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October 15, 2012
Even though he's already considered one of the best quarterbacks in this class, Hayden Rettig feels he has something to prove.
After missing most of his junior season with a knee injury, the Los Angeles Cathedral standout wants to not only prove he's back from being hurt, but that his ranking is accurate.
No better place for him to accomplish that goal than the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the four-star quarterback was presented with his game jersey during a ceremony Monday at his school.
"It's a great honor to play in this game," Rettig said. "It's a huge thing because of all the alumni that have played in the U.S. Army game. It's been a tough road coming back from the injury but I pulled it out, worked my butt off and having these guys select me it's a great honor and I'm pumped up for the competition that's going to be there."
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound recruit missed almost his entire junior season, but Rettig used that time to study defenses, learn more about what defenders did in certain situations.
He believes it's made him a better quarterback.
"I missed a lot, I'm not going to lie about it, but I gained a lot from an offensive perspective," Rettig said.
"As a player-coach, I learned what reads to make and what defenses to run and seeing what linebackers do and what corners do and the blitz pickups. It was strange for me, but it helped me learn defenses better and become a better quarterback.
"Last year I didn't get to prove myself. I didn't do the Elite 11, so I wasn't in that top spotlight (to) prove I was one of the best. I know people around here consider me one of the best, but I want to prove it to the whole nation. It's going to be a big spotlight but I hope I can fill it up."
Rated as the fifth-best pro-style quarterback and No. 91 prospect in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, Rettig committed to LSU in late May and contends he's still 100 percent committed.
UCLA continues to pursue the local quarterback with serious diligence and the communication goes both ways. But Rettig says there's no doubt he'll sign with the Tigers.
Rettig plans to take his official visit to LSU in early November for the Alabama showdown.
"I'm 100 percent," Rettig said. "I go for my official visit against Alabama and that's going to be a great game. I saw them play South Carolina last weekend. It was a good game. I can't wait to get down there. Hopefully when I go it will be a great experience and I can contribute.
"It's going to be a lot of fun there. It's going to be a pumped-up atmosphere. It's different because I feel like it's going to be a big role for me where I can go prove myself and make contributions to the team and become a leader and grow as a player."
Rettig has done a lot of growth in the time since his injury. He's shown the Los Angeles audience how much he's progressed this season. The national stage awaits in San Antonio before heading off to the biggest outlet in college football -- the mighty SEC.