Glenbard West offensive lineman Chris Watt, who is committed to Notre Dame, is one of only three Midwest products to be named to my 2008 CBS College Sports/Maxsports high school All-America football team, which will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Friday on CBS College Sports.
Watt, a 6-4, 285-pounder who was ranked No. 67 in the nation at the beginning of the season, joins tight end Rashede Hageman of Minneapolis, Minn., and Ohio State-bound defensive lineman John Simon of Youngstown, Ohio, as the only Midwest representatives on the 26-man squad.
It underscores the fact that the Midwest was barren of talent this season. But Watt certainly has made a positive statement.
Watt has been devastating this season, a dominating player. He is exceptionally aggressive. He plays with non-stop toughness, a key to the success of any interior offensive lineman. He probably will play guard in college.
There is one major surprise in the selections. Texas-bound Garrett Gilbert of Austin, Texas, earned the quarterback spot over USC-bound Matt Barkley of Santa Ana, Calif., who was the preseason choice as the No. 1 player in the country. In my opinion, Gilbert had a better yer than Barkley.
Other players on the offensive unit are running backs Miami-bound running back Bryce Brown of Wichita, Kan., Notre Dame-bound Cierre Wood of Oxnard, Calif., and Trent Richardson of Pensacola, Fla.
Also wide receivers Marlon Brown of Memphis, Tenn., and Pat Patterson of Macon, Miss., and linemen Xavier Nixon of Fayetteville, N.C., Tom Ashcraft of Cedar Hill, Texas, Mason Walters of Wolfforth, Texas, and Kevin Graf of Agoura Hills, Calif.
The defense is headed by Simon and linemen Jacobbi McDaniel of Madison County, Fla., Jamarkus McFarland of Lufkin, Texas, Donte Moss of Jacksonville, N.C. and Ryne Giddins of Seffner, Fla.
Also linebackers Jarvis Jones of Columbus, Ga., Mant'i Teo of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Nico Johnson of Andalusia, Ala.
And defensive backs Dre Kirkpatrick of Gadsden City, Ala., who is committed to Alabama, Craig Loston of Houston, Texas, Gabe Lynn of Jenks, Okla., and Darius Winston of West Helena, Ark.
Two utility players are Rueben Randle of Bastrop, La., and Alshon Jeffrey of Calhoun County, S.C.