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.
Shawn Bane from Sarasota (FL) takes a deserved turn in the spotlight here. Not long ago, for the Class of 2014, he was a key contributor from start to finish as South defeated North, 47-44, in double overtime during the All-American Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.
Standing out in a crowd was difficult at the game, with LSU commit John Battle, Penn State commit Koa Farmer, Illinois commit Tre Watson, Washington State commit Keith Harrington and North Carolina commit Austin Proehl on the same field. Still, Bane held his own.
Little has changed, as the 5-foot-11 and 175-pound junior wide receiver for Northwest Missouri State, an NCAA Division II program, figures to be doing the same against Emporia State on Aug. 31 in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association game at 6 p.m. (EST)
This season, on pace for more than 1,000 receiving yards, more than 75 catches and nine touchdowns, Bane is a go-to-guy for the Bearcats, there’s no doubt about it. He’s projected to end up among the program’s top five players in several offensive categories.
As a sophomore, Bane had 707 receiving yards on 31 catches with 10 touchdowns and second-team All-Conference honors. As a freshman, his resume included 1,2707 receiving yards on 82 catches with eight touchdowns and Conference Freshman of the Year award.
A protégé of NFL veteran Larry Ryans, Bane could soon end up playing on Sundays, perhaps via the NFL Draft or taking the undrafted free agent route. Only time will tell. Regardless, he provided a glimpse of his potential during the brand’s All-American Bowl in Florida.