The US Army All American Bowl brought more of the best seniors in high school football together on one field again, and, again there was a local representative there. This time it was Edwardsville Defensive End AJ Epenesa, who took a break from his duties for the basketball Tigers.
But the event also brings some of the best underclassmen in the country under one roof for a chance to compete in a combine style event. Among those were Lutheran South QB Vito Orlando and RB Cody Schrader.
Here’s Orlando’s take on how his time unfolded:
…it was one of the best experiences that a underclass man could experience. We left from our house at 4:30 in the morning on Wednesday to get down to San Antonio for check in at 10 o’clock the next morning. Once we arrived to the hotel where check in was that morning I got to see some of the best football players in the nation all in one room. They picked 600 athletes to go to this combine and me and Cody were picked which is an honor for the both of us. It took about an hour to check in because they gave us shirts and other accessories to wear at the camp. We also had a meeting that night we arrived were a very decorated military official talked to us about being great men and how to be great men in college and in life.
The combine started at 8:50 on Friday morning. We arrived at a hotel where they put us on charter buses and took us over to the Alamodome where the combine was being held. They split the 600 kids into two different groups because it was 9 hours long. We did all the drills that they do at the NFL combine like the 40 yard dash and the 5-10-5. We were able to see some of the top prospects in the nation compete. After that we did 1on1’s where Wide receivers go head to head against DB’s and quarterbacks just throw to the wide receivers and the running backs and tight ends go head to head against linebackers and run routes against them. That’s the best part of all combines is actually seeing who can play football and who can just run or jump. Then after that the combine was over.
All I have to say is that if you are a underclass men and you get invited to this you should go I was lucky enough to have awesome parents that took 4 days to take me down there to compete against the best in the nation, and I have an awesome brother who takes time out of his day to train me and to make me a better football player to be able to compete at things like these.