The nation’s top senior high school football players and marching band musicians were honored Friday night at the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl Awards Show.
USA TODAY High School Sports will have complete coverage and be updating the winners throughout the night.
ARMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Florida State commit Cam Akers took home the prestigious U.S. Army Player of the Year award on the night before the Army Bowl.
The award is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding high school senior football player.
Akers played quarterback and led Clinton (Miss.) to the state 6A title, despite being recruited exclusively as a running back.
Florida State is getting the type of high school recruit that has not only the hype — Akers is a consensus five-star prospect and ranked as high as No. 4 nationally — but the production to back it up. He ran for 2,105 yards and 34 touchdowns, and threw for 3,128 passing yards and 31 touchdowns. His career totals of 13,243 yards and 149 touchdowns are among the best in state history.
“I put my team first and those were the guys I worked hard with throughout the summer and the spring,” Akers said. “Those were the guys I was going to put all my effort into. … We won a state championship. That was my main goal.”
Akers will enroll at Florida State after the Army Bowl.
Akers was among three running back prospects among the six finalists, including Najee Harris from Antioch (Calif.), who is considered the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation, and Eno Benjamin from Wylie East (Wylie, Texas).
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) quarterback Tate Martell, defensive back Richard LeCounte III from Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.) and defensive end Jaelan Phillips from Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.) were also finalists. Phillips was named the American Family Insurance Defensive Player of the Year.LOCKHEED MARTIN DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE YEAR
Shaun Wade from Trinity Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) was named the nation’s top senior defensive back. The Ohio State commit led his team to its fourth consecutive state title with 63 tackles and seven interceptions. He also had 690 all-purpose yards and six touchdown catches.
This is the fourth year for the award.
“Shaun has demonstrated his dedication to football and teamwork on the field,” Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing, said in a news release. “We congratulate him on this special recognition today and wish him continued success both on and off the field.”
Wade was named the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year.
The finalists were:
- Bubba Bolden, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
- Darnay Holmes, Calabassas (Calif.)
- Richard LeCounte III, Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.)
- Deommodore Lenoir, Salesian (Los Angeles)
- Shaun Wade, Trinity Christian (Jacksonville)
ANTHONY MUNOZ LINEMAN OF THE YEAR
Foster Sarell, an offensive tackle from Graham-Kapowsin (Graham, Wash.), was named the winner of the award presented to the top senior offensive or defensive lineman.
The award is named for the Hall of Fame offensive lineman who spent 13 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
At, 6-6 and 330, Sarell is massive, but shows great athleticism for his size in pass blocking and opening holes in the run game.
Sarell, ranked as the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 2 player overall, is announcing his college commitment during Saturday’s game.
“All of the players in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl are outstanding examples of hard work, dedication and versatility, as well as character both on and off the field,” Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing, said. “The U.S. Army salutes Foster Sarell on this momentous achievement.”
The finalists were:
- Wyatt Davis, offense, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
- Walker Little, offense, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas)
- Jaelan Phillips, defense, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.)
- Foster Sarell, offense, Graham-Kapowsin (Graham, Wash.)
- Aubrey Solomon, defense, Lee County (Leesburg, Ga.)
- Chase Young, defense, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
DOC BLANCHARD AND GLENN DAVIS AWARDS
Nick Brahms from Navarre (Fla.) won the Doc Blanchard Award and Wyatt Davis from St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) won the Glenn Davis Award.
The awards are presented to players who exhibit prowess in the classroom and the field. The Blanchard award is presented to the East’s honoree and the Davis award is presented to the West’s honoree. Blanchard and Davis were Hall of Fame running backs for Army in the 1940s, each winning a Heisman Trophy.
The Blanchard finalists were:
- Hunter Johnson, QB, Brownsburg (Ind.)
- Nate McBride. LB, Vidalia (Ga.)
- Nick Brahms. OL, Navarre (Fla.)
- Josh Lugg, OL, North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.)
The Davis finalists were:
- Wyatt Davis, OL, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
- Brett Neilon, OL, Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
- Foster Sarrell, OL, Graham-Kapowsin (Graham, Wash.)
- Jaelan Phillips, DL, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.)
ARMY NATIONAL COMBINE MVP
Quarterback Matt Corral from Oaks Christian (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Army Bowl National Combine held Friday in San Antonio.
Corral is ranked as the No. 2 pro style quarterback and No. 7 player overall in the Class of 2018.