Good Counsel linebacker Dorian O’Daniel, a two-time All-Met, is accustomed to being surrounded by talented players. But not to the extent that he encountered at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio Saturday as one of five All-Mets to play in the 13th-year all-star event.
“Just looking to your left, looking to your right, no one is better or worse than you,”Clemson recruit O’Daniel said after arriving home Sunday night following a week in Texas. “Everyone is tops in the country. It was really humbling playing in a high-caliber game with all the top athletes in the country.”
O’Daniel’s teammate, All-Met Offensive Player of the Year Kendall Fuller, known mostly as a defensive back, also played for the East team, as did Hylton linebacker E.J. Levenberry and the Stone Bridge duo of quarterback Ryan Burns and All-Met Defensive Player of the Year Jonathan Allen, a lineman.
The day before the game, event officials announced Virginia Tech commit Fuller as the national defensive player of the year. In the game, he had two pass breakups — the only ones for the East team — and almost intercepted a pass moments after being whistled for defensive pass interference.
O’Daniel, Allen (Alabama) and Levenberry (Florida State), a team captain, helped limit the West team to eight first downs, 19 rushing yards on 19 attempts and 90 total offensive yards. O’Daniel had three tackles (tied for third on the team), Levenberry two and Allen one.
Burns, bound for Stanford, completed one of two pass attempts and ran for four yards in the East’s 15-8 win in front of more than 40,000 spectators at the Alamodome. The game was televised live on NBC.
During the week, the players all participated in community service events. O’Daniel, Fuller and Levenberry, among others, spoke to a youth football team. O’Daniel also read “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” to children at a church.
“It was such a blessing to be part of such a high-caliber game,” he said.
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