Monday, January 09, 2006

Army All-American Bowl: The Positive Note

Okay, now that we've got the soapbox moment out of the way, we can talk about the positive things that came from the Army All-American Bowl. So here you go:

1. Raeshon McNeil looked fantastic.
McNeil just looked flat-out amazing in this game. Before we completely lose our minds, yes, it was just a high school exhibition game. But I think we all saw a great flash of brilliance that will be a valuable spark to an Irish secondary that needs all the help it can get. Mack Daddy was stride-for-stride with the fastest players in the class of '06, and showed great awareness and ability to turn around and make a play on the ball. Just to cap it off, his 65 yard touchdown rumble off a blocked punt was a thing of beauty. Adding a lock-down corner to the defense would go a long way in improving our strength at the position and also opens up all sorts of options for depth chart engineers to shift around resources to updgrade the D.

2. Carufel is Irish
Those of you who have been listening to the word on the streets probably weren't surprised to hear this, but it was a relief nonetheless. Carufel is a great get and looks like he's straight out of the "hard-working, nasty" central casting. This brings the OL commit list to five, with a scholarship still sitting on Sam Young's table. Big kudos to Weis and staff for shoring up the future of the line and proactively ensuring that we won't face a depth crisis that we've become oh-too-familiar with during the last few regimes.

3. Chris Stewart can do the splits

Um, you know, for what it's worth. I guarantee you none of you have seen a 350 pound man do the splits before. I mean, for your sake, I sure hope you haven't.

4. Some other individual performances
Konrad Reuland made a few big-time catches. The linemen looked very talented, although the blocking schemes were pretty sloppy due to the short time to gameplan. This often resulted in missed assignments and defensive linemen flying unimpeded into the backfield. Zach Fraser showed off his big arm. While he didn't put up very impressive numbers, the goofy spread offenses and total lack of continuity on the team makes the passing game a clown-car comedy of errors, regardless of who's taking snaps.

Finally, Butch Lewis announced his commitment to Carroll's lads in So-Cal, bringing shame and humiliation to his alma mater, the best damn high school on earth. But, hey, good on him. Set a Regis guy loose on those hot co-eds in LA and watch out. We have a reputation to uphold, Butch. Make me proud.

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