January 2, 2008

Future teammates bonding at Offense-Defense practice

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - There are a ton of commitments on both sides of the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. While there are players committed all over the country, a number of prospects get an early sneak preview of some of their future teammates including Penn State and Georgia with four commitments apiece on the East squad and Arizona State with four pledges on the West.

Starting with Penn State, the Nittany Lions feature three linebackers including Brandon Beachum, Mike Zordich and Mike Yancich. They are joined by running back Michael Shaw.

"Brandon and I are close since we grew up around each other," Zordich said. "I'm getting to know Mike better this week along with Shaw. Hanging out with them has been fun and allowed us to develop our relationship since I know we'll be playing football together."

Beachum added his thoughts on getting to know his future teammates better.

"It's been a great experience. I know Mike and Mike," he said. "This was the first time I was able to play with Yancichand I was looking forward to seeing more of Shaw. We've done a lot this week, just hanging out having fun together in the room, talking. I look forward to more of it."

Of course Yancich is the one the rest didn't know as well.

"I met Brandon and Mike at a few games at Penn State," he said. "Now I'm really getting to know them better along with Shaw. That's awesome that we can play together down here and hopefully continue that up there. We've got a lot of linebacker tradition to replace and hopefully we can carry it on."

Georgia has their share of commitments participating starting with offensive lineman Cordy Glenn along with linebacker Marcus Dowtin and cornerbacks Brandon Boykin and Makiri Pugh.

Glenn broke down what the experience this week has been like for the Bulldog commits.

"Definitely we're al hanging out a lot," he stated. "It's like we're all brothers and have known each other for years even though we really don't know each other that well. We're a lot closer as a group."

Meanwhile, the West is led by four Arizona State commitments, receivers Kemonte Bateman and Allante Battle as well as tight end Steven Figueroa and offensive lineman Andrew Sampson.

"Allante, Kemonte, Andrew and I have been hanging out," Figueroa said. "It's been cool. It's great to be able to get to know my teammates better. These are guys I'll be playing with in college.

"We're even telling a few of the uncommitted guys about Arizona State, telling them more about it and how they should go there (Datone Jones)."

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