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November 30, 2010ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour | U.S. Army AA announcement tour gallery
The latest stop for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection tour was Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard, where one of the nation's top student-athletes, safety Wayne Lyons, was honored and presented his East jersey.
"I felt it was a great honor to be named an Army All-American because it has been a dream of mine to be an All-American in high school," Lyons said. "I definitely feel like my hard work has paid off and it is a blessing and a great opportunity for me now."
During the latter part of his senior season, the 6-foot, 190-pound safety missed some time due to a knee injury. That injury will not derail his plans of playing in the Jan. 8 game in San Antonio, Texas.
"I am already good," Lyons said. "I am healthy and ready to play. I will be back in action."
For Lyons, the competition level in San Antonio is something he is looking forward to.
"That is always a player's dream, to play against the best of the best," Lyons said. "It just makes your game even better by going against the best of the best. I am looking forward to playing against all of them great players."
The Rivals250 prospect admits though that he realizes it is an all-star event and something that he needs to enjoy, as it will conclude his prep career.
"The main thing is to have fun because whenever you have fun, you play good," Lyons said. "I want to have a big game and stay healthy. I hope everybody else stays healthy."
Lyons is one of more than a dozen Florida prospects in the game. While he is looking forward to playing alongside his Sunshine State brethren, he has been speaking with two out-of-state prospects about the event.
"I have been talking to Ant (Anthony) Sarao and Miles Shuler about it," Lyons said. "I just talked with Miles Shuler about it while on the Stanford visit. He is playing with the East as a wide receiver and Anthony Sarao is playing as a linebacker."
"Stanford was pretty good," Lyons said. "I had a pretty good time. I got a chance to see every one of the aspects of Stanford like campus life, school-wise, and athletic-wise. I got a chance to meet Condoleezza Rice. I really got a chance to see the football team and how they balance themselves into the campus."
A major reason why Stanford is among Lyons' list of finalists is the value of a Stanford degree combined with the recent success on the football field.
"It is definitely a good balance because it is ranked as one of the top schools in the nation for academics, like an Ivy League school, and for football, they are ranked No. 4 in the nation right now," Lyons said.
Stanford marked his third of five officials.
Those five schools are not the only ones that remain in the picture for his services at this time.
The four-star prospect spoke a bit about the in-state Gators.
"Florida has a lot to offer," Lyons said. "Right now they are short at defensive back. Next year coming back really their only safety is Matt Elam, so they definitely need help in their secondary."
As for Auburn, it has a lot of ties to Dillard High School and is in position to play for the national title.
"Auburn is riding high right now and they are looking to bring in some defensive backs next year as well," Lyons said. "They have a pipeline from my high school, so there is definitely a connection there."
At this point, the seven schools under consideration by Lyons are all on equal footing.
"It isn't in any kind of order," Lyons said. "I want to see how these last two announcements go and I will go from there."
A leader will emerge over the next month though as Lyons intends to make his decision known on national television.
"I am going to make my announcement at the Army game," Lyons said.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is in its 11th year and will be televised by NBC.