Cathedral (Indianapolis) offensive guard Emil Ekiyor received his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey Thursday at his school as part of the Army All-American Selection Tour Presented by American Family Insurance.
“It was a surreal experience,” Ekiyor said. “For everyone to be there meant a lot, and it was a very exciting thing I got to do.”
Ekiyor, who has a great uncle who served in the military, felt compelled to play in the game as an homage to service members.
“Being able to represent the country and play for those who give their lives every day is the real reason I chose to play in this game,” Ekiyor said. “It’s a way to show my respect back to them for their service.”
Ekiyor, a 6-2, 322-pounder who’s the No. 1 player in the state of Indiana according to 247Sports, committed to Michigan last October. He’ll have an opportunity to not only show off his talent in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but also give back.
“I just love giving back to the community,” Ekiyor said. “But for the game, I just love playing against the best and comparing myself. I had some of these experiences at The Opening; just getting a lot better going against some of the best players in the country.
“I’ll use the week to get better and make a lot of connections.”
The U.S Army All-American Bowl will kick off Saturday, Jan. 6 in San Antonio at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.