It doesn't take long for leaders to emerge. Such is the case in Austin, Texas, site of the third International Bowl
Captains were announced today for both teams – the Under-19 national team features 45 American-bred players and the World Team includes players from 20 different countries.
The game, which will be televised on CBS Sports Network, is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EST) Wednesday. Earlier in the day, approximately 50 of the players will sign their letters of intent in a National Signing Day breakfast bonanza.
The captains for the U.S. team are West Orange (N.J.)
quarterback Sean Maguire
(Florida State commit), Hayes (Buda, Texas)
lineman Boone Feldt
(North Texas), West Brook (Beaumont, Texas)
defensive end Caleb Bluiett
and Leesberg (Fla.)
linebacker Noor Davis
The World Team captains are quarterback Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren, offensive lineman Matthias Goosen, defensive back Marcus Grandison, defensive end David Katina, linebacker John Rush and tight end Destiny Vaeo.
All but two of the USA players are expected to sign letters of intent Wednesday and Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr.
and Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)
tackle Freddie Tagaloa are the only Cal-bound players.
There is a trio headed to Stanford: Davis, Cistercian (Irving, Texas)
defensive tackle Ikenna Nwafor
and Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.)
safety Alex Carter
. Naturally this quartet has been mixing it up in a friendly sort of way.
"Oh yes, there's a lot of banter," Nickerson said. "I let them all know that Bears naturally climb trees."
Said Tagaloa: "We're asking them what they're going to do now that Andrew Luck is gone. And they come back and ask how we're going to get along without (recruiting guru) Tosh Lupoi."Coaching central
Two-time Ohio state champion Steve Specht, of St. Xavier (Cincinnati)
, is the head coach but his cast of 10 assistants is an all-star squad in its own right.
They include on offense: coordinator Chris Merritt of Columbus (Miami)
, tight ends coach Tom Bolden of Colerain (Cincinnati)
, running backs coach Nunzio Campanile of Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)
, receivers coach Charlie Ward of Westbury Christian (Houston)
and offensive line coaches Kirk Heidelberg of Rockford Christian (Ill.)
and L.D. Williams.
On defense: coordinator Rick Streff of Indianapolis Cathedral
, defensive line coach Craig Chessher of Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas)
, secondary coach Ken Lucas Annapolis Area Christian (Severn, Md.)
and linebackers coach Cory Moore Lakewood (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Coach Ward is indeed the 1993 Heisman Trophy winner. New Texas commit
, a talented all-around athlete from nearby Hendrickson (Pflugerville, Texas)
, was added to the USA roster on Sunday, the same day he committed to the University of Texas.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder rushed for 2,178 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior and caught 28 more passes for 500 yards and six more scores. He added two TDs on special teams. He's also a superb cornerback.
On Saturday, he talked with Texas coach Mack Brown, who asked Johnson where he wanted to play.
"I'd prefer to play offense, but wherever they need me," Johnson said. "I'll play running back, wide receiver, slot and if I get lost in the numbers there, I'll play defense. I'm just very, very happy to be a Longhorn. It's where I always wanted to play. It's where my heart is."
Johnson moved from Minnesota as an eighth grader. His said his father told him if he wanted to really improve as a football player to come to Texas. He then moved there with his Godfather, he said.
"Definitely much of this wouldn't have all happened if I didn't come to Texas to play," he said. "It's been a great experience and I can't wait to play here for four more years."
He said it's an even greater experience to represent his country.
"I'm very humbled to be here," he said. This and that
Rice-bound tackle Spencer Stanley
of Trinity Valley (Fort Worth, Texas)
is a first-degree black belt in American Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do and Shizen-Na Karate.
* Davis grew up in Ottawa and attended a football camp at the University of Ottawa at age 10. "I have been in love with the game ever since."
* Representing the USA is meaningful to running back Imani Cross
of North Hall (Gainesville, Ga.)
, whose father is in the U.S. Army.
* World team member Eli Ankou (Ottawa) is a fast learner. He played his first season of organized football in 2009. He will sign his letter of intent Wednesday to UCLA.