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January 5, 2013

U.S. Army Bowl: West Game balls

MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Following the East's 15-8 win at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Saturday, West recruiting analysts Adam Gorney and Rob Cassidy hand out the West game balls to top performers.

QB Max Browne, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline
Despite not having much time to operate in the pocket, Browne was the only quarterback that showed the ability to move the West offense. He had a slow and erratic start, but led a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that ended with a beautiful, 16-yard pass to Derrick Griffin. Browne's arm-strength was on display all afternoon while working under near-constant pressure.

LB Jaylon Smith, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers
The Notre Dame commit made multiple plays all over the field. He played with his hand down, was outstanding in pass coverage, made four tackles and blocked a field goal. Smith played relentlessly every down he was on the field and the five-star can do so many things for a defense. Plus, he's intelligent and doesn't overrun many plays, but does need to wrap up better when making a tackle.

DT Eddie Vanderdoes, Placer, Calif.
Vanderdoes had an outstanding week of practice where he was virtually unstoppable because of his quickness and strength breaking through the line. He continued that in the game, and even north of 300 pounds, the four-star defensive tackle moves especially well, tracks down plays and makes it very tough for anyone to run the ball up the middle. His speed at that size was especially good.

CB Chris Hawkins, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Hawkins was responsible for one of the game's most impressive pass breakups when he contorted his body and extended to deflect a deep pass early in the contest. The closing speed on display during the play was possibly the most impressive part of the play. If that weren't enough, he flashed his athleticism once again on a 51-yard kick return that was one block away from resulting in six points.

CB Tre'Davious White, Shreveport (La.) Green Oaks
One carry for eight yards isn't so impressive, but the kicking game is where White really shined. He fielded a pair of kickoffs in the contest and showed great acceleration and elusiveness on his way to netting 52 yards. He took the game's opening kick 33 yards and dodged three defenders before showing off some power and trucking a tackler during a 21-yard return later in the afternoon.

S Tahaan Goodman, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Goodman is a head-hunter and that's good and bad news. Good because he made two big hits in the game and receivers always have to keep an eye out for him. He has a great physical build, he's strong and fast on the field and likes to make big, highlight-reel hits. But Goodman never wraps up and that's something he needs to work on. Sometimes, just a tackle is needed and Goodman got burned on one long third down.

WR Derrick Griffin, Rosenberg (Texas) Terry
When your team accumulates just eight points and 90 offensive yards, catching one pass for a 16-yard touchdown is enough to earn a game ball. Griffin's touchdown grab was impressive in itself, but the fact that he ran open for much of the game was more eye-catching. It seems likely that if West quarterbacks had more time to throw, Griffin's numbers would have been more impressive. The four-star wide receiver could still benefit from becoming more physical off the line.

CB Antwuan Davis, Bastrop, Texas
Davis had a nice knockdown on a goal-line pass play and also blocked a field goal, something he worked on all week during practice. He has impressive speed off the edge and did a tremendous job on another blocked field goal, getting into the backfield. Davis did not make many other big plays at cornerback but he was a big asset on special teams and was solid on defense throughout the week.

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