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: Dec. 18 and Jan. 22 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, Jan. 6 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium and Jan. 13 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field.
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.
The focus now turns to Jalen Starks from Crespi (CA). Rightfully so considering the first time he made a name for himself, as a member of the Class of 2016, was with an Offensive MVP effort in the Blue’s 28-14 loss to the Grey in the All-American Bowl at Everbank Field.
As much as things change, others stay the same. Starks understands this all too well and the 6-foot and 265-pound sophomore running back for UCLA figures to again be in the spotlight against Stanford on Sept. 23 in a Pac-12 Conference game at 10:30 p.m. (EST).
As a freshman last season, Starks played in six games and made the most of his opportunity as a short-yardage back with a pair of touchdowns. Willing to do whatever it took to get on the field was an apparent endearing quality for the coaching staff.
Given success in the past, an increased role seems to have materialized this year. In four games, Starks has averaged nearly four yards per carry and found the end zone twice. Another possible emerging facet of his game is 70 receiving yards on two catches.
Signs point to the Bruins’ coaching staff being pleased on a weekly basis. And remember, even with Notre Dame commits Julian Love and Troy Pride on the field, many could see the results coming after watching Starks during the brand’s All-American Bowl in Florida.