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January 6, 2010

Army Express: East fights through pain

MORE: Army All-American Bowl coverage

SAN ANTONIO - Rivals.com looks at the top five news items from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in the Army Express. Each day Rivals.com will break down the biggest news, player injuries and updated recruiting news in a compact and easy to digest format. Wednesday's activities moved to the Alamodome with the Skills Challenge and scrimmages for both rosters.

1) Fighting through pain

Marcus Lattimore did not suit up for the East's practice in the Alamodome. The five-star running back prospect from Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes began suffering from a stomach ailment on Tuesday night.

"I was throwing up this morning," he said.

Lattimore is hopeful that he will be back practicing on Thursday.

Shakim Phillips also sat out. The East receiver continues to suffer from a shoulder injury and his status for Saturday is questionable.

East defensive end Chance Carter was in pads and participated in individual drills, but did not take any reps during scrimmage work. Carter hurt his ankle earlier this week.

"He was feeling better today so hopefully he can go on Saturday," East head coach George Quarles said.

On the West side, five-star defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat remains on the shelf with an ankle injury. Jeffcoat said on Wednesday's not totally ruled out of playing in the game.

2) Smooth exchange?

Early on in the week, the West was working through some problems with their quarterback-center exchanges.

During Wednesday's scrimmage, there were similar problems for the West offense with the quarterbacks having some issues going under center without a fumbled snap. Towards the end of the practice, quarterbacks such as Jake Heaps were back in the gun and things seemed be a little smoother.

Overall, the West offensive line did show some progress as well on Wednesday, but as coach Jim Streety and Heaps said after practice, there is still more preparation to go before Saturday's kickoff.

3) Parker's big pop

Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne four-star safety Sean Parker had the hit of the day when he closed strong and lit up Malcolm Jones on a toss play to the right. It was a pop that got people in the stands and both the offensive and defensive players excited.

"Now that's a hit," one of the West coaches yelled.

Parker, who is down to California, Michigan and USC, also did well in the one-on-ones, landing himself a spot on the West Stars of the Day list.

4) All-American Burger

Fatty Burger is a San Antonio institution, so it only seemed natural that several of the nation's best football players would get a chance to sample one of the nation's best burgers.

Connor Wood, Seantrel Henderson, Jackson Jeffcoat and Traylon Shead all took place in the Army All-American Fatty Burger Challenge Wednesday afternoon. The event let the All-Americans build their own dream burger from a menu that includes all-star sandwiches like The Linemen and The Heisman.

Henderson built a classic bacon burger topped with some Fatty Beans he called "The Gargantuan." Wood put together a chili and onion ring special he called the "Bevo Burger," while Shed stacked his onion rings high with jalapenos in the middle for the "Traylon Big Mouth Special." Then there was Jeffcoat's mushroom filled "Action Jackson Special." In the end food critic Mark Fusco named Henderson's Gargantuan the winner. The nation's No. 1 prospect was not surprised.

"I know how to eat, and I know what tastes good," he said.

5) West wins Skills Competition

The West won round one of the on-the-field battle with the East on Wednesday at the Alamodome with a decisive victory in the Skills Challenge. While it might not determine the outcome of the game, it was still a commanding victory for the West. It started out with the kickers and punters helping the West build a big lead and in the end it won six events to the East's three.

Some of the events highlights included a four-man 40-yard dash between Lache Seastrunk, Robert Woods, Dior Mathis and DeAndrew White. Seastrunk won the race over Mathis and Woods. Jake Heaps helped the West take a big victory in the accuracy challenge with several throws that were right on the money.



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