By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – Aberdeen five-star defensive recruit Channing Ward has been selected to play in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game.
The fifth-annual game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN.
“I’m excited about that. It’s a real big honor,” Ward said.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound prospect is listed at No. 11 on ESPNU’s Top 150 defensive end list and has narrowed his list of 20-plus scholarship offers to five, including Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
There will be a press conference at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Aberdeen High as game representatives from American Family Insurance will present Ward an honorary game jersey commemorating his selection.
“What I’m looking forward to the most is meeting better competition,” Ward said. “The players around you, everybody is good. Everybody is the same caliber as you or even better than you.”
Before accepting the invitation to the Under Armour Game, Ward was also nominated to play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The 2011 NFL Draft was the first time Under Armour All-America alumni who competed in the inaugural 2008 game were eligible to be drafted. Selections included two first-round NFL picks Julio Jones and A.J. Green, as well as second-round selections Da’Quan Bowers and Brandon Harris.
Current college standouts Matt Barkley of USC, Auburn’s Michael Dyer, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and Alabama’s Trent Richardson also played in the game.