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December 30, 2008
SAN ANTONIO - Rivals.com looks at the top five news items from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in the Daily Rewind. Each day Rivals.com will breakdown the biggest news, player injuries and updated recruiting news in a compact and easy to digest format. The game will be played at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 3 and broadcasted live on NBC. Practices continued on Tuesday and Wednesday's schedule will feature scrimmages and the players skill challenge in the Alamodome.
1) WEST DEFENSIVE BACKS DOMINATE
Through two days of practice, it's very clear the West defense is headlined by the defensive backs. Looking at Tuesday's Hot 11 from the West, three defensive backs made the list. Corners Marcus Davis and Cliff Harris continued to excel and safety T.J. McDonald had a great outing. During the scrimmage period Davis showed his willingness to hit by coming up and causing a fumble on a quick hitch to Patrick Patterson, Harris dominated again for the second straight day with stick-like-glue coverage and McDonald has amazing versatility. What's even more impressive about the deep group is that Gabe Lynn could have easily made the Hot 11 as he was very impressive in morning drills.
2) EAST'S BEST DB GOES DOWN
Five-star cornerback Darius Winston, an Arkansas commit and the top player at his position in Monday's practice, was sidelined with an ankle injury and was not positive he would play in Saturday's game. Rivals.com rates him as the third-best corner in the class behind Dre Kirkpatrick and LSU commit Janzen Jackson. "I hope he gets better," East defensive back coach Sean Callahan said. "I'm not sure."
3) NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN
After practices on Tuesday it was time for the players to Fiesta. The players bussed to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio where they got to check out rides like the Big Bender, the Boomerang, Goliath, and the Tornado. Here's betting quite a few players got their nerve up to ride Yosemite Sam's Wacky Wagon, Scooby-Doo Ghostblasters or Daffy's School Bus Express. Word is that several players also had their pictures taken with Bugs Bunny.
4) CAPTAIN ALL-AMERICAS
The West team announced its captains on Tuesday and it's no surprise based on performance in practice through the first two days who was selected. The captains named were running back Christine Michael, offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, linebacker Vontaze Burfict and defensive end Sheldon Richardson. Michael has been the most consistent running back so far for the West, showing a great combination of both power and speed. Fluker has easily been the most impressive offensive linemen on either roster. Burfict has been a tackling machine and his hits have been drawing big reactions from his teammates. Then Richardson has been unstoppable in one-on-one battles at both defensive end and defensive tackle.
5) BIG AND FAST
Want to see something impressive? Check out this video clip of Fluker running the 20-yard dash against Chris Davenport. Fluker reported to camp Sunday at 6-7 and 350 pounds and combined with Davenport, the racers weighed a combined 660 pounds. That's impressive for sure, but it's even more impressive when you see Fluker smoke Davenport. It's scary. Big players aren't supposed to move that fast and be that agile. But guys like Patrick Hall, Cliff Harris, Michael and Randall Carroll are. See the fastest from the West race in another video clip.
MORE: U.S. Army AA Bowl coverage | Practice Galleries: East | West | More all-star coverage
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