All-American Bowl Game Ministry Statement!
By Super Scout Max Emfinger
As a dreamer and a visionary, I decided that I needed to put together a High School Football All-American Bowl Game so that College Football Coaches could view the highlight tape of the game film and then evaluate these players that I had found who were Flying under the Recruiting Radar.
So in 2003, I started working on my First All-American Bowl Game Classic. I was going to take on the project whether I had sponsors or not, but then I got sick. I had a collapsed lung and after two major lung surgeries to overcome, I found myself on the Critical Intensive Care ward at New Orleans University Hospital.
On April 15, 2003, which was my 31st Wedding Anniversary, I stayed on that Critical Intensive Care Ward for six days. While I was on that ward, at University Hospital in New Orleans, six of eight patients died on my ward. I actually saw one of the patients die on the Ward. A lot of people were praying for me to make it and although I had some critical moments, I knew that I had some major things to do for these kids before I was going to be called up.
There was a prayer group of ladies in Plaquemine, Louisiana, the home of my Late Mother-in-Law, Rosalie Pasqua, and they held a Prayer Vigil every day and night for me and those prayers definitely helped save my life.
One night, while I was still on the Critical Intensive Care Ward, I was burning-up, and I found out later that my temperature was around 105. Prayers were answered again when a young Polynesian Nurse came into my room around 3:00 A.M. and cooled me down with ice and cold water towels. This nurse also probably saved my life.
On May 18, 2003, about a month after my last lung operation, I experienced a lot of pain in my back where my lung surgery left a 17-inch incision that was still trying to heal. Some days, it hurt so bad, I could not get up out of bed, so Ginger and I decided that it was time to go back to New Orleans to see my Doctor.
After waiting for about four hours in the Emergency Room, a lady patient of Polynesian Descent came out of a Doctor’s office and walked right past Ginger and me. “I don’t know why I came here to the Doctor’s office today, because the Doctor didn’t help me one single bit,” said the Polynesian Lady.
“You are here today for a reason,” I said to the Polynesian Lady as she walked out of the waiting room and out of the hospital. After about a minute, I felt a light tap on my shoulder and heard someone softly say, “She’s here for you!”
After it registered to me that this was a “Devine-Intervention” that was sent from Heaven, I jumped up and although I was still hurting, I managed to chase the Polynesian Lady down the street until I caught-up with her.
As these two strangers met down the street, we held hands and we said a prayer together. The lady then pulled out a Father Francis Xavier Seelos Prayer for a Miracle Card and gave it to me. I have said this Father Seelos Prayer for a Miracle almost every single day until the present.
In 2003, I hosted his First Annual 7on7 National Championship; and I also hosted a 7on7 National Championship in 2004, 2005, and 2006. My main goal was to get all of the great athletes to come to an event where all of my coaches could evaluate them and then help them with the College Coaches.
The only drawback was that the College Coaches wanted to see the hidden gems in a game-type highlight film and so all of these College Coaches suggested that I host a real game or an All-American Bowl Game so that that they could view those talented players in a highlight film, playing against other talented players. It must be noted that in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 the NCAA allowed the College Coaches to attend the practices, but not the the All-American Bowl Games. In 2010, the NCAA ruled that the College Coaches also could not attend the practices. This is why the Game Film is so important to these College Coaches.
I always see these unfortunate situations as reversible and worth putting time into fixing. I look at players on various recruiting lists, and I know that many are there, because of great publicity, family income, and geographic location. I evaluate every one of these players and measure them on their own ability and not whether they are on a recruiting list or not.
The great players, not on the major recruiting lists, are many of the players that Emfinger invites to play in his All-American Bowl Game Classic. Many of those high school football players, from all over America, Hawaii, Australia, British Columbia, and Canada, are from low economic, low opportunistic, minority, and/or of foreign descent!
For all of 2004, I worked on getting his first 2005 All-American Bowl Game Classic off of the ground. I said my Father Seelos Prayer for a Miracle every day and the miracle happened on January 13, 2005. There were 80 players in that first game in Shreveport in the Independence Bowl Stadium. About 50 of those players had already committed to their favorite college, but in that game, there were 26 players, that got a college scholarship offer and got their college education paid for from the game highlights of the game.
There are so many great things that can be done in an All-American Bowl Game. Our 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, had 113 players in it and we got over 100 different scholarship offers from College Coaches at practice on Tuesday before the game. Many players got multi offers from College Coaches who watched them in practice. We had 117 College Coaches at those two Tuesday practices in the Independence Bowl Stadium.
I was able to get some really great players into the 2006 game. Many of them had already committed to play for teams like Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, LSU, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State. Those players made up about 60% of the total players and those players helped the other 40% of the players to get a scholarship.
In that 2006 AABG, we had such great college stars as OT Trent Williams (Oklahoma); DE Lamarr Houston (Texas); QB Andy Dalton (TCU); WR Damian Williams (Arkansas and USC); LB Brian Duncan (Texas Tech); DE Wayne Daniels (TCU); RB Charles Scott (LSU); RB Vondrell McGee (Texas); WR Chris Mitchell (LSU); SS Mister Alexander (FSU); LB Lawrence Wilson (Connecticut); TE Preston Dial (Alabama); WR London Crawford (Arkansas); CB Ramon Broadway (Arkansas); WR Michael McCoy (Alabama); RB Cordera Eason (Ole Miss); RB Derrick Davis (Ole Miss); DT Wes Tunuufi Sauvao (Central Florida): LB Brian Duncan (Texas Tech); LB Martez Smith (Southern Miss; and OC Ryan McMahan (FSU).
As you can see, there were some really Special Players in that 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, but it turned out that Four of those players became Very Special Players that had sensational college careers and were Drafted in the First three Rounds of the NFL Draft. This is still the greatest group of Football Players to ever play in one of our All-American Bowl Game Classics.
Two of these Super-Stars, DE Lamarr Houston and OT Trent Williams, were unbelievable at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine and consequently were Drafted in the First Two Rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft. The two Super Combine Freaks were also the First two players in History to record a 2,000 MEARS RATING at a Super Scouting Combine. WR Damian Williams was also Drafted #3 in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans; while QB Andy Dalton was Drafted #2 in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, but they did not record a 2,000 MEARS RATING.
Lamarr Houston #33 signed with The University of Texas; and then played in the 2010 BCS National Championship along with teammate and RB Vondrell McGee against Alabama and TE Preston Dial and 2007 AABG, CB Kareem Jackson. My 2010 All-American Bowl Game Players, watched this 2010 BCS National Championship Game in the Hotel, just before the 2010 All-American Bowl Game Classic.
Houston was a versatile player and I had planned to use him as a Tight End, but he was so dominating on Defense, he played most of the game at Defensive End. He also played Tight End, but he was used mostly as a blocking TE as Charles Scott and Vondrell McGee rushed for over 200-yards.
I will never forget my first meeting with Lamarr Houston at a 2005 TCU NIKE Summer Camp in Fort Worth. He was a Super Combine Freak and I asked him if he would be interested in playing in my 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and he said that definitely was interested. Then later, I will never forget going to the Greyhound Bus Station in Shreveport to pick-up Houston, who had just come-in from Colorado Springs Doherty High School in Colorado. I also took him back to the Greyhound Bus Station after the game. Houston was projected as a #1 or #2 Round Draft Choice and then was Drafted #2 and #44 Overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. I thought that Houston #99 was a Real Steal for the Raiders and I have, of course, been proved right.
Trent Williams played in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and played his high school football at Longview, Texas. Williams had around 30 scholarship offers when he got to our first practice in 2006. He played Left Tackle in our game and Teamed with Houston on a lot of Double-Team Blocking Assignments to clear paths for Scott and McGee. Fullback Brandon Newsome of Dry Prong Grant, Louisiana was also a devastating lead blocker for Scott and McGee.
Trent Williams #71 was an unbelievable Left Tackle at Longview. I watched him play in two highlight game films and he was completely dominating. I wanted him in my All-American Bowl Game Classic, but he had so many scholarship offers, I didn’t think I could get him, but then the US Army All-American Game overlooked him and I was able to get him with his Longview Super Running Back Teammate Vondrell McGee.
Williams signed with The University of Oklahoma and then started at Right Offensive Tackle in his last six games as a True Freshman in 2006. After making Freshman All-American, Williams started his Sophomore and Junior seasons at Right Offensive Tackle before moving to Left Offensive Tackle as a Senior in 2009. After running a 4.88 in the Forty while weighing 320-Pounds and ran an amazing 4.63 in the Pro-Shuttle, Williams was Rated as the #1 Offensive Lineman in the 2010 NFL Draft and then Williams #71 consequently was a #1 Round Draft Choice and #4 Overall in that 2010 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 injured his thumb in the 2005 Texas 5A State Championship Game and could not play in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game, but he was still on the West Team sideline with his West Team Teammates. Dalton was injured and could not play in the 2006 AABG, but he Started for four years and led the TCU Horned Frogs to an undefeated 2009 and 2010 seasons. Dalton also became a #2 Round Draft Choice and #35 Overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dalton had an incredible career at TCU and finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy, including four First-Place Votes. Dalton was a 2010 Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a Unanimous All-Mountain West Conference First Team Selection and he played in the Senior Bowl. Dalton had an amazing 42-7 TCU Career Record as a starting Quarterback and broke every TCU Quarterback Record, including the 29 wins of Legendary Hall-of-Fame Quarterback Sammy Baugh.
Dalton was the 2010 Rose Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player after completing 15-of-23 passes for 219-yards and a touchdown while rushing for 28 more yards and a Touchdown to lead TCU to a 21-19 victory over #5 Wisconsin, which was his third Bowl Game Victory and Bowl Game MVP as a Starting Quarterback. Dalton also won the MVP Game Award in the 2007 Texas Bowl and the 2008 Poinsetta Bowl.
Damian Williams of Springdale, Arkansas was one of the Top Wide Receivers in the Country in 2005 and I had him rated as one of the Top Three in the Country. I had watched him and his Springdale 7on7 Team play in the Summer 2005 Hoover National 7on7 Championship and I became friends with him and his Dad. I also became Friends with his Quarterback Mitch Mustang, who was a Parade All-American and the #1 Quarterback in the Country. Williams should have been a Parade All-American, but was overlooked in favor of Mustang.
I invited WR Damian Williams, QB Mitch Mustang, TE Ben Cleveland, and Super Athlete Matt Clinkscales to play in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic. Cleveland and Clinkscales accepted my invitation, but Williams and Mustang were hoping to get invitations to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game.
Since I already had Cleveland and Clinkscales in the Game, I still thought that I could get Williams into the Game. I also wanted Mustang, but he was being told that he would get an invitation to play in the Army Game and he eventually did get the invitation. Williams also wanted to play in the Army Game, but they had already given out all of their Wide Receiver invitations. Then, about a week before we were supposed to meet at the Hotel in Shreveport, I got a call from Mr. Williams, asking me if it was too late for his son to play in my All-American Bowl Game Classic. “Are you crazy? It’s never too late for a player like Damian Williams to get an offer.”
As a Junior at Springdale, Williams grabbed 31 passes for 545-yards and four Touchdowns, but his team, under Super Head Coach Gus Malzahn, was so dominant, they had Ten “Mercy-Rule” wins out of 13 games that they played. Williams also only played in the first half of only eight of those games. Then as a Senior, Williams caught 63 passes for 1,495-yards and a 23.7 yards per catch average. Williams also returned two punts for Touchdowns and one Interception for a Touchdown. This gave Williams 37 Touchdowns for the 5A State Championship Team and he was Voted as the State Championship Game MVP.
Williams came to our AABG Game as a Florida Verbal, but on National Signing Day, he joined Mustang and Cleveland as Arkansas Signees. After Williams and Cleveland were Selected to the 2006 All-SEC Freshman Team, Williams got a Release from the Razorbacks and Signed with Southern Cal. In 2007, Williams Red-Shirted, after transferring to Southern Cal from Arkansas. In 2008, Williams caught 59 passes for 869-yards, a 15-yards per catch average, and nine Touchdowns.
In the 2010 NFL Draft, Williams was Drafted as a Third Round Selection by The Tennessee Titans as their #3 Pick and #77 Overall and was primed to make a considerable impact on the Titans Offense. As a Rookie in 2010, Williams gained valuable experience in all 16 games as he grabbed 16 balls. What makes Williams a Special Wide Receiver a huge and valuable target in the Titans Passing Game is his crisp route-running ability, good speed, and outstanding, soft hands.
Preston Dial (6-3, 242, 4.7) of Mobile USM Wright, Alabama was a great pass-catching Tight End who caught 17 passes as a junior for 417-yards and a really hefty 24.5 yards per catch average. He actually ran on the 4×100 relay team at 242 pounds. I really liked Dial and he was a really Super Kid. Dial gave up baseball as a junior to run track so he could get faster for Football. Then as a Senior, Dial helped lead his team to the 4A Alabama State Championship and in the process, he was selected as the 4A Lineman of the Year.
Dial #85 got an offer from Alabama and he actually came to our first practice as a Verbal to The Crimson Tide. In 2006, after playing in our All-American Bowl Game Classic, Dial Red-Shirted, but in 2007, he played in 10 games and started against Vanderbilt. In 2008, Dial played in 12 games and then in 2009, he played in all 14 games and started seven of them, including the 2009 BCS National Championship. In the 2009 BCS National Championship Game against Texas and Lamarr Houston and Vondrell McGee, Dial was a key blocker at the pount of attack for both Crimson Tide 100-yard rushers, including Mark Ingram (116-yards) and Trent Richardson (109-yards.
Before his Senior season, Dial had already played in 38 games, including nine starts for the Powerful Crimson Tide. As a Senior in 2010, Dial was a prime target for Quarterback Greg McElroy as he grabbed 25 passes. After his Senior season, Dial joined Alabama Teammates McElroy and Offensive Lineman James Carpenter in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl.
I got to know Ramon Broadway when he played in the State Championship Games in 2003, 2004, and again in 2005. We became great Friends and I also watched him Cover Damian Williams in the 2005 Hoover National 7on7 Championship Games. As a Cover Cornerback, Broadway and Williams really had some great battles with both doing great jobs against each other.
Ramon Broadway was a Super Combine Freak (a great thing) in high school with a 4.27 in the Forty, but he had no offers until Arkansas offered him in late February. Broadway was a rare four-year starter for Shreveport Evangel and he had four kickoffs for a touchdown as a senior. Broadway was a great person and he became a true Friend. I also saw three of those Kickoffs for Touchdowns.
With his outstanding Speed, Broadway became one of the starting cornerbacks for the Arkansas Razorbacks for four years. In the 2010 SEC game against Alabama, Broadway was assigned to Cover WR Julio Jones, one of the top wide receivers in the country for the Crimson Tide. He held Julio Jones to five catches for 55-yards and no touchdowns; but most of all, he kept Jones from completely dominating the game. It was not enough as the #1 Ranked Crimson Tide came from behind and beat the Razorbacks by a 24-20 score. In that 2010 Senior Season, Broadway recorded 48 solo tackles and six pass breakups. In the 2009 Junior Season, Broadway recorded 55 tackles and recovered three fumbles which ranked second in the SEC.
Broadway was battling an ankle injury at the NFL Scouting Combine and he was not able to put-up all of the great Measurables that he was capable of recording. Even with his ankle injury, Broadway did an incredible 41 Vertical Jump and a 4.4 in the Forty. He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as a Free Agent and he has recently Signed with the New Orleans VooDoo in the Arena Football League.
In the 2005 Season, there was a great Linebacker from Baton Rouge Tara, Louisiana, named Brian Duncan, but he was Flying Under the Recruiting Radar, because he had played Defensive Tackle in 2004. As a Defensive Tackle in 2004, Duncan (6-1, 235, 4.6) was a Real Freak as he recorded an incredible 128 tackles, including 78 Solo Tackles. Duncan moved to Middle Linebacker as a Senior, but he was not able to get on any of the Recruiting Lists.
I went to see Duncan play and in that game, he recorded 22 tackles, including four tackles for a loss. I immediately invited him to play in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and he immediately accepted. I thought that Duncan could play Linebacker for any team in America, but he still never got on any SEC Recruiting List, or an SEC Offer, but he still came to our first practice as a Verbal to Texas Tech and he later Signed with the Red Raiders on National Signing Day.
Duncan Red-Shirted as a True-Freshman in 2006, and then started for four years. As a Red-Shirt Freshman in 2007, Duncan was a Tackling-Machine as he recorded 69 tackles and made a variety of Freshman All-American Teams. Duncan then led the Red Raiders in tackles in 2008 and 2009 and as a Sophomore, he recorded 94 tackles and two interceptions, while playing Middle Linebacker.
Duncan was a Born Leader and he was not only the best leader on the Texas Tech Football Team, but he also was one of the top Leaders in the Lubbock Community. One of the biggest thrills of his career came in 2008 when the Red Raiders Upset the #1 Ranked Team in the Country, Texas Longhorns, by a 39-33 score. Although Duncan was only a Sophomore, he was already the Defensive Team Leader and after the Upset Victory Over Texas, he was invited to Direct the Texas Tech Goin’ Band as they played the Texas Tech Alma Meter as Red Raider Fans and Students were going Wild. This is still on YouTube.
Martez Smith (6-1, 205, 4.45) was a player that I discovered at an Ole Miss NIKE Camp. I got to the NIKE Camp in Oxford at around Noon and I walked right by Coach Cedric Wilder, his Head Football Coach. “Take a look at my Linebacker,” said Coach Wilder. “His name is Martez Smith and he’s overthere working with the Linebackers.” I watched Smith and he was really outstanding as he ran a 4.45 in the Forty and did a 36 Vertical Jump. Smith was very impressive and I immediately invited him to play in our 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic. As a Senior, Smith recorded 177 tackles, had 11 Sacks, caused seven fumbles, and had four interceptions.
In 2009, as a Redshirt Junior, Smith started 13 games and had 82 tackles, including 41 solo and 41 assisted tackles. He recovered a fumble and ran it 22-yards for a Touchdown against Central Florida and Wes Tunuufi Sauvao. He also had a career-high 13 tackles against Tulsa and had 10 tackles against Kansas.
On November 17, 2010 a Horrible Tragedy struck the Southern Miss Football Team as three of the Southern Miss Football Players were shot in a Night Club Parking Lot. “Martez Smith is paralyzed right now from the waist down,” said Head Coach Larry Fedora. “We’re hopeful that this may change, but one way or another Martez is going to have a productive life, and we will be there for him either way.”
Most people in the situation like Martez Smith have simple, yet often realistic, goals of standing or walking under their own power. Smith had larger aspirations. “My Goal right now is to get back on the Football Field and into the NFL. I’m going to play; the Lord is Real and He will help me. Some people may express disbelief in such lofty goals, considering the fact he was shot four times, and one bullet severing his spine, but there is no hesitation when the former Southern Miss Super-Star talks about his Football Future.
On December 10, 2010 Martez Smith got a Standing Ovation as his Dad, James Smith, helped him across the stage in his wheelchair during Southern Miss Commencement as he received his College Diploma.
Lawrence Wilson came to our 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, without a single scholarship offer. Wilson was a total Super Combine Freak as he was a linebacker who could run a 4.4 Forty. In one game in high school, Wilson fumbled a kickoff and then ran it back for a touchdown and then in another game, he ran an interception back 100-yards for a touchdown. Wilson had transferred to Tuscaloosa Bryant, Alabama before his senior season and he never made it to any recruiting lists.
Wilson signed with U-Conn in the middle of March and then red-shirted his true-freshman year. After that true-freshman year, Wilson was selected to the 2007 Freshman All-American Team, alongside Ziemba. Wilson wasthe U-Conn leading tackler for four years. Wilson wasa potential #1 Draft Choice, but he got injured and was drafted in the Sixth Round in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Ryan McMahan, who had been a four-year starter for Florida State was a member of the 2007 Freshman All-American Team, joining Ziemba and Wilson; and McMahan also played in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic.
All of our prayers were answered, because the 2006 All-American Bowl Game was one of the greatest miracles that I had ever experienced, as I remembered the Polynesian Lady in the hospital that gave me that Prayer for a Miracle. I expected a miracle from the start and it certainly happened and we had six Polynesian Players in our 2006 All-American Bowl Game and you know that it was not by chance that they were invited to play in that game. Forty-Three players did not have a scholarship offer before the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, but they did get one either at practice on Tuesday or after the game.
The 2005 and 2006 All-American Bowl Games were huge miracles, but the 2007 All-American Bowl Game will go down in history as one of the greatest miracles of All-Time in The Universe. In short, we had the game fully sponsored until October 19, when our major sponsor called me and demanded that I cut 25 players from my game who were in their terms ‘unrecognizable players’ to them. They also demanded that I cut 10 of my coaches.
My Mission in having the All-American Bowl Game Classic is to find those great football players who were “Flying under the Recruiting Radar” and invite them to play in our game so that they could be found. This demand from our sponsor was in direct conflict with my Ministry Statement for the game and for my Mission and so I had to politely walk away from that sponsor, because it was morally wrong to cut those players.
In sixty days, before the game, there were no sponsors who had any money left in the 2006 fiscal year. We thought we were close on a couple sponsors, but it did not work out.
On Wednesday, before the players were to report-in at the hotel in Shreveport, on Saturday, Ginger and I had to make a decision. With absolutely no sponsors, and with only our money, we had to decide whether we were going to cancel the 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic or pray for one of the greatest of all Miracles and play the game.
After a couple of hours of Prayer, The Lord of The Universe spoke to Ginger and me and said, “Do Not Cancel the Game!”
“Lord of The Universe, if you help me with this game, I will give you all of the Glory!”
This would always be my Prayer when the sponsors were not there and the threat to cancel the All-American Bowl Game Classic was always imminent.
The Miracles that happened from this point were incredible. There were Miracles happening in every hour of the day for seven days. The Holy Spirit touched every player and every parent and coach. It got to where, even the players, were touched by the multitude of miracles that took place. It also changed a lot of lives in the one week that we spent together.
In the 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic, we had 101 All-American Players who played in the Independence Bowl Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana and we were able to help 63 of them to get a College Football Scholarship.
That 2007 Game also it had another incredible story in it. Coach John Shuman of Fork Union Military Prep called me one day in December and said that he had a great cover Cornerback by the name of Kareem Jackson. Coach Shuman went on to tell me that he was a great player from Georgia, but he could never get him on any of the Recruiting Lists. Coach Shuman asked me if I would take a Prep School player and I told him that I would.
So, In the 2007 Third Annual All-American Bowl Game Classic, Kareem Jackson #3 came to our first Monday practice, without a single scholarship offer, but he was impressive all week and was the “Buzz” of all of the practices. Then after he recorded two interceptions in the 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic, on Saturday, he was offered a scholarship by the University of Alabama. Jackson, formerly from Macon Westside, Georgia and Fork Union Military Prep, would then start at cornerback for Alabama in two SEC Championship Games and on the 2010 BCS National Championship Team. Jackson came out one year early and he became a #1 Draft Choice in the 2010 NFL Draft for the Houston Texans.
The most interesting part of this incredible recruiting story about Kareem Jackson is what really happened before and after the All-American Bowl Game. Before all of the players got to the Hotel in Shreveport, I had paired everyone-up with their roommates. There was another great cornerback on the East Team named Chris Lett from Pensacola, Florida. Lett was already a Verbal Commitment to Alabama and I decided to pair them-up as roommates.
Being roommates for a whole week, Jackson and Lett becames great friends and after the game, The Crimson Tide invited the two roommates to come to Tuscaloosa for an Official Visit on the weekend after the game and they did just that.
The intriguing thing about this Official Visit for Alabama was that Lett was already Committed and Jackson was already a High School graduate; already had a passing Test Score; and was not obligated to go back to Fork Union Prep to graduate. The great opportunity for Alabama was that Kareem Jackson could sign with them immediately and enroll immediately and that is exactly what he did.
Jackson became the Starting Cornerback in the Fall after being a backup in the Spring. Jackson then was the Starting Cornerback for Alabama in two SEC Championship Games and the 2009 BCS National Championship. Jackson #25 came out a year early and was the Houston Texans #1 Draft Choice in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The Kareem Jackson Story is one of the most Amazing Stories of the All-American Bowl Classic, but the Alfred Morris Story is just as incredible. I drove to Pensacola, Florida to do a one hour Radio Show near the end of the 2006 Football Season. As we were starting the Radio Show, there were several callers wanting to know about a Running Back named Alfred Morris of Pensacola Pine Forest. Morris (6-0, 222, 4.46) had gained a modest 391-yards and scored six Touchdowns as a Junior and he had never made a College Recruiting List and started his Senior year without any Fanfare or Publicity.
Then the Pine Forest rushing game became a dominating force and made it to the State Championship Game. Also as a Junior, Morris was more noted as a Linebacker, as he recorded 106 tackles and 8 sacks. After the Radio Show, I called the Head Coach of Pine Forest and asked him if he thought that Morris would be interested in playing in my 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and he said that he would.
So Morris comes to our First Practice without a single Scholarship Offer. In the Practices, Morris was so outstanding on both sides of the football, that both the Offensive and Defensive Coaches wanted him on their side of the ball and so we decided to let Morris play on both sides of the Football. In the game on Friday, Morris returned a fumble for a Touchdown, ran for a Touchdown, and returned the Second Half Kickoff 95-yards for a Touchdown. Morris is still the only player in Nine Games to Score on both Offense and Defense. He was Voted as a Unanimous AABG Game MVP and on National Signing Date, Morris Signed with Florida Atlanta University.
Morris #46 was a Four-Year Freak for Florida Atlanta University and then he was Drafted in the Sixth Round and #173 Overall Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins along with RGIII who was the Redskins #1 Pick. Both Morris and RGIII were Starters in the Backfield for the Redskins as 2012 Rookies. Not many NFL people thought that Morris would rush for 1,613-yards and score 13 Touchdowns in his Rookie Season, especially with Super-Star RGIII in the same backfield. Incidently, RGII holds the MEARS RATING World Record with an incredible 2,224 MEARS RATING. RGIII did a 42-Inch Vertical Jump and ran a 4.36 in the Forty.
Another interesting player that was in the 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic was a Tongan named Sam Fehoko from Hawaii. On the 2011 Texas Tech Football Guide Cover, Fehoko, was on the Cover. In 2007, Fehoko was a Defensive End freak who had just recorded 22.5 sacks as a Senior at Honolulu Farrington. He had a few offers, but he was still Flying Under the Recruiting Radar.
Lee Ziemba #73, was a big Offensive Tackle from Rogers, Arkansas who had over 40 offers and he was one of the Top Offensive Linemen in the Country. They showed-up as West Team players in my Third Annual All-American Bowl Game Classic.
Fehoko (In Photo) and Ziemba were both great players, but on Wednesday, after about five practices, I noticed Ziemba and Fehoko hanging out together and eating lunch with each other. I could not resist asking them what was going on. “Sam is the best Defensive End that I have ever faced,” said Ziemba. “We have really had some battles in practice.”
After Fehoko recorded three sacks and two other tackles for a loss in the game, Ziemba wanted Fehoko to be his teammate in college and who wouldn’t. After Ziemba committed to Coach Tommy Tuberville and the Auburn Tigers, he then tried to get the Tigers to sign Fehoko, but they did not have room for him.
Lee Ziemba #73 was the Offensive Lineman MVP of that 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and he had 52 consecutive career starts for Auburn University; made Concensus First Team All-American; and played in the 2010-2011 BCS National Championship Game. Ziemba was also Drafted in the Seventh Round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and later Coach Tuberville Coached Sam Fehoko after going to Texas Tech University.
DT Drake Nevis #92 (6-2, 298, 4.9) of Marrero John Ehret, Louisiana was one of the greatest Defensive Linemen in the Country, in 2006, but he Committed to Ole Miss early in the spring and he never got the publicity that some of the others were given. I don’t think that he was ever really blocked as a Senior in High School or even as a Senior in college. I went to see him play in one of the toughest games of his Senior year in High School and he had an incredible six Quarterback Sacks and then in another game, he recorded four sacks in the first half alone.
Nevis #94 was never blocked in the LSU Nike Camp and his name surfaced more than once as being the #1 recruit at that Super Combine. As a Senior, Nevis was selected to the 5A All-State Team. After weighing many offers from most every team in the South, Nevis decided to stay in state and he came to our First Practice as a Verbal to LSU. After being one of the best Defensive Linemen in the Country for LSU, I thought that he would be a #1 Draft Choice, but the Indianapolis Colts Drafted him in the Third Round and #87 Overall Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
I actually got a call on the 4th of July from Ben Bruneau of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, California, telling me that he had just signed a National Letter of Intent with UCLA. Bruneau was a phenomenon that had gotten lost in a Coast-to-Coast Transfer. Bruneau played at Miami Pace, Florida as a freshman and sophomore, but he moved to California to live with his Sister when his Mom got sick. The California CIF ruled that he had transferred for athletic reasons and made him sit out of football for his entire Junior season.
Bruneau was a Super Combine Freak as he recorded a 4.25 in the Forty and a 4.12 clocking in the Pro-Shuttle, but because of the transfer and then having to sit out his Junior season, College Coaches lost track of him and then there was no film to watch. Bruneau never made it to a College Recruiting List, until UCLA watched his 2007 All-American Bowl Game highlight film in which he caught a touchdown pass for the West Team, and then they offered!
At the 2006, NIKE Combine in Houston, Texas, I saw an unbelievable physical specimen by the name of Quentin Castille #19 from La Porte, Texas. He had just run a 4.5 in the Forty while weighing-in at around 220 pounds. Castille did not have any offers, and I invited him to play in the 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic. Castille played in that game, signed with Nebraska, and then he scored two touchdowns for the Cornhuskers in their 2009 Gator Bowl Game win.
Another linebacker from Mobile Davidson, Alabama named Brandon Maye looked fabulous on his highlight film and I invited him to play in our 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic. When he came to the game, he did not have a single scholarship offer. While at the game, he became good friends with three other players on the East Team that had already committed to play for Clemson. Those three players talked the Clemson Coaching Staff into offering him a scholarship and on National Signing Date in 2007, Maye signed with the Clemson Tigers and he then started for them as a True Freshman in 2007 and he also started for the Clemson Tigers in their 2009 Gator Bowl Game against Castille and the Cornhuskers. Maye was the Tigers leading tackler for the last three years for Clemson.
Maye is one of the most interesting players to ever play in our All-American Bowl Game Classic. Maye Started at Linebacker for Three Years for Clemson, but he also graduated in Four Years from Clemson and then he Transferred to Mississippi State with one Year of Eligibility Left and played his Post Graduate Season for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Terrell McClain (6-2, 290, 4.9) of Pensacola, Florida was a Super Combine Freak coming out of High School, but for some crazy reason, he was Flying Under the Recruiting Radar. McClain could Bench Press an amazing 425-pounds and he might have been the strongest High School Football Player on the Planet in 2006. McClain came to our first practice as a Verbal Commitment to South Florida, but he only had that one offer.
McClain was so strong and dominant, he could not be blocked in our 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic, as he recorded nine tackles including two tackles for a loss, two quarterback sacks, and two quarterback hurries. All of the Coaches Voted McClain as the AABG Defensive Game MVP and after the game, he received several more offers, including South Carolina and NC State, but he stayed with the South Florida Bulls and signed with them on National Signing Date.
McClain started his last three years for the Bulls and recorded 19 Quarterback Sacks, including a key sack against QB John Brantley and the Florida Gators as a Senior. McClain then was Drafted in the Third Round and #65 Overall Pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft and he is currently playing for the Houston Texans.
Jerry “Jaye” Howard (6-3, 250, 4.6) of Orlando Jones, Florida was one of the Top Football Players in the Country in 2006. Howard was a Devastating Pass-Rushing Defensive End Freak on his Highlight Film as he recorded 116 tackles as a Junior and then he recorded 80 solo tackles as a Senior, including 18 Quarterback Sacks. What made this so impressive was that every person in the game and in the stands knew that the opposition was always running to the opposite side of the field that Howard would line-up.
Howard was a fabulous athlete who could play a lot of different positions at the next level and he was also a Super-Star in basketball. I will never forget his great loyality. Howard had committed to play in our 2007 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and he was very excited to play in our game. Then, about a week before we were to meet in Shreveport, Howard got a call from the US Army people wanting him to play in their game. Howard had a teammate that was supposed to play in our game, but he switched and played in the Army Game, but Howard made the decision to still play in our game.
Howard gave the Florida Gators a Verbal Commitment and he was Committed to the Gators when he came to our first practice, but Florida State was still trying to get him to switch, but he did sign with the Gators on National Signing Date. Howard was pretty sensational as a Defensive Lineman for the Gators and he was Selected several times as SEC Defensive Player of the Week, including the 2011 Opening Game Victory over Miami Ohio University when he recorded two sacks and led a Defense that allowed only four yards rushing in 22 trys.
After a sensational career with the Florida Gators, Howard (6-3, 301, 4.82) was drafted in the Fourth Round and #170 Overall Pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Howard was released from the Seahawks befe the 2013 season started and was picked-up by the Kansas City Chiefs and is currently playing for the Chiefs.
Phillip “Speedy” Livas (5-7, 179, from Houma South Terrebonne, Louisiana was one of the most electrifying little backs that I had ever seen play. As a mere Sophomore, Livas rushed for 1,048-yards and scored 15 Touchdowns while earning District MVP. As a Junior, Livas scored 18 Touchdowns while averaging an incredible 46.5 yards per kick return. Then as a Senior, Livas rushed for another 1,936-yards, and scored 25 Touchdowns, while averaging 9.2-yards per carry.
I heard about Livas and I went to see him play. When I got to the game, I realized that every opponent was never going to kick the football to him, but in that game, the other team kicked the second half kickoff away from Livas, but he raced-over and still caught the football and ran 67-yards.
Livas was again Voted District MVP, but he still was not on any Recruiting Lists and he came to our first practice with only one offer from Southern Miss and he had given them a Verbal Commitment. Livas was pretty impressive in our early practices. In fact, in one Tuesday practice, Livas was so electrifying as he caught a pass and made at least four defenders miss him on his way in scoring on a long touchdown. Livas did this in front of about 40 College Coaches and a Louisiana Tech offered him and he accepted and later signed with the Bulldogs.
Livas #6 broke all of the Louisiana Tech and Western Athletic Conference Kick Return Records. As a True Freshman, in 2007, Livas ran a 76-yard Kickoff for a Touchdown against Nevada. As a Sophomore in 2008, Livas averaged 155 All-Purpose Yards per game and was selected to the All-WAC First Team as a Return-Man. As a Junior in 2009, Livas had Turf-Toe, but still averaged 98.6-yards per Touch.
Then as a Senior in 2010, Livas became one of the most dynamic players to ever play for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs as he tied the NCAA Record for career returns for a Touchdown. “Livas is the only player that has scored a Touchdown four different ways (reception, rush, punt return, and kick return) with each score being a play of 70-yards or more,” said Head Coach Sonny Dykes. Livas also averaged 137.4 All-Purpose Yards per game and even some of the Top Teams in the country struggled to stop him. As a Senior, Livas was Selected to the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week four times.
In 2011, Livas was an Undrafted Rookie for the Miami Dolphins and in a Pre-Season game against the Atlanta Falcons, he gave the Dolphins great Field Position as he averaged 28-yards on three Kickoffs. His greatest moment came with five minutes left in the Fourth Quarter when he returned a punt 75-yards for a Touchdown to give the Dolphins a 28-20 lead.
Alfred McCullough (6-2, 303, 4.9) of Athens, Alabama was considered to be one of the Top Defensive Tackles in the South. As a Junior, in 2005, McCullough was a Beast as he recorded 67 tackles and 11 sacks, but he saved the best until his Senior Season when he helped lead his team to the Alabama 5A State Championship by heating a very good Eufaula Team by a 10-7 score. Every team tried to Double-Team him, but did not have any success as he completely dominated every single Football game.
McCullough #52 gave the Alabama Crimson Tide an early Verbal and although every team in the South tried to change his mind, McCullough came to our first practice as a Verbal to Alabama. McCullough went to Tuscaloosa as a Defensive Tackle, but he was converted to an Offensive Lineman where he started in the BCS National Championship against Texas.
One day in 2006, my Cell Phone rang and it was the Mother of Marquis Maze. “Can my Son play in your All-American Bowl Game?” When I found out who it was, I said, “Of course, I would love to have Marquis play in our game.”
Maze (5-8, 180, 4.37) of Birmingham Tarrant, Alabama was a very dynamic little Running Back who was going to be destined to play Slot Receiver at the next level. I thought that Maze was sensational on his Highlight Film, but for some reason he was not being heavily recruited. Michigan had offered him, but Alabama and Auburn had not offered and since the two Alabama teams had not offered, Maze Committed to the Wolverines and he came to our first practice as a Verbal to Michigan.
Maze #4 was impressive all week in practice at our All-American Bowl Game and he was later offered by The University of Alabama and he accepted and Signed with The Crimson Tide on National Signing Day. Maze joined Alfred McCullough and Preston Dial on the Alabama Team in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game against The University of Texas and their Super-Stars, Lamarr Houston and Vondrell McGee.
Maze came into that 2010 BCS Championship Game with a second leading receptions of 56 catches for 627-yards behind Julio Jones who was the #1 Receiver for The Tide. I will never forget Maze pulling up lame in the First Quarter at the end of a fabulous 49-yard punt return. Maze was the University of Alabama leading receiver in his 2011 Senior Football Season and he Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2012 and he is still with the Steelers.
O’Neal Wilder (6-5, 205, 4.37) of Carthage, Mississippi was a Super Combine Freak and sensational at the 2006 Max Emfinger Jackson Super Combine. Wilder also had an outstanding Junior season when he caught 18 passes for 428-yards and a 23.8 yards per catch average. The amazing thing about Wilder was that he only played Football one year before his Senior Year and he never made any Recruiting Lists.
Wilder was a Track Super Star, but he showed-up at my Super Combine and did a 38-5 Vertical Jump and ran a 4.2 Pro-Shuttle. This was outstanding, but later in the passing drills, Wilder made two unbelievable catches and I offered him a chance to play in our game. Then, as a Senior, Wilder caught 26 passes for 643-yards and scored 11 Touchdowns; while averaging 24.7 yards per catch. In the Spring of 2007, after our All-American Bowl Game, Wilder won the Mississippi State 3A Championship in both the 200-Meters and 400-Meters.
On National Signing Day, Wilder Signed with Mississippi State to play Football and run Track. Then in the Spring of 2008, Wilder was still juggling Football Spring Training and Track to prepare for the Olympics. As a Freshman in 2008, Wilder was the USA Junior National 400-Meter Champion and was ranked as the #2 Ranked Junior in the 400-Meters in the World. Wilder won the Bronze Medal in the 400-Meters at the IAAF World Junior National Championship. Wilder was also a member of the 4×400 Gold Medal Relay Team and was Selected to the All-American Track Team as a Freshman. Don’t be surprised if Wilder is not in the NFL some day.
The Lord of The Universe helped all of these young players and it happened only with The Grace of God and The Holy Spirit.
The 2008 All-American Bowl Game Classic also did not have a major sponsor, but with the help of a lot of prayers, we still were able to have a very successful event in Jackson, Mississippi at Jackson Memorial Stadium. All of these kids had a great time all week; plus there were a lot of other great things going on in The Universe during that week that had nothing to do with the All-American Football Bowl Game Classic.
This huge Event is a catalyst for things that are happening in the Spiritual World. We were extremely proud to announce that 12 of our All-American Football players dedicated their life to Christ at one of our daily devotionals.
In 2011, I found some really unbelievably talented players who for different reasons were “Flying Under the Recruiting Radar” and I invited them to play in our Seventh Annual All-American Bowl Game Classic. There were two teammates from Baton Rouge Redemptorist, Louisiana. including CB Corey Trim (5-11, 180, 4.4) and FS Denzeil Warner (5-11, 190, 4.45). Trim played on my Team Louisiana 7on7 Team in the Summer and I really liked his athletic ability and the fact that he was a great “Team Leader” on a very talented team with a lot of great players.
Trim was also a great “Playmaker” as evidence in one of his games that I was at when he preserved the victory for his team when he recorded an interception in the end-zone with 1:35 left in the game to preserve the 28-20 victory. Trim was a Super-Star for two years at Jones County Community College before he signed with University of Louisiana Lafayette. The talented Trim will start his first game of the 2013 Season for the Ragin Cajuns against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville.
Terrence Tusan (5-6, 160, 4.3) of Euless-Trinity, Texas was a little Running Back on the #1 High School Team in thr country. In one game, as a Senior, Tusan rushed for 271-yards on only six carries and scored four Touchdowns on runs of 83, 65, 30, and 30-yards and averaged an incredible 45.2-yards per carry. What was even more impressive, was that he did all of this in the first half and did not play in the second half. Tusan was never able to get on any of the Major Recruiting Lists, because of his size and because his coach was always promoting other players. I thought that he would make a perfect Slot Receiver and I was able to finally get him a Scholarship in June with Howard University in Chicago. Tusan was Red-Shirted as a Freshman and is now a Red-Shirt Sophomore.
Another small Running Back with unbelievable Speed was David Jones (5-7, 170, 4.32) of San Diego Rancho Bernardo, California and he was one of the most incredible Return Men that I had ever seen. His Super Combine Measurables were “Mind-Blogging” as he recorded a 40-inch Vertical Jump, a 4.01 Pro-Shuttle, and a 125 Standing Broad Jump.
The Highlight Film of Jones was one of the most impressive that I had ever seen. On his first play, Jones returned a Kickoff 81-yards for a Touchdown. Then on his second play, he ran 95-yards on another Kickoff for another Touchdown. His third play, Jones went 75-yards from scrimmage for a Touchdown and then went 69-yards for a Touchdown on a Punt-Return. This was his first four plays.
Then Jones made one of the most unusal and amazing plays that you will ever see in a football game at any level. Jones was back to return a punt and the football hit a player on the punting team and the football was deflected away from the action for a brief few seconds. Then, out of nowhere, Jones ran up to the football, picked up the football and ran, untouched, for a 63-yard Touchdown. On another incredible play, Jones made a 39-yard run and then jumped over the defender ran another 24-yards to complete a 63-yard Touchdown.
There was a huge lineman named Trint Jenkins (6-10, 320, 5.09) at Tulsa Victory Christian, Oklahoma that was completely dominating on both offense and defense. On one particular Friday Night, Jenkins was playing Nose Guard and with only two minutes left on the clock, Jenkins rushed the Quarterback and chased him down the field and tackled him for a 20-yard loss. On the very next play, Jenkins rushed the Quarterback again and made him throw an interception that was returned 30-yards for the winning Touchdown as his team edged Checotoh, their District foe, by a 28-21 score. In that game, Jenkins caused two interceptions, had five solo tackles, 8 assisted tackles, and seven pancake blocks on offense.
When you are 6-10 and can run, it’s hard to believe that every College Coach in America would be recruiting him, but every time that I would get a College Coach interested in him, his High School Coach would try to push another player, instead of Jenkins. Jenkins showed-up for our game and played Left Offensive Tackle. After being Coached-Up by our great West Team Offensive Line Coaches, Jenkins was Voted by our Coaches as the Game Offensive Lineman MVP.
Jenkins later Signed with UTEP, Red-Shirted as a True Freshman and Started at Offensive Tackle as a Red-Shirt Freshman. Jenkins has been a part of four mission trips to Ecuador, Jamaica, and Mexico and has volunteered for Kids Against Hunger International, Habitat for Humanity, and Victory Mobile Kids Club Sidewalk Trucks.
Also in 2010, there was a Defensive Tackle that was playing for Katy Morton Ranch, Texas and his name was Mike Mustafa. Three of his Morton Ranch Teammates, QB Sam Carter, RB Wesley Hudson, and LB Floyd Mattison played in the 2010 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and they were telling me about him and I invited him to play in our 2011 Seventh Annual All-American Bowl Game.
Although Mustafa played for Morton Ranch in 2009, he decided to Transfer to Cinco Ranch for his Senior year in 2010, after the all of the Morton Ranch Coaches were fired. Mustafa went through Spring Training at Cinco Ranch, and everything seemed to be fine until some District Coaches complained and the Texas UIL ruled him ineligible to play for Cinco Ranch as a Senior, forcing Mustafa to transfer again to Faith West Academy.
Mustafa was a Super Freak, but all of the College Coaches lost track as to where he was and he was not being recruited. Mustafa came to our first practice with no offers, but he was impressive all week in practice and then he recorded nine tackles and three sacks in the Game. Mustafa was Voted as the AABG Game Defensive MVP.
Oklahoma State was looking fot a great Defensive Tackle and had one Scholarship left, so on Monday after the Game, I called The Recruiting Coordinator and told him about Mustafa. Two days later Mustafa Committed to the Cowboys and Signed with them on National Signing Day.
In Nine Games in Nine Years, Ginger and I have helped get 556 High School Football players to get a scholarship that came to our first Bowl Game practice without a single scholarship offer. We currently have helped 58 more players from our Ninth Annual Game. This does not count over around 1,000 players who we helped that did not play in our game. Incidently, there were 500 players that did not play in the 2010 All-American Bowl Game that we helped to get a scholarship.
My Super Elite Top Gun Camp idealogy, is of course, to get as many Top Football Players to a Top Gun Super Elite Combine/Camp so that all of my coaches and I can evaluate them, rate them, rank them, and promote them. There will always be “Diamonds in the Rough” to be found.
The First Annual Max Emfinger’s Super Elite Top Gun Camp was in July of 2010. This Super Elite Top Gun Camp was amazing and loaded with unknown and known talent. Many of them were invited to play in our 2011 All-American Bowl Game Classic. We also had two 2011 Freshman All-Americans, including WR Odell Bickham #3 Jr (LSU) and RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska). We also had 2012 Freshman All-American RB Jeremy Hill (LSU) and FS Ronald Martin (LSU) was 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
Side-Note: Martin #26 and Abdullah actually rode with me to Florida for the Super Elite Top Gun Camp and both were scheduled to play in the 2011 All-American Bowl Game Classic, along with Beckham, but both Martin and Abdullah were injured. Beckham got a chance to play in the U.S. Army Game Bowl Game and he played in that game.