By: Jim Halley, USA TODAY High School Sports | September 21, 2017
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) football players Amon-Ra St. Brown, Solomon Tuliapupu and Chris Murray play for the No. 1-ranked team in the country, so they’re used to a little swag.
They got a little more on Thursday when they were given their honorary jerseys as part of the Army All American Bowl Selection Tour Presented by American Family Insurance.
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“To play for the people who put their lives on the line for us every day is definitely an honor,” said St. Brown, considered by Rivals.com to be the No. 1 receiver in the 2018 class.
St. Brown recently came back from a finger injury to play his first game this season for the 4-0 Monarchs and he had three touchdown catches. Brown and Murray, 6-3, 298-pound offensive guard listed as the No. 17 player at his position, said they plan to announce their college choices at the Army game.
“I’m definitely going to make my announcement at the Army game, and then come back (to Mater Dei) for the rest of my senior year,” St. Brown said. “I have a couple of schools in mind, but I haven’t completely narrowed it down.”
One reason Murray said he chose the game is his maternal grandfather, Anthony Emmanuel Sr., was in the Army for more than 18 years.
“I find that playing in this game honors him and respects him and also, this is a prestigious game to be in,” Murray said.
Tuliapupu, considered to be the No. 3 inside linebacker in his class, said he plans to announce his college choice closer to signing day in February. Like Murray, he has family ties to the military.
“Growing up, me and my cousins and uncle put on the Army game every year and that had a big influence on me,” Tuliapupu said. “I’ve always wanted to play in this game. On top of that, my uncle served in the Army, so I’m happy to be representing them.”
The Monarchs play at St. Mary’s (Stockton), which was the state 1-AA runner-up, on Friday. The three don’t play again until Oct. 6 when Mater Dei opens Trinity League play at Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita).