Top to bottom, the overall collection of talent assembled from the Class of 2021 for the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl was about as good as it gets. In the end though, and on the final scoreboard, East defeated West, 36-17, on Dec. 14 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
Vanderbilt commit C.J. Taylor of the East might have been one of the biggest names around, regardless of team or position. In the running for Defensive MVP, he did not disappoint with eight tackles, multiple pass deflections and several memorable big hits.
Taylor was certainly not alone. He had plenty of help along the way. Army commit Timothy Thurman, Cornell commit Carmine Bastone, MAC target William Aden and Ohio Valley Conference target Tyrik Daniels were major reasons for the success of the East.
Similarly, on the West, there were several well-known commodities on the roster. There was plenty of hype surrounding Arizona commit Stevie Rocker, to be sure. He lived up to the advanced billing, nearly taking home the award for Offensive MVP.
Nebraska commit Aiden Young for the West and its coach NFL veteran Tony Banks did particularly well, along with South Dakota State commit Regan Bollweg. Louisiana-Monroe commit Zach Shaw had a number of different options on offense, truth be told.
The list goes on and on for the West, with South Dakota State commit Christopher Rhodes, Sacramento State commit Oge Feo, BYU commit Payton VanSteenkiste, Southland Conference target Omari Warren and Ivy League target Isaac Robinson.
On offense for the East and its coach NFL veteran Ken Stills, Dayton commit Shane Hamm was named Offensive MVP. He threw an 87-yard touchdown pass to MAC target Asian Burt and scored two other touchdowns, on a 2-yard run and a 4-yarder, one in each half.
Hamm’s worthy counterpart, MAC target Judah Holtzclaw also did well on the East. His favorite targets, by most accounts, were the likes of Rice commit Joshua Williams, South Dakota State commit Josh Buri and Ohio Valley Conference target Daniel Dickerson.
Big Sky Conference target Evan Lovett and Mountain West Conference target Vann Schield benefitted from an offensive line of the West that featured Nevada commit Dominic Eldridge, South Dakota commit Hunter Push and Idaho commit Jacob Graves.
Southland Conference targets Austin Elliott and Blake Millspaugh, Mountain West Conference targets Shawn Martinez and Jayden Jones opened holes for Mountain West Conference target Vance Jefferson and Big Sky Conference target Jackson Stampfli.
South Dakota commit Caden Ellingson, Drake commit Bryce Bowers, Missouri Valley Football Conference target Nile Schuett, Ohio Valley Conference target Charles Sims and Southern Conference target Derius Franklin paved the way on the East offensive line.
Missouri Valley Football Conference target Parker Theobald, Pioneer Football League target Wyatt Bullock, Southern Conference target Michael Clyde, also Ohio Valley Conference targets Elijah Leaupepe and Ty Wickliffe caused problems throughout for the East.
On the West, Sam Houston State commit Braeden Howell’s name was in the conversation for Defensive MVP. His cohorts included Big Sky Conference targets Alec Eckert, Charles Waverly and Hunter Fedon. Keilen Washington deserved a mention, too.