East English Village Prep (Mich.) Tyrone Sampson Jr. received his honorary U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey Tuesday at his school as part of the Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“This has been a real goal for me since my junior year,” Sampson Jr. told USA TODAY. “One of my goals was to get invited to the Nike Opening and the other was to become a U.S. Army All-American. Now I’ve achieved both of those goals.
“My parents, all my family and my head coach were there with me. It made it really special.”
Sampson Jr. is the sixth-ranked center in the country, and No. 6 ranked overall player in Michigan, according to 247Sports. The 4.0 student committed to Syracuse ahead of scholarship offers from the likes of Minnesota, Virginia and Western Michigan, among others.
“I knew a couple people from Detroit went last year and it made me want to go this year,” Sampson Jr. said. “I’ve been playing football since I was five, so this is really special.”
He’ll be among the nation’s top players competing at the U.S Army All-American Bowl, which kicks off Saturday, Jan. 6 in San Antonio at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.