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December 29, 2008
SAN 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 game will be played at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 3 and broadcasted live on NBC. Player practices began on Monday and will continue throughout the week.
WEST GOES HARD
The first day displayed different approaches from the coaching staffs when it came to practice. The East focused more on preparation, learning and technique. They did go hard in the morning with a few contact drills, but it was nowhere near as physical as what went on at the West practices. The West wasted little time in the morning going through team drills full speed and then also going again hard with some 7-on-7 work. The West's practice was also more up-tempo and spirited. The players went wild when running back Christine Michael laid a hit on safety Patrick Hall when he took a pitch to the left. Word is that the East coaches plan to ramp things up on Tuesday.
FLUKER FLINGS HOWELL
When going full contact in the afternoon practices, Foley, Ala., offensive tackle D.J. Fluker blew San Antonio Warren defensive tackle Calvin Howell off the ball a good seven-to-10 yards, where he crashed into a dolly with water on it. It hit Howell in the leg, knocked and twisted him to the ground. He got a cut from the water cooler and suffered a bruised knee. The good news was that his regular doctor is affiliated with the training staff that is working with the game, helping expedite the process of getting medical attention. By the end of the end of the evening he was hanging out with the other players in the lobby.
MICHIGAN REALLY OUT?
Is Michigan really out of it in the battle for five-star defensive tackle William Campbell? The Detroit Cass star made big news on Sunday when he told Rivals.com that he was "probably not going to have a Michigan hat" in front of him when he announces. However, Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell reported on Monday that Michigan is still very much alive in this race. Campbell said LSU, Florida and Miami were the schools he'd be choosing between on Saturday, but the big defensive tackle's sense of humor and tendency to joke around has led people to believe the Wolverines are still very much in the mix.
INJURY BUG BITES
As is common during the first few days of practices for an all-star game, injuries were a big headline on Monday. Along with Howell's injury, at least five key players went down for parts of practice. The biggest player was No. 1 ranked Rueben Randle, who was suffering from a slight tweak in his right hamstring. He was moving around with a slight limp in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt on Monday evening, but he said he'll be ready to roll again on Tuesday. East defensive back Corey Brown banged up his back, D.J. Fluker and Kendall Kelly also bruised their knees but all three should be all right for Tuesday, too. Edwin Baker is out this week and said he could be sidelined for a "couple months" with a slight tear in the PCL of his left knee. Baker said no surgery is required, and he was injured during a horse-collar tackle in a game this season.
BROWN LOOKING FOR RIGHT FIT?
Ranked as the No. 2 player in the country, any time Bryce Brown says something it can raise eyebrows. So when he talked to Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan about which school would be the best fit for him it definitely made some news. "It's real tough," Brown said of his decision, despite already being committed to Miami. "Oregon reminds me of home. Miami is different. Oregon is personally the best fit for me. At Miami, I would be tested spiritually, and I need to be tested. Oregon has the type of people like me. It's not as diverse."
MORE: U.S. Army AA Bowl coverage | Practice Galleries: East | West | More all-star coverage