7 Illinois prep players nominated for Army All-American Bowl

7 Illinois prep players nominated for Army All-American Bowl

The state of Illinois was well-represented in January at the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl with five in-state players.

Illinois recruit Nick Allegretti, a center from Lincoln-Way East, joined Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett (LSU), Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan (Notre Dame), Chicago Marist tight end Nic Weishar (Notre Dame) and Hinsdale Central center Brian Allen (Michigan State) at the prestigious game held in San Antonio.

Illinois has a chance to send seven players to the 2015 game, which will take place at noon on Jan. 3 at the Alamodome.

Seven Class of 2015 prospects have been nominated, including two of the three commits Illinois has so far in its next recruiting class in DeKalb running back Dre Brown and Jacksonville offensive lineman Gabe Megginson.

Two East St. Louis products in defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. (uncommitted) and running back Natereace Strong (Missouri) are also nominated, along with Benet quarterback Jack Beneventi (Iowa), New Lenox Providence Catholic wide receiver Miles Boykin (uncommitted) and Downers Grove North athlete David Edwards (uncommitted).

Boykin and Edwards, who would likely play tight end in college, are two priority recruiting targets for the Illini.

The Illinois players are among more than 400 nominees across the state vying for one of 90 roster spots on either the East or the West team.

The next step for the nominees takes place in September when the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection tour begins.

The tour will end in early December so the rosters can be finalized.

More than two weeks have passed since Megginson’s commitment to Illinois and while no other commits have happened since, Brown said landing a big-time recruit like Megginson can only help recruiting efforts for Tim Beckman’s program.

“I actually knew he was going to commit a couple days before he did,” Brown said. “It was hard to keep quiet because I was so ecstatic. It’s big because we basically know all the top in-state guys, and we’re all pretty close. If we can help the coaches lock down the state, that will be incredibly helpful.”

Brown is a fan of the new football uniforms Illinois will start wearing this season. It’s another item Beckman and his staff can tout to recruits.

“I like them a lot, especially the orange helmets,” Brown said. “Just everything is perfect about them.”

Brown understands he will face the brunt of opposing defenses trying to contain him during his senior season with the Barbs.

A versatile playmaker, Brown can hurt defenses not only by running the ball out of the backfield, but also catching the ball out of the backfield.

“I’m just trying to outwork everbyody,” he said. “I want all 11 guys on the defense to know who I am.”

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