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December 30, 2007SAN ANTONIO - There is no player looking more forward to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl than five-star offensive tackle Stephen Good. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound road grader injured himself prior to his team's spring game and missed all but two games of his senior season.
Many have said the injury stemmed from a rigorous powerlifting schedul and Good gave the thought process some credence upon his arrival at the Army All-American bowl on Sunday. He also offered a glimpse into his focus for the biggest game of his high school career.
"I was preparing for this game before this season," Good admitted. "Being here now is nerve-racking though. I'm nervous. I've never played in a big game like this; my school has never played in the playoffs before.
"I mean, I was nervous yesterday."
Good is part of a healthy dose of East Texans that will be taking part in the game and had the chance to ride down with several of his fellow Lone Star natives.
"On my flight there was David Snow, Justin Johnson, and I'm not sure of the other guys," he said. "Justin was actually pretty quiet. I think by takeoff he was asleep."
Much has been made by Sooner fans of the match-up between the game's two most highly rated Sooners, Good and R.J. Washington. While earlier Washington admitted he had concerns about Good's strength, the big tackle admits Washington's speed is a concern as practice starts tomorrow.
"Speed is a big thing, speed is going to be a lot for me to deal with," he said.
The best thing for Good is he'll have rested legs not only from a shortened season but the fact that so many great players means a lot of deep runs into the playoffs.
"Some people just got through playing football. Justin Johnson just got done going to the state championship game," he said. "I know I've just been working to get ready for this game. Tanner Martin has been working out. He has been trying to speed rush me because I'm just trying to get the speed of the game back."