Cravens, Henry and Green are three of the most revered prospects in the high school ranks. They will all take the same field for the first time in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Read More Below
Su'a Cravens, Derrick Henry and Derrick Green arrived in New York decorated in their Army All-American jerseys and surrounded by Sergeants Heilman and Moss. None of the three look like high schoolers, which is probably why they are considered three of the best amateur football players in the nation. They arrived from all different parts of the nation -- Cravens from California, Henry from Florida and Green from Virginia -- and still admitted that they were excited to be in New York.
For some, the trip was an especially new experience.
"This was my first trip on an airplane," an excited but bleary-eyed Cravens said. "I have never had that long of a trip in my life!"
After taking in three days in New York to visit the Jets' practice facility, shoot a quick video with SI, and head out to Far Rockaway to help out Hurricane Sandy victims, the three are now in San Antonio preparing for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 5th in the Alamodome.
The game features several of the nation's top players and gives the national football audience an opportunity to see some of the country's best on the same stage. Players of both teams (East and West) arrived in San Antonio on Monday and began practice before the Saturday showcase.
While many will watch for the game itself, countless others will be watching for many of the players' college announcements. The hat selection has become a tradition at these events, and anxious fans of some of the top programs tune in just to see if they are getting any high-caliber players.
These anxious fans as well as the advent of social media have made for an unlikely experience for players like Cravens, Henry and Green. All three have had to adjust to becoming household names, and each player has responded to their newfound celebrity differently.
Cravens, who will attend USC in the fall, is considered to be the most versatile player in the nation by some pundits. At 17, he is surprisingly young for a high school senior, but personable and unassuming.
Henry, who recently committed to Alabama, broke the 59-year old national high school rushing record this season and is a mammoth human being in person. Green is currently rated the top high school running back in the nation by Rivals.com and still has not selected a school. The quiet running back from Yulee, Florida spends most of his interviews thanking his hometown and his rather large family (he has thirteen aunts and uncles).
Green flashes the biggest smile and appears to enjoy the cameras a bit more than the others, and he does not plan on announcing his college destination until National Signing Day or maybe even after it.
All three remember when they received their first letter in the mail, and then recounted when the mail became far too much to keep.
"It was most excited when I got it in ninth grade and started receiving handwritten letters from coaches," Henry said. "But, man, I started to get so much mail. I started putting it in boxes. Even my grandma got tired of it."
Henry opted to store it for memories, but Cravens had a different idea.
"The mail was coming by the bucketload," Cravens said. "So, honestly, I started using the mail for firewood. I had it all over my room and it almost filled my entire garage."
Once the players sign their respective letters of intent, it will mark a return to normalcy that the three haven't felt since their sophomore years in high school. While the attention toward Cravens and Henry decreased after they chose their schools, Green remains one of the hotter names in the nation since his recruitment is still open.
But for now, the cameras will shine on Saturday and the nation's best prep players will get one last opportunity to play like it's Friday night.