By Tim Whelan Jr., USA TODAY High School Sports | November 8, 2018 3:37 pm ET
H.B. Plant High School (Tampa, Fla.) offensive lineman Will Putnam received his All-American Bowl jersey Thursday at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“It’s definitely pretty exciting,” Putnam said. “I think being honored and chosen for such a prestigious game is one of those things that means a lot. Being recognized is something you hope for since you start playing football. This ceremony, this honor, it’s not just good for me, but it’s good for my football team and my teammates as well.
“I never expected to be in this position, and I’m just honored and grateful to be here.”
The 6-4, 280-pound offensive guard is the No. 11-ranked player in Florida, and 3rd-ranked player overall in the country at his position, according to the 247 Sports Composite.
In the summer before his junior year, Putnam’s family moved from Illinois to the Tampa area for his father’s job (Neil Putnam works for the United States Army). In the Land of Lincoln before heading to the Sunshine State, Putnam was already proving to be a top Div. I recruit at Glenwood High School (Chatham, Ill.).
While Putnam is still weighing his college options from the reported 29 FBS schools to offer him a scholarship, he has narrowed his list down to three schools – Auburn, Clemson and Florida State. He has already taken official visits to Auburn and FSU and plans to take an official visit to Clemson next weekend (Nov. 16-17).
— All-American Bowl Jersey Presentation Tour (@AABJerseyTour) November 8, 2018
A football player since he was in first grade, Putnam is also a standout wrestler.
“I think some things are obviously very different about the two sports, but many are the same, like leverage, hand placement, “ Putnam said. “Mentally, the toughness and focus it takes to overcome adversity in wrestling helps in football. It helps me stay in the physical shape to be able to play both ways, good cardio.”
While he continues to wreak havoc on both sides of the line for Plant, Putnam looks forward to getting his shot alongside and against the best players the nation has to offer.
“I think the competition is something that will be great,” he said. “Going against everybody and being able to meet other guys who are going through similar things as players, it’s going to be awesome.”
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.