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January 14, 2005

Granger, Miller MVPs of the West practices

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - As valuable as the actual U.S. Army All-America Bowl is for an evaluation standpoint, nothing is more vital than the five days of practice that took place Monday through Friday. And while there were numerous studs on the West roster, Rivals.com has named defensive tackles DeMarcus Granger and Roy Miller its camp most valuable player for the practice portion of the week.

Rivals.com will name both an offensive and defensive most valuable player for both teams for their total body of work after the game on Saturday, but Granger and Miller were the stars of the show throughout the week of practices in San Antonio.

Why you might ask?

Let's state Granger's case.

Time after time Granger was unable to be blocked by the West offensive linemen in on-on-one situations. Granger, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle from Dallas Kimball, was also one of the more physically impressive players. He looked strong, lean and he talked the talk and walked the walk.

"That defensive tackle, DeMarcus Granger, is one special player," West coach John Barnes said.

"I'm glad he's on our team and we don't have to figure out a way to block him every play. The guys over there on the East squad will have their hands full with DeMarcus. He's a great kid, but he's also one heck of a football player. He never lets up and he knows he has one job - find the football and go make the tackle."

Not only is Granger a heck of a defensive tackle, he's also a heck of a pure athlete. There aren't too many 6-3, 315-pound people that can do a cartwheel without any effort. DeMarcus Granger isn't your typical person.

After beating an offensive lineman one-on-one in drills on Wednesday, Granger celebrated his would be-sack by doing a cartwheel. He stuck it perfectly, drawing hoots and hollers from his teammates and everybody in the stands.

Matching Granger almost play for play was Miller, the standout defensive tackle that will announce his commitment to the Texas Longhorns on Saturday.

Miller, who is 6-foot-2 and 302 pounds, took over on Wednesday when he dominated - no took over - an 18-play full-padded scrimmage. If the scrimmage were a live game situation, Miller would've had four or five quarterback sacks.

"He's (Miller) been a force since the first practice," Barnes said. "He's just a very intense kid and he had a great day and he's going to be a great player for somebody in college. He was a dominating player and we enjoyed watching him today."

Miller said his high level of play this week can be attributed to the way he carries himself on the field.

"I don't want to say it like this, but I'm crazy," Miller said jokingly. "I constantly think about making big plays and getting to the quarterback."


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