Aledo offense lineman and four-star recruit Chuck Filaga and six other top college prospects provided plenty of sideline activity Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome.
The seven All-Americans announced their college choice during the NBC (KXAS/Ch. 5) national broadcast of the 17th annual game.
Filiaga chose Michigan. National signing day is Feb. 1.
“Go Blue,” Filiaga said to his grandmother Edith McCoy as he visited with family members and Aledo coach Steve Wood during the sideline event near the end of the second quarter.
Then he handed the Michigan cap to his mother, Judy McCoy, and said “All right guys, we just made a touchdown. I gotta go, PAT.”
Filiaga had narrowed his choices to the Wolverines, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
“It’s great to be over with,” said Filiaga, whose West team lost to the East 27-17 before a U.S. Army Bowl-record 40,568 in attendance. “It was great to say where I was going. I feel a lot of weight off my shoulders now that recruiting’s finally over.
“It was great playing against the other guys. This whole week was about bonding with each other because we’re all over the country.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh visited Filiaga’s home during the Bearcats’ playoff run, and he spoke to the team.
“I had my thoughts, and that’s where I thought,” Wood said of Filiaga’s decision. “He really liked Harbaugh, and he felt at home up there, so that’s what’s important.”
Filiaga, who moved to Aledo from California last summer, is ready for Division I football, Wood said.
“It’s all about his attitude, which he’s got a great one,” Wood said. “There’s going to be a lot of ‘Chuck’s’ out there playing at the next level.
“It’s not going to be like the high school game was for him, but he can handle it. There’ll be a learning curve and a growing experience, but he’s a big boy and he’s very capable.”
Also Saturday, South Grand Prairie cornerback Jeffrey Okudah picked Ohio State, and Wylie East running back Eno Benjamin chose Arizona State.
The day’s top decision came from Foster Sarell, an offensive tackle who played for Graham-Kapowsin High School in Graham, Wash.
“For the next four years I am going to be attending ...” Sarell said as he picked up a hat during the broadcast. “Stanford University.”
“It’s been amazing,” Sarell added. “That’s been my dream school since I was a little kid. I think I just followed my heart and it led me to the right place.”
DeSoto quarterback Shawn Robinson, a four-star recruit for TCU, and Kennedale linebacker Baron Browning, a four-star recruit and an Ohio State commit, are headed to their schools for the spring semester and spring football.
“It was a great chance just to be out here with all these great guys, and just to play the game,” Robinson said of Saturday’s game.
Browning said he’s headed to Ohio State on Sunday.
“It’s all I’m looking forward to now,” Browning said. “Nothing else matters but getting on campus Monday.”