Stars Come out in Texas

Clifton Geathers

SAN ANTONIO - Day four of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice was devoted to sharpening the array of awe-inspiring talent in the arsenal of both teams, clashing in this gridiron gala that is destined to become, if it isn't already, the future?s game of football.

It may not be the 78 best high school seniors in the nation, but it's clearly the best place to start looking for them, and it's a rare opportunity to do some stargazing in the middle of the day.

That's exactly what a power contingent of college coaches from several elite programs were doing in the morning session at the West practice field. At least three Notre Dame coaches were on hand, paying particular interest to offensive drills, which were highlighted by fine passing performances by Mitch Mustain of Springdale, Ark., and Jevan Snead of Stephensville, Texas. Also identified standing on the track that surrounds Northeastern High School in San Antonio were coaches from LSU, Oklahoma, Washington and Alabama.

No doubt, it was the place to see and be seen.

Despite dealing with 35 mph gusts and the glare of the spotlight, Mustain showed why he is rated the nation's No. 1 signal caller and was named high school player of the year by Gatorade and Parade. In one-on-one passing drills against such notable DBs as Jai Eugene, Jonas Mouton, Stefon Johnson and Devin Ross, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Mustain drilled the ball with remarkable accuracy, hitting the smallest of creases with unflinching consistency.

Yet Snead, who is a nearly identical 6-3, 205, matched Mustain's performance with tight spirals and a soft touch that led receivers perfectly. It was hard to find fault with either QB, although Mustain may have had a better feel for the deep pass. He dropped several long throws on a dime and was equally effective hitting targets out of the backfield. In addition to prolific polish, poise and panache, double M displayed a rapid-fire release and excellent anticipation.

Where Mitch takes that superb throwing talent, remains the biggest question of the current recruiting campaign.

GEATHERS AROUND

This writer got an opportunity to talk to Clifton Geathers today and can report things are looking up, which isn't hard when your subject stands a towering 6-foot-8, up an inch from his listed 6-7, 280 pounds.

Things are also looking up for Tennessee where the big lineman is concerned.

"Tennessee is on my list of schools to visit," said the Hemingway, S.C. native when asked if the Vols would get an official visit "I'm getting it set up. Coach Chavis is recruiting me."

Although listed as one of the nation's top offensive linemen, Geathers has been a standout on defense for the East squad, forming a topnotch tackle tandem with Tennessee commitment Jacques McClendon. Geathers is a five-star recruit and McClendon could soon be joining him given the versatility he has exhibited this week.

Now if the Vols can just get Geathers to join McClendon at Tennessee, things would really be looking up.

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