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January 2, 2008SAN ANTONIO - Over the years the city of Chicago has been a truly underrated source of talent, and this year the Windy City provides stars like Darius Fleming to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Upon arriving Fleming was excited about the chance to follow in the foot steps of other well known Land of Lincoln products.
"Oh definitely you know this is a great opportunity, I never saw myself in this position," Fleming said. "You know, accomplishment is always recognized so this is a great opportunity for me and I'm just going to cherish it and do my best down here"
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker has faced great competition with fellow Army All-American Steven Filer, but admits that the trip to San Antonio is an eye opening opportunity. He says the stage is a bit less overwhelming due to so many of his future teammates accompanying him.
"You know we have a lot of guys down here," he said. "A lot of people don't have that. We're just going to take advantage of that and just see what we can do on the field right now. There are going to be a lot of us together so we can just have some fun and see what we're going to have next year at Notre Dame."
In the game Fleming will have a chance to chase his future quarterback, Dayne Crist, around the field and it's an opportunity he is relishing.
"I can punch Dayne a little bit because he's not on my team yet," he said laughing. "During practice though I just want to make myself a better football player and try to do my best."
Like many players Fleming is still enamored with the opportunity of playing in San Antonio, and says that it wasn't until just recently that it set in that he was in fact a U.S. Army All-American.
"It really came into me when I started training for it. My trainer really pushed me and said you've got to be ready for this game so that's when I knew I was training for something real big right here," he said.
• More Army All-American Bowl Coverage | U.S. Army All-American Bowl Rosters