Which US Army Bowl Alumni Are Still Playing in the NFL Today?

The US Army Bowl is known for its showcase of top high school football talent and has been a springboard for many athletes toward successful college and eventually professional careers. Former Indianapolis Colts sensation Andrew Luck played in the esteemed fixture, as did running back supremo Adrian Peterson.

The former of that duo is a four-time Pro Bowler, while the latter won the MVP award in 2012, breaking the quarterback monopoly on the coveted trophy shared by the likes of Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady. He was the last non-QB to win the award as well as the only non-QB to win the award in the last 18 years.

Both those icons have since retired from the NFL. But which former US Army Bowl stars still feature on the grandest stage today? Let’s find out.

Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a name that resonates with spectacular catches and vibrant personality on and off the field. A product of Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana, OBJ showcased his skills at the US Army Bowl before heading to LSU, where he further honed his craft. As a junior, he completed 59 receptions for 1,152 yards including eight touchdowns, which caught the eye of the New York Giants. The four-time Super Bowl winners brought him to MetLife Stadium with the 12th overall pick of the 2014 Draft, and from there he never looked back, quickly establishing himself as one of the league’s most electrifying wide receivers.

Known for his remarkable one-handed catches, Beckham has had a rollercoaster career marked by incredible highs and challenging lows. Despite battling injuries, he has amassed over 7,000 receiving yards and scored more than 50 touchdowns, securing his place as one of the top receivers of his generation. After a successful four years in the Big Apple, the 31-year-old has bounced around numerous teams including the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams – where he played a bit part role in their Super Bowl LV success – and the Baltimore Ravens.

He has recently made the move to the Miami Dolphins, and the powers that be at Hard Rock Stadium will be hoping that he can recapture his form of old. If he does, both he and the likes of fellow wide receiver Tyreek Hill and the constantly improving quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could catapult the Dolphins to a deep postseason run next season. Online NFL game lines currently make them +3000 contenders for the Lombardi in 2024, and those odds could shorten if the Dolphins make an impressive start to the season this fall.

Chase Young

Chase Young’s trajectory from the US Army Bowl to becoming a defensive force in the NFL exemplifies the term “phenom.” Dominating the line of scrimmage at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland, Young’s Army Bowl appearance was merely a precursor to his disruptive collegiate career at Ohio State. There, he refined his skills, culminating in a senior year that saw him lead the nation in sacks and secure the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award.

Drafted second overall by the Washington Football Team (now Commanders) in the 2020 NFL Draft, the 25-year-old immediately made his presence felt, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Despite facing challenges, including injuries, His combination of speed, power, and technique keeps him earmarked as one of the most promising defensive talents in the league. He reached the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers last season however, he has since moved on to the New Orleans Saints, and he will be aiming to restore the 2009 Lombardi winners back to their former glories in the not-so-distant future.

Bryce Young

Bryce Young is the latest among these illustrious names and has only just begun etching his path in the league. After lighting up the field at Mater Dei High School in California, the talented youngster then won the US Army Bowl MVP award in 2020 before moving on to become a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. He won the Heisman trophy in his sophomore year, racking up an almighty 4,872 throwing yards and 47 touchdowns in the process.

That prompted the Carolina Panthers to make him the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, but his maiden campaign in the big league was somewhat underwhelming. With Young under center, the Charlotte-based side secured just two wins all season, the worst record of any team in the league. To make matters worse, the number one overall pick was resoundingly overshadowed by the number two pick, C.J. Stroud.

He had a stellar year with the Houston Texans, leading them all the way to the Divisional Round of the playoffs and securing Rookie of the Year honors in the process. Young will know he has to improve next term if he is to remain the man at Bank of America Stadium and the heir to Cam Newton’s throne. The booked certainly seem to think another season of pain is on the horizon, pricing the Panthers as the rank +25000 outsiders, the longest odds of anyone ahead of the September 7th curtain raiser.

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