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January 7, 2002

Top Performers from the East

Chris Davis

The Rivals100.com Recruiting Network knows how much fans love lists, so with that in mind AERecruiting.com editor Mike Farrell put together a look at the top 10 performances from the East squad at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl this past Saturday at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.

The list doesn't necessarily reflect how Farrell would rank the players, but how they looked based upon their performances against other blue-chippers.

  1. Will Blackmon (Boston College) – Blackmon was around the ball all day recovering two fumbles, intercepting a pass and returning it 32 yards and getting involved in yet another fumble late in the game. Played free safety in the game but will be a shutdown cornerback in college. Showed good speed and instincts. He should be fun to watch at Boston College the next four or five years.

  2. T.A. McClendon (N.C. State) – Working against the super-fast defensive line of the West, McClendon was the only effective running back for the East squad. McClendon showed the ability to break tackles and gain extra yardage after first contact. While he’s not the fastest runner, he showed good vision and hit the hole with power and decisiveness.

  3. Buster Davis – Davis showed great speed and a good motor in making several tackles, pressuring the quarterback and causing a fumble from his linebacker spot. While he’s not very tall, he showed that his lack of size shouldn’t be a problem in college. However, he looked like he’d be more effective as a hard-hitting strong safety.

  4. James Banks – While Banks didn’t have great numbers, he showed his athletic ability by scrambling as a quarterback, getting separation as a receiver and returning a kickoff to boot. Banks didn’t show a lot of accuracy throwing the ball, but he also didn’t have a lot of time in the pocket either.

  5. Jonathan Lewis – Lewis showed his brute strength in the middle as well as some good pass-rushing moves during the game from his defensive tackle position. He recovered a fumble and showed good hustle running down some plays. He's going to make college coaches very happy.

  6. Travarous Bain – Bain showed good coverage skills throughout the game and the ability to make open-field tackles. Size was the only question mark coming into the game about Bain but he looked plenty big enough to cover taller wide receivers. He's a player that improved his stock for sure in the game.

  7. Jim Unis (Boston College) – Unis had the misfortune of going against superb offensive tackle Kyle Williams for much of the day, but he showed his quickness and non-stop motor in running down some plays. Unis’ tenacity and hustle shone through even though he received more attention than any other East lineman. He was also the star of all of the East practices - everybody was wowed by him throughout the week.

  8. Berkeley Hutchinson (Rutgers) – The New Jersey standout looked thinner than we remember, but he flashed that trademark athleticism and speed that had teams fighting for his services before he made his commitment to Rutgers. Hutchinson showed good tackling form and ran sideline-to-sideline well. Once he bulks back up, he should be a force to deal with.

  9. Ahmad Brooks – While Brooks over pursued at times and missed tackles here and there, he made some good plays and flashed his pass-rushing skills late in the game as well. You could clearly see how good Brooks can be with some college coaching. And it was also clear why he was selected as the defensive player of the year by some publications.

  10. Brian Mattes – Although he still needs to add weight to be an effective defensive end, Mattes showed good speed and the ability to play the run. He was around the ball a few times and ran down some other plays.

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