Updated: Jan 21
Saturday, the 20th installment of the Army All-American Bowl took place in the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX as 100 of the nation’s best players took the field. Amongst those in attendance were three Tar Heel early signees that were all looking head to finish their prep career in style. Here’s a breakdown of how the three performed in San Antonio this past week.
The star of the show amongst the three Tar Heel commits, Downs was constantly listed as one of the top performers after each day of practice, receiving the highest praise of any of the receivers in attendance throughout the week. That carried over into the game, where Downs led all receivers with nine catches for 120 yards. Downs impressed with his strong route running, great hands and phenomenal short area quickness that will make him tough for ACC defenses to defend. Add in what he can do after and there is reason to believe that he could be on the end of some Sam Howell’s pretty early in his career.
Clyde Pinder Jr.
Amongst a loaded defensive line group that was in attendance, Pinder wasn’t the most talked about during the week of practice, but was still able to make an impression. Pinder’s physicality shined when matched up against the less physical interior offensive linemen and his ability to overpower players with his bull-in-a-china shop mentality was on full display. While he may not have been as effective as some of the other defensive line were on Saturday, he was still able to get some pressure on the quarterbacks and even recover a fumble. It was a solid showing in San Antonio and great experience for a guy who will have to play a big role early next season at nose guard due to the lack of depth.
Conley was the least talked about member of this list during the week of practice, as the defensive backs in attendance did not have the best week. Still, Conley made a nice impression in game, especially one special teams, where he had two nice kickoff returns. He also made a couple of nice defensive plays, but was burnt for one of the long touchdowns in the first half. Conley may not have jumped off the page, but he still made enough of an impression to have you feeling good about his potential going forward.