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.
Reese Donahue from Cabell Midland (WV) takes a turn in the spotlight right here. As a member of the Class of 2016, he was in the running for Defensive MVP with five tackles and two sacks as North defeated South, 35-0, in the game at Raymond James Stadium.
On the same field as Arizona commit J.J. Taylor, Oregon State commit Artavis Pierce, Minnesota commit Conner Olson, Clemson commit Zerrick Cooper, Nebraska commit Jack Stoll and Bowling Green commit Caleb Bright among others, Donahoe held his own.
At the next level, it’s been more of the same. The 6-foot-4 and 285-pound junior defensive lineman has strengthened a growing reputation at West Virginia and hopes to do so once again against Oklahoma on Nov. 25 in a Big 12 Conference game at 6 p.m. (EST).
During a three-game span this season, each one of them coming in conference play, Donahue left a lasting impression with five tackles in a 38-36 victory over Baylor, six tackles in a 50-39 loss to Oklahoma State and five tackles in a 20-16 victory over Iowa State.
The production comes as little, or no surprise. Many of the so-called experts have him pegged as an All-Conference selection, perhaps a first-teamer, no worse than a second-teamer. Keep in mind, as freshman, Donahue played in 12 games for the Mountaineers.
Not long ago, he essentially did it all on the prep circuit. Donahue played in the All-American Bowl in Florida, attended the All-American Combine (Mid-Atlantic Super) in Virginia and was acknowledged on the brand’s Jersey Presentation Tour in West Virginia.