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January 6, 2003

All-America Bowl full of scoring, commits

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Sunday's U.S. Army All-America Bowl was supposed to be a day filled with a close game and little recruiting news.

It was hardly either.

The East squad blasted the West squad 47-3 behind the big passing day of North Carolina quarterback Chris Leak and a stellar defensive performance by Prescott Burgess.

It was the East's first victory in the three-year old series and the most lopsided game in the history of the event.

It was also a big day on the recruiting front as quite a few Rivals100 members made their commitments live on ESPN2.

Mundy and BurgessThe biggest surprise of the day had to be when Burgess (at right in the picture with fellow UM commit Ryan Mundy) spurned in-state power and national champions Ohio State to pick Michigan.

"It was just the right fit, the right feel," Burgess said after the game, which he recorded 4 tackles and one interception in.

"I might live in Ohio, but my home now is going to be in Michigan."

But Burgess was just one of the big-timers to commit.

USC came out looking like bandits after it apprehended commitments from two of the nation's top running backs.

First to make his commitment public was Reggie Bush.

Reggie Bush full bodyBush's father confirmed to USCFootball.com on Saturday that his son was going to become a Trojan, but that still really didn't spoil the moment as he announced to the nation on TV that he was going to play for the Men of Troy.

Bush (left) didn't disappoint on the field either, racking up 66 yards rushing on 11 attempts. He looked at times to be the only true offensive threat the West had in the game - one in which it was only to rack up 98 yards of total offense.

The Trojans then got another present when four-star running back LenDale White joined Bush, a five-star selection, by committing to USC.

"I picked USC because it was in my heart," White, who had 19 yards rushing, said. "I'm not scared of playing with Reggie in the same backfield.

"He puts his pants on the same way that I do, and you can't be afraid of the competition. We've actually become pretty close here this week and we're going to be roommates at SC."

Leak, who was the game's star on offense, then capped the commitments up by pledging to Florida. It was really one of the worst kept secrets this week in San Antonio as word buzzed from the East squad about Leak becoming a Gator.

But the drama was still worth watching, as Leak read from a prepared statement and then said the magic words Gator fans were looking for.

"I'm going to the University of Florida," he said. "I'm going to be a Gator."

Leak then completed the show by putting on a Florida hat, holding a Gator helmet and then flinging three touchdown passes.

Editor's Note: Rivals100 will have more complete coverage - including more than 60 pictures and several key interviews - from the U.S. Army All-America Bowl on Monday morning and through the rest of the early week.


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