Trent Steelman’s final snap under center for the Black Knights was one to forget. But he’ll have another chance to wear Army’s football uniform before leaving West Point.
Steelman and six other senior service-academy standouts have been invited to play in postseason all-star games. The Army quarterback will join Navy wideout Brandon Turner and Air Force offensive lineman Jason Kons at the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (4 p.m. Eastern). The game will be broadcast on the NFL Network.
Steelman capped his Army career as the school’s all-time rushing touchdown leader (45). His 3,320 career rushing yards are the most ever for an Army quarterback. Kons anchored an offensive line that powered Air Force to the second-best rushing attack in the nation (about 330 yards per game, behind Army’s 370). And aside from Navy’s catch of the year, Turner has hauled in 19 other passes this year to lead the Midshipmen. He’s got 38 career catches for 710 yards entering the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl — Navy’s Dec. 29 finale against Arizona State (4 p.m. Eastern, ESPN2).
Turner also received an invitation to the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game in Tuscon, Ariz., (Jan 11, 10 p.m. Eastern, ESPN3) but will only play in the Shrine game. Making the trip to Tuscon is Navy teammate Keegan Wetzel, who leads the Mids with 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 2012. The outside linebacker also earned first-team Capital One Academic All-American honors.
Another senior linebacker, Air Force’s Alex Means, will travel to Montgomery, Ala., for the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic (Jan. 19, 3 p.m. Eastern, CBS Sports Network). Means’ 11 tackles for loss is best on the Falcons and seventh in the Mountain West Conference. His performance against New Mexico (10 tackles, interception return for his first touchdown, game-saving fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter) may have been enough to earn the invite by itself. Before heading to Alabama, he’ll lead the Falcons against Rice in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl against Rice on Dec. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas (11:45 a.m. Eastern, ESPN).
Means will be joined in Alabama by Navy slotback Gee Gee Greene, whose 3,452 career all-purpose yards rank fourth all-time for the Mids — three yards in the bowl game will tie him with Chris McCoy for third place. His 7.1 yards-per-carry average in 2012 is tied for second in school history.
Greene will also play in the South Carolina College All Star Bowl, set for March 23 at North Greenville University (3 p.m., local TV coverage). The game features top talent from South Carolina schools as well as players like Greene, who starred on the South Carolina prep-school scene before leaving the state for college ball. Fellow South Carolina native and Navy senior Tra’ves Bush will play in the game as well; the safety leads the Mids with five pass break-ups in 2012 and is second in tackles with 82.