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October 3, 2012
Eddie Vanderdoes is the highest-rated four-star defensive tackle in Rivals.com's 2013 class, and the Auburn (Calif.) Placer standout will get his chance to compete at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl against some of the nation's top players.
The game will be an outstanding opportunity for Vanderdoes -- who was presented with his Army game jersey during a presentation at his school on Wednesday -- but proving he's even better than his rating is not his main purpose in San Antonio.
"I want to come out and I want to play with everyone and the biggest thing I want to do is represent Auburn," Vanderdoes said. "I'm the first one from out here to be an Army All-American, so it's going to be good to get out there and see how I match up with the guys from the East and the South and really get after it competing."
The USC commit wants a showcase for his hometown, but he also wants to get after it on the field.
The 6-foot-3, 302-pound DT battled many Army All-Americans this summer at The Opening -- the main national event Vanderdoes attended -- and it will be extra special to compare this time in pads.
Drills and one-on-ones are nice during the summer but days of intense practice followed by an All-Star game on national television at the Alamodome is something else.
Vanderdoes, who committed to the Trojans in July soon after returning home from The Opening, is looking forward to the many chances he'll get to prove he's among the nation's elite.
Rivals.com ranks Vanderdoes as the fourth-best defensive tackle and No. 33 prospect overall in the 2013 class.
"It's really a great opportunity to play in the Army All-American Bowl and I'm really excited to come out and play with the guys again just like at The Opening," Vanderdoes said.
"It's going to be a lot more fun and a lot more motivating that it's a full-on football game and it's on TV. So I'm really excited to see how everyone plays."
Vanderdoes remains committed to USC but he will take at least two other official visits and possibly more.
He is hoping to visit LSU for the South Carolina matchup on Oct. 13, but if he cannot make it then he'll take his trip to Baton Rouge later in the season. A trip to Cal is also expected.
Going to USC on his official visit for the Oregon game on Nov. 3 is being scheduled so he can spend more time with the Trojans' coaching staff and players. Don't be surprised if there are more visits for the coveted player. "No dates yet, I know I'll be taking them for sure, but I'm not sure exactly when yet," Vanderdoes said.
"I'm looking to take my officials in mid- to late November."