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. That said, the hype is building for a pair of games this year: The first is on Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium and home of the Dallas Cowboys. The second is on Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium and home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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 individual in focus this time is Koa Farmer, currently a redshirt freshman at Penn State, once in the Class of 2014 from Notre Dame (CA) who delivered a memorable effort for the South in a 47-44 double overtime victory over the North during the game in Florida.
Back then, remember, Wisconsin-bound commit Chris Jones was giving the defense fits in the first half of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. NFL veteran and South coach Mark McMillian turned to Farmer thereafter and the wide receiver was not nearly as effective.
“He is one of the most talented athletes I’ve had the privilege to be around, Farmer proved as much in our game and the same thing is taking place now in Happy Valley,” McMillian said. “Penn State has great scheme and Koa is going to make special things happen.”
In the midst of an apparent change from his days on the prep circuit at safety, occasionally cornerback, the 6-foot-1 and 225-pounder Farmer will be back in action and likely at linebacker on Sept. 25 against San Diego State in a nonconference game at 3:30 p.m. (EST).
With the growing confidence of Penn State coach James Franklin, along with assistant Ricky Rahne, it’s reasonable to think that Farmer could soon emerge with a defined roll on the defensive side of the ball. Regardless, he figures to contribute on special teams this year.
Seemingly on the fast-track at the next level, his accelerated path shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Particularly not considering the success Farmer had when given the opportunity on one of the country’s biggest stages around during the brand’s All-American Bowl.