes, Prevot is undersized, but he uses it to his advantage by being super fast off the edge, crafty getting around offensive tackles to the inside and outside and tracking down plays from the back. He was involved in a few plays in the backfield during the game, and if an offensive tackle isn't excellent moving his feet, Prevot gets around him. He had a strong week playing defensive end, and he's stronger than he looks.

Griffin has such excellent size he was clearly the biggest wide receiver in the game, and he's fluid, too, comfortable in his body and a long strider who can cover a lot of ground. He caught the touchdown pass from Browne in the game, and it was a difficult catch as he was falling back in the end zone. There is a lot to like because Griffin has such great size, he's athletic and he has soft hands. During the week of practice, he was unsure of which routes to run sometimes and he was confused by the offense on occasion, but if he tightens that up he's a huge threat on the outside who's tough to cover.

Seals-Jones fought the ball on Monday, but Tuesday was a much better with his hands. He made one of the best catches of the day, hauling in a pass over his shoulder and heading out of bounds. On a couple of occasions, he took a short pass and turned the corner, showing off excellent speed.

Dallas (Texas) Kimball four-star defensive tackle Justin Manning -- who was once believed to be a heavy OU lean but chose Texas A&M on Dec. 16 -- said the No. 8-ranked recruiting class in the country was going to reshape the national perception of the school.

Long considered an Oklahoma lean, Justin Manning picked Texas A&M and is happy he did.

"It is a blessing to be able to have the opportunity to go to either school," Manning said. "I think the class we have coming in is one that could totally change the direction of the program.

"With the talent already there, I think we will be in a position to win a national championship or two in the next four years."

For a program that had finished third or lower in its own division of the Big 12 in all but one season of the 2000s -- and was a third-place finisher again in its division during its first season in the SEC -- a leap to a national title contender may be hard for some to envision.

But it is a step longtime Aggie commit Isaiah Golden embraces.

Golden was among the first in the class to offer his pledge, committing in late January.

"I think we are moving to the top," he said. "There was a good mix of guys contributing this year and everything that happened with 'Johnny Football' is making more people want to come and play here."

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