SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Army News Service, Jan. 3, 2008) - The U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection committee announced during a press conference Thursday that it selected six of the nation's top high-school football players as finalists for the 2008 Army Player of the Year Award.

Saturday's All-American Bowl game is an annual East-West matchup of the nation's top high-school football players, and the winner of the award for the most outstanding senior will be announced during the U.S. Army Awards Dinner Friday. The nominees are:
Aca,!Ac Linebacker Nigel Bradham (Wakulla High School, Crawford, Fla.)
Aca,!Ac Linebacker Arthur Brown (East High School, Wichita, Kan.)
Aca,!Ac Quarterback Dayne Crist (Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Aca,!Ac Cornerback Patrick Johnson (Blanche Ely High School, Pompano Beach, Fla.)
Aca,!Ac Quarterback Terrelle Pryor (Jeanette High School, Jeanette, Pa.)
Aca,!Ac Running back Darrell Scott (St. Bonaventure High School, Ventura, Calif.)

"These players represent the same strengths and values exuded by every U.S. Army Soldier - including loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage," said Col. David Lee, director of strategic communications, marketing and outreach for the U.S. Army Accessions Command. "They have demonstrated a commitment to excellence on the field and in their daily lives, and we are proud to recognize them as U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year finalists."

Soldier of the Year, Sgt. Heyz Seeker, agreed, saying that the players are "young men of character who easily display the same values, commitment, teamwork, leadership, discipline that we as Soldiers adhere to."

Each player said he was honored and humbled to be nominated for the award, and all mentioned how thankful they were for Soldiers' sacrifices. Each All-American Bowl player is paired with a Soldier hero -- a recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star or Purple Heart -- during game week festivities.

"Meeting our Army heroes is definitely an extreme highlight of being out here," said Mr. Crist. "Getting to know these guys is a very humbling experience. All these honors and accolades that we're nominated for out here, they're really meaningless in the grand scheme of things, and it really means a lot to me, and I know these other guys, to be able to sit down with such courageous individuals who truly epitomize the word hero."

The Maxwell Sports Club also announced its first national award winners at the high-school level for each position.

Aca,!Ac Quarterback: Terrelle Pryor
Aca,!Ac Running back: Darrell Scott
Aca,!Ac Wide receiver: DeVier Posey (LaSalle High School, Cincinnati, Ohio)
Aca,!Ac Tight end: Kyle Rudolph (Elder High School, Cincinnati, Ohio)
Aca,!Ac Offensive line: Michael Brewster (Edgewater High School, Orlando, Fla.)
Aca,!Ac Defensive line: Marcus Forston (Miami Northwestern High School, Miami)
Aca,!Ac Linebacker: Arthur Brown
Aca,!Ac Defensive back: Patrick Johnson
Aca,!Ac Punter: Ben Buchanan (Westerville Central High School, Westerville, Ohio)
Aca,!Ac Kicker: Blair Walsh (Cardinal Gibbons High School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Aca,!Ac Outstanding junior: Matt Barkley (Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, Calif.)

For more information about the All-American Bowl, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. For more information about the Soldier heroes, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

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