Plenty of prospects, some of them high-profile, others under-the-radar, have come and gone in the past decade or so, since the inception of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Still, the talent level across the board on the national level has been about as good as it gets.
Things don’t figure to change anytime soon, either, as the hype continues to build for this year’s games: The first on Dec. 22 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, the second on Jan. 14 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field and the third on Jan. 21 at Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum.
To gain a better understanding about the rapidly growing direction of things, perhaps it’s best to take some time to reflect on the humble beginnings. Therefore, moving forward, the plan is to more closely examine the brand’s many alumni from all over the country.
Byron Pringle from Robinson (FL) is the focus this time, rightfully given a decorated past. A memorable effort as a member of the Class of 2013 saw him guide the South to a 21-14 victory over the North at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium.
In the debut of the All-American Bowl, worth noting, Pringle was named offensive MVP. He finished with 189 all-purpose yards, including six catches for 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns, also 75 punt and kickoff return yards, 10 rushing yards as well.
Keep in mind, there was no shortage of talent out on the field, we’re talking about Arizona State commit Davon Durant, Indiana commit Michael McGinnis, Akron commit Austin Wolf, Ohio State commit Reid Worstell and Florida State commit Hunter DeWitt.
Little or nothing has changed since then. Accordingly, the 6-foot-2 sophomore wide receiver for Kansas State could very well end up as the all-important difference between winning or losing against Texas A&M on Dec. 28 in the Texas Bowl at 6 p.m. (EST).
Pringle has largely led the resurgence of the Wildcats this season. Two weeks ago, for example, his well-rounded performance included 77 receiving yards on five catches, each bigger than the one before, in a 34-19 Big 12 Conference victory over rival Kansas.
Then, in a successful attempt to duplicate the feat, Pringle finished with 121 receiving yards on six catches, an average of 21 per touch, with a touchdown. No surprise, the end result was a 30-6 conference victory over TCU. Time after time, he’s delivered.
All starts, in 13 games, Pringle has set the standard for Kansas State with 39 catches for 631 receiving yards and four touchdowns. At the top of the depth chart, big things are expected as a junior. Talk has also started about possible early entry to the NFL Draft.
What seems like a very short time ago, Pringle made his mark at the brand’s All-American Bowl in Florida. The inaugural game. The first of its kind. He walked away with the Offensive MVP hardware back then, and still to this day, is getting the job done.