Thoughts on 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl

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8Jan 2017
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Thoughts on 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Donovan Peoples-Jones (image via USA Today)

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl took place yesterday, and there were several Michigan-related players involved – including offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga, who committed to the Wolverines during the broadcast (LINK). Here are my thoughts on the game, which was won 27-17 by the East.


Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy wide receiver Tarik Black was a backup wideout for the East team, but he was the first receiver in off the bench. He earned positive reviews throughout the week of practice for his route-running abilities, something that I noted in his commitment post. The East quarterbacks targeted him a few times, but he ended the game with just 1 catch for 9 yards. One of the incompletions was a back-shoulder fade on which Black failed to adjust (a tough play that almost never works with such little time to build chemistry), and the other was a post route that was thrown too high and broken up by the defensive back. He played about as expected.

Aledo (TX) Aledo offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga was the backup right tackle for the West. To be honest, I did not keep an eye out for Filiaga. He was the backup right tackle, and there were too many other players to watch.

Flint (MI) Southwestern defensive end Deron Irving-Bey was a backup defensive end for the East squad. He’s another player that I did not notice, except for 1 QB pressure. I did record the game, and I’ll go back and take a look before finalizing the TTB Ratings, but for now I have nothing significant to report. I can say that he did not stand out, because if he had, I would have noticed.

Hit the jump for more.

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7Jan 2017
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Chuck Filiaga, Wolverine

Chuck Filiaga (image via Star-Telegram)

Aledo (TX) Aledo offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga committed to Michigan on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, and USC, among others.

Filiaga is listed at 6’6″, 335 lbs. He claims a 5.59 forty, a 4.66 shuttle, and a 21″ vertical.

ESPN: 4-star, 83 grade, #14 OT, #137 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #16 OT, #118 overall
Scout: 4-star, #15 OT, #125 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 94 grade, #13 OT, #106 overall

Hit the jump for more on Filiaga’s commitment to Michigan.

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7Jan 2017
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2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl preview

Dylan McCaffrey (image via 247 Sports)

The 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played January 7, at 1:00 p.m. The broadcast will be on NBC.

Here’s a look at the participating players who were offered by Michigan (and an all-time list of Michigan commits can be found HERE):


QB Hunter Johnson (Clemson)
QB Davis Mills (Stanford)
RB Cam Akers (Florida State)
RB Ty Chandler (Tennessee)
RB D’Andre Swift (Georgia)
WR Tarik Black (Michigan)
WR Mike Harley (West Virginia)
WR Jeremiah Holloman (Georgia)
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan)
TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame)
OL D’Antne Demery (Georgia)
OL Netori Johnson (Georgia)
OL Josh Myers (Ohio State)
OL Kendall Randolph (Alabama)
OL Tedarrell Slaton
OL Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
DE A.J. Epenesa (Iowa)
DE Deron Irving-Bey (Michigan)
DE Jarez Parks
DE Chase Young (Ohio State)
DT Rutger Reitmaier (Oregon)
DT Aubrey Solomon
LB Justin Foster (Clemson)
LB Willie Gay
LB Nate McBride (Georgia)
LB Hamsah Nasirildeen (Clemson)
CB Richard LeCounte (Georgia)
CB Ambry Thomas (Michigan)
CB Shaun Wade (Ohio State)
S Devon Hunter


QB Tate Martell (Ohio State)
QB Dylan McCaffrey (Michigan)
QB Shawn Robinson (TCU)
RB Eno Benjamin
RB Stephen Carr (USC)
RB Najee Harris (Alabama)
RB Greg Johnson
WR Joseph Lewis
WR Tyjon Lindsey (Ohio State)
WR Omar Manning (TCU)
WR Oliver Martin
TE Colby Parkinson (Stanford)
OL Wyatt Davis (Ohio State)
OL Chuck Filiaga
OL Austin Jackson
OL Walker Little (Stanford)
OL Jake Moretti (Colorado)
OL Brett Neilon (USC)
OL Foster Sarell
DE Hunter Echols (UCLA)
DE Jaelan Phillips (UCLA)
DT Jay Tufele
DT Marlon Tuipulotu (Washington)
LB Baron Browning (Ohio State)
LB Bruce Jordan-Swilling (Georgia Tech)
LB Sampson Niu (Oregon)
CB Darnay Holmes
CB Jaylon Johnson (Utah)
CB Deommodore Lenoir
CB Jeffrey Okudah
S Bubba Bolden

If you want to check out U.S. Army All-Americans since the game’s inception, check out that list here (LINK).

Hit the jump for more on tomorrow’s game.

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6Jan 2017
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What I’ve Been Reading: Bleachers by John Grisham

Bleachers by John Grisham is a short novel that talks about what many of us probably know from our younger days: high school football. Messina High School in Mississippi is historically a powerhouse program, and the legendary former coach, Eddie Rake, is on his death bed. The main protagonist is Neely Crenshaw, a former All-American quarterback from Messina who went on to play college ball but got injured. As Crenshaw and a host of other former players return to Messina to pay their final respects and attend the funeral, they start to reminisce about Rake and their glory days.

This was my first Grisham novel, even though he’s written a bunch of more popular legal thrillers and such. He supposedly played some quarterback in high school, and I wonder how autobiographical the story is (though Grisham was not a star QB). I don’t know how your relationship was with your high school coach – whether it’s football or some other sport – or your band director or your academic team coach, but I revered mine. I’ve played for and worked for coaches I didn’t think of so highly, but I couldn’t really relate to these former players, who had a love-hate relationship with Rake. I also thought some of the stories from high school ball were a little over the top, which I didn’t really expect from Grisham. Maybe they’re not so out-of-this-world for football in the deep south. Someday I would like to spend some time in Texas or Louisiana or Mississippi in the fall and see how those communities support their football teams.

What have you been reading lately?

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