Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Randle among finalists for national award

  • Bastrop High wide receiver turned quarterback Rueben Randle is one of six finalists for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award.

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  • The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee has narrowed down their nominees to six finalists for the prestigious 2009 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award: JaMarkus McFarland (Lufkin High School, Lufkin, Texas); Bryce Brown (East High School, Wichita, Kan.); Randall Carroll (Cathedral High School, Los Angeles, Calif.); Rueben Randle (Bastrop High School); Xavier Nixon (Jack Britt High School, Fayetteville, N.C.); and Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsen City High School, Gadsen, 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 2, 2009 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.
    “Being named a finalist only underscores the dedication and strength these players have demonstrated all season long,” said Colonel David Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-7, Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “The strength of the Army Strong Soldier is strength like no other. And this award reflects that strength — the mental, physical and emotional.”
    JaMarkus McFarland, according to many experts, is considered to be one of the nation’s best defensive linemen. He seems to have it all: size, quickness, and strength. He is very polished and talented and can beat players in various ways, as he has the versatility to play all over the defensive interior. McFarland has not yet committed, but he has narrowed down his choices to Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.
    According to recruiters nationwide, Bryce Brown is the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back. He has the size, the speed and the ability to be an immediate impact running back at the next level. Along with his older brother Arthur, a 2008 All-American, they have been terrorizing opponents in Wichita for years. He has verbally committed to Miami.
    Wide receiver Randall Carroll is considered one of the fastest players in the nation with a sub 10.5-second 100-meter time. He is an extremely hard worker in practice and recruiters nationwide continue to be impressed by his relentless determination to get better. Carroll has committed to USC.
    Rated as the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver, Rueben Randle is one of the nation’s most athletic players and his combination of size, speed and hands is awfully tough to beat. Randall has started at quarterback this season, completing 76% of his passes. Randle has not committed but has narrowed  his choices to Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss.
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    Xavier Nixon, considered by recruiters nationwide as the top offensive linemen in the country, has quick feet and excellent technique. Nixon has narrowed down his college choices to Clemson, Florida, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
    Dre Kirkpatrick is rated by many as the top defensive back in the nation. He is a giant that will not be pushed around or out-jumped by the tall receivers in college. He will be an immediate impact at the next level.  Kirkpatrick has not committed but has narrowed down his college choices to Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and USC.
    The selection process began this fall as players were evaluated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee and by coaches from around the country. Past U.S. Army Player of the Year winners include: Kevin Jones (Detroit Lions) 2001; Lorenzo Booker (Miami Dolphins) 2002; Chris Leak (Florida Gators) 2003; Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) 2004; Ryan Perrilloux (LSU) 2005; Mitch Mustain (USC) 2006; Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) 2007, and Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) 2008.
    The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow all made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans. Last year the U.S. Army All-American Bowl set its own attendance record, as 36,534 fans attended the game at the Alamodome along with being the most watched sporting event on television over the weekend, besides the NFL Playoffs.
    For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events visit www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com & www.goarmy.com.  
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