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January 1, 2004

No weak link here

Rivals100.com is proud to present an in-depth look at the top prospects at the U.S. Army All-American Game from former Texas A&M assistant coach Alan Weddell.

Before joining the Texas A&M staff in 1998 and retiring this past football season, Weddell led La Marque, Texas, to three consecutive Class 4A state championships (1995-97) and five straight state title games. As a collegiate player, Weddell was an offensive lineman on Darrell Royal's 1970 national champion Texas Longhorn football team.




SAN ANTONIO, Texas - A favorite saying for coaches is "don't be the weak link."

As coaches make out game plans they try to attack the weakest part of an opponent's game, better known as the "weak link". After watching the quarterbacks at the U.S. Army All-American Game practice for the past two days, there were no weak links behind center.

In fact, if these kids each choose a program conducive to their talents, there will be many college defensive coordinators looking elsewhere than the quarterback position to find a weak link.

Each team has three top-ranked quarterbacks and each one of them has their individual strengths.

The East has Michigan commitment Chad Henne of West Lawn (Pa.) Wilson. Chad is a talented drop-back quarterback.

Standing around 6-foot-4 and a solid 210 pounds, he is a typical drop-back signal caller.

He has excellent vision and an absolute rocket for an arm. He can put the ball into a tight space on a rope, yet has good touch on the long ball.

The East also has Louisville (Ky.) Trinity quarterback Brian Brohm.

Another talented drop-back kid, Brohm has good vision and leadership in the huddle. Around 6-3 and not quite as thick or heavy as Henne, Brohm has room to grow and a very accurate arm.

I would like to see him plant his feet when he sets up. He has quick, but happy, feet causing him to adjust his weight at the last moment before his release. Arm action is high and good follow-through.

I especially like his touch on the long pass and accuracy on the outside routes. A college that likes the pocket style and quick passing game should love this kid.

The third quarterback for the East could cause a lot of heartburn for the West defense on Saturday. Daytona Beach, Fla., is the home of Seebreeze High School where Xavier Lee set numerous Florida high school passing records.

He not only can throw a mean pass, he ranks as one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the nation.

Tall, strong and lanky, he also has a rocket for an arm. Accuracy is good, but he seems outstanding on rollouts and when flushed out of the pocket.

His feet make him a threat for a first down or more on every snap. Look to him to find a school that will utilize both his arm and feet to lead them to a top 10 finish in the national polls. He's that kind of player.

If the East puts a bunch of points on board Saturday, the quarterbacks will have a hand, or should I say arm and feet, in it.

On the other side of town, the West squad is showcasing its trio of outstanding talent at the quarterback position.

One of the big surprises is Kansas State's commitment Nick Patton from Winfield, Kan.

This guy will be another Michael Bishop and Ell Roberson wearing the Wildcat purple and silver.

He can run the option, scramble or run the quarterback draw if too much pressure is applied. Give him time and he will show off a very accurate arm, both in the pocket and on the run.

Kansas State centers its offense on the talent of the quarterback, and this kid was wise to continue his career at Manhattan, Kan. In four years, he might be the next Donovan McNabb.

The best thrower in the Wild West is a talented kid from Woodinville, Wash.

Matt Tuiasosopo continues the family tradition of great quarterbacks. With outstanding fundamentals, he has a good high release and very tight spiral.

Matt sees the field well and has good touch both on the long ball and the short, tight pattern. I really liked this kid's feet. They are quick and he makes good decisions on when to bring the ball down and run.

Washington will be the college home for this young, and the West Coast offense will suit his style and talent very well.

Last, but probably best of the entire bunch, is Grand Prairie, Texas', Rhett Bomar.

I saw Bomar earlier in the season and gave him the title "can't miss". The title stays here, even when surrounded by the most talented players in the nation.

He can do it all.

A leader and student of the game, he will only get better. A rocket for an arm, he consistently hit receivers in stride and adjusted to the increase in speed during this week by not only his receivers but also the secondary.

On the long ball, he puts the pass where only his teammate can catch it. The son of his high school's head coach, fundamentals are exact and outstanding.

He makes good decisions and has an extremely quick release. The arm of Jason White and more speed and running ability than White's backup Paul Thompson, Oklahoma will have the total package with this best-in-the-nation high school quarterback.

OU is set for years to come. No weak link here for the best program in the Big 12.

And no weak links at quarterback for either squad.


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