LAS VEGAS — Four of the nation’s best football players from the nation’s No. 1 team – Bishop Gorman – received their jerseys for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Friday during the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
Quarterback Tate Martell, wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, defensive lineman Haskell Garrett and defensive back Bubba Bolden were presented as 2017 U.S. Army All-Americans inside the school’s gymnasium, an honor that touched each one of them for several reasons.
“It’s something to finish off my career, after everything we’ve done here,” said Martell, who is committed to Ohio State. “We still have to finish what we started, we’re not taking anything for granted, we still have to win state. But this is special. Representing the city and representing the service. It’s cool that I can represent the military in that game.”
It will be the last game the quartet plays against high school competition, on Jan. 7, 2017 in San Antonio.
“I have a lot of family members who were in the Army, so it’s an honor for me to be able to play in this game,” Garrett said. “This is the last chance to represent Nevada and give back to Las Vegas.”
Making the jersey presentation even more special, was the fact the ceremony took place on Veterans Day.
“It’s very impactful because some of our faculty here at Gorman are veterans,” Lindsey said. “This is going to be a blast. I’ve been committed to this game since my sophomore year, and I’ve been excited ever since. It’s me showing thanks to the military and showing gratitude.”
And while Martell, Garrett and Lindsey will continue their careers together at Ohio State, the Army All-American Bowl could be the last time Bolden plays with his Gorman teammates, as he remains uncommitted. The three OSU commits accompanied Bolden on his official visit to Columbus last weekend, but the standout safety insists there is much more to committing to a school his friends have chosen.
Bolden, whose grandfather fought in World War II and said he’ll be honoring him when playing in the Army All-American Bowl, said on Friday he won’t be making any decisions until after he takes his official visit to USC on Jan. 12. He is not planning to announce his decision until National Signing Day in February.
“With three players (from Gorman) going to Ohio State, and me going this past weekend, walking down through the field and people screaming your name, it was exciting,” Bolden said. “It’s still going to be a hard decision. I just really have to weigh all my options. We haven’t lost our whole high school career, and obviously, we would have a chance to do something special at the next level.”
Putting aside his helmet and pads to entice his teammates, Martell has been the biggest cheerleader for Ohio State and coach Urban Meyer, and feels Bolden would be the last piece to the puzzle.
“You have to start building what’s next,” Martell said. “With Tyjon, Haskell and hopefully Bubba – they’re all my best friends – it’s something I’m really pushing for. The thing I sense from Coach Meyer is he gets a sense of the person, before he gets to know the player. He’ll never let one single player’s attitude bring the team down. You can tell he really cares about the type of person you are, not just the type of football player.”
Gorman moved to 12-0 with a 59-0 victory against Palo Verde (Las Vegas) on Thursday night and faces Faith Lutheran in the Sunset region semifinals next week.
Nevertheless, Martell and company must wait until after Bolden’s official recruiting trips conclude.
“It’s not that easy because we all play different positions, we all have different families, we’re not all from the same place, so they wouldn’t be able to relate to my side of it,” Bolden said. “My family is my main focus. I got football set down. I got school set down. Now I have to focus on my family. Without them, stuff wouldn’t be the same. My parents have an impact. They know what’s best for me.”
Thus, as of now, the last game scheduled for the foursome will be inside the Alamodome in January.
“This is still real special for me, especially getting our jerseys on Veterans Day,” Bolden said. “It’s the last chance to play with my teammates and the best players in the country.”