1. Jaylon Smith is everywhere
Indiana's Mr. Football showed he could do it all on Saturday. The Notre Dame-bound linebacker from Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne) kept the West in the game on the defensive end, almost single-handedly destroying two East drives in the second and third quarters to keep the game within a touchdown. Both drives went deep into West territory but ended in blocked field goals, at least one of which Smith seemed to get a hand on. He was also in on several tackles and harassed East quarterbacks all game long. Irish fans needed some good news from their recruits, particularly after what happened to Torii Hunter Jr. earlier in the week.
2. Passing is hard
With the exception of one big play by each squad, the air attacks looked anemic on Saturday. USC-bound Max Browne, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year, connected with Texas A&M commit Derrick Griffin in the fourth quarter, a score which, after a 2-point conversion, put the West in the lead, 8-7. But the East came right back, with Jeremy Johnson, who completed 4-of-8 pass attempts on the day, hitting James Quick with a 34-yard strike on fourth and 16 for the winning score. Quick, who had committed to Louisville earlier in the game, earned the Pete Dawkins Game MVP award.
3. Running, less so — if your name is Derrick
Instead, the teams relied heavily on the ground game. Record-breaking back Derrick Henry rushed for the game's first points and later capped the scoring with a two-point conversion. The Alabama-bound Henry finished with a game-high 53 yards on 11 carries, while East teammate Derrick Green rushed eight times for 49 yards.
4. Aggies Load Up
The Johnny Football Effect was clearly evident on Saturday, as the game included five players with pass-catching abilities who have committed to play at Texas A&M alongside Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. According to the game's announcers, there are also five other recruits scattered around the nation who have committed to the Aggies that can play receiver. Expect at least a couple of them to change their mind before next month's National Signing Day — or to arrive at College Station planning to play on the other side of the ball.
5. Tide, too
Then there's the Saban Effect: Henry is one of three running backs from the Class of 2013 who are headed to Tuscaloosa, joining a handful of returning Crimson Tide backs with remaining eligibility. Who will emerge as the next Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson? There'll be no shortage of competition, that's for sure.