U.S. Army All-American Bowl,
When, where: Saturday, noon, Alamodome
Series history: West leads 9-8.
San Antonio-area players on West roster: Karsten Battles, long snapper, Johnson; Brenden Brady, running back, Steele; and Caden Sterns, defensive back, Steele.
Notable All-American Bowl alumni: Odell Beckham, Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson, Andrew Luck, Michael Oher, Adrian Peterson, Jaylon Smith, Ndamukong Suh, Tim Tebow, Vince Young.
San Antonio Sports All-Star Game
When, where: Saturday, 5 p.m., Alamodome
Johnson senior Karsten Battles never played at the Alamodome when he was a member of the Jaguars' football team.
Battles, who signed a letter of intent with Oregon last month, finally will get his chance when he takes the field with the West in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.
Battles played offensive tackle at Johnson, but was recruited as a long snapper by Oregon. He was also recruited by TCU, Georgia and Texas.
“This week has been a lot of fun,” Battles said Friday. “It's been a great experience. It's incredible. I've made a lot of friends, a lot of people with different backgrounds, but all with the same favorite thing to do in mind. We all want to do the same thing, play football.”
Running back Brenden Brady and defensive back Caden Sterns, both from Steele, are the only other players from the San Antonio area suiting up for Saturday's game. Sterns signed with Texas last month and Brady has committed to Rice.
“Pretty awesome to come out here with the best of the best,” Sterns said, describing what it's been like to rub shoulders with such an array of talent. “You compete with the best of the best and you learn from the best high school coaches. It's been an awesome experience.”
Brady and Sterns helped lead Steele to the Class 6A Division II state final in 2016 and state quarterfinals last season. Sterns was a starting safety on the Knights team that reached the state semifinals in 2015.
Brady and Sterns played their last game with Steele, a loss to Austin Westlake in the 6A Division II state quarterfinals, at the Alamodome.
Brady was a late addition to the All-American Bowl, landing a spot on the West roster after a player was injured. He was practicing with the East team for the San Antonio Sports All-Star Game, which will follow the All-American Bowl at the Alamodome. Kickoff for the second game is at 5 p.m., and features some of the best players from the San Antonio area.
“It's been fun being able to compete against the top people in the nation,” Brady said. “I've picked up some things from other running backs just so I can better myself as an athlete. It's been pretty amazing. This is a good stepping stone to college, playing against competition at the next level. These coaches have done a great job of getting us prepared.”
Brady has an official visit scheduled to Rice on the weekend of Jan. 19, and also plans to visit UTSA on Jan. 12.
The first U.S. Army All-American Bowl was played in Dallas in 2001. The game was moved to Alamo Stadium in 2002, and has been played at the Alamodome every year since 2003.
The all-star game features more than 100 of the best senior high school football players in the country. The West leads the East 9-8 in the series.
“When you first go out and practice, there's definitely a wow factor,” Battles said. “These guys are just so good. It's nothing like what I've played against before.”
While Battles said he's eager to start his college career, he opted to stay at Johnson this spring instead of enrolling at Oregon early.
“It's all worked out for me,” he said. “There's nothing not to like up there (Oregon). Oregon has the best facilities anywhere. I wanted to kind of get out of the house a little bit and be on my own.”