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January 3, 2009SAN ANTONIO - Rivals.com looks at the top five news items from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in the Daily Rewind. Each day Rivals.com will breakdown the biggest news, player injuries and updated recruiting news in a compact and easy to digest format. The East won the game 30-17 in front of 32,732 fans in the Alamodome.
1) BROWN, BOYD CO-MVPS
Last season running back Bryce Brown's older brother Arthur Brown starred in the Army Bowl, but he one-upped his brother with an most valuable player performance Saturday. Brown earned co-MVP honors with quarterback Tajh Boyd. Brown scored two touchdowns, including a 41-yard bomb that helped seal the East's victory. When asked if he thought he deserved to be ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation, East coach Terry Smith didn't hesitate to say yes. "Bryce is the best player in the country," he said. "He is dynamic. He is explosive. He's strong. He's quick. He has every asset you need in a big player." Boyd went seven-of-nine for 187 yards and three touchdown passes.
2) 2010 TEN SAY YES TO ARMY
Ten of the nation's top-rated juniors were announced Saturday as the first selections to play in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, taking place next January. All 10 are rated in the Rivals.com Rivals20 to Watch for 2010. The ten announced were receiver Markeith Ambles of McDonough (Ga.) Henry County, running back Dillon Baxter of San Diego (Calif.) Mission Bay, offensive lineman Robert Crisp of Chapel Hill, N.C., running back Michael Dyer of Little Rock (Ark.) Christian, quarterback Jake Heaps of Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, athlete Malcolm Jones of Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian, running back Marcus Lattimore of Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, offensive lineman Christian Lombard of Palatine (Ill.) Fremd, linebacker Chris Martin of Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd, running back Lache Seastrunk of Temple, Texas.
3) DOWNS DESTROYS
Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby two-way star Willie Downs had the game of his life Saturday, helping the East cruise to a big victory. Downs picked off a AJ McCarron pass and returned it 49-yards for a touchdown. "Off the bat, I knew I was going to score," Downs said. "From the time it hit my hands, I was feeling the end zone. I knew from the get-go that I was going to take it to the end zone. I knew I was going to take it all the way." Downs had three tackles, two tackles for a loss, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
4) NO. 1 SHOWS WHY
Rueben Randle of Bastrop, La., is ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation by Rivals.com. He showed on Saturday exactly why. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound five-star receiver had seven receptions for 75 yards, including a 20-yarder. Randle was recently tagged as the No. 1 player by Rivals.com and he lived up to the expectations being the best carries with it. "I pretty much went through (pressure) every day," Randle said. "Everybody is talking to me, but I'm going to take my time and take my visits. My main focus going into the whole situation was to not get pressure from anybody."
5) IRISH GET BIG 2010 COMMIT
Lombard didn't play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but the junior offensive tackle made one of the biggest plays Saturday inside the Alamodome. Standing on the sidelines after accepting an invitation to play in next year's game, Lombard donned a Notre Dame hat following his verbal commitment to the join the Irish. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound athlete from Palatine, Ill., becomes the initial pledge of Notre Dame's 2010 recruiting class. Lombard called head coach Charlie Weis during the All-American combine on Friday to deliver the news. "I think I called him a couple days after he had the knee surgery, so I don't know if he was totally with it," Lombard said. "But he was obviously happy."
MORE: Army Bowl: Game gallery | Army All-American Bowl coverage | More all-star coverage