A few local football stars will cap their high school careers this weekend at a pair of national showcases — the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Bellevue’s Budda Baker and Mountlake Terrace linebacker Devante Downs will participate in the U.S. Army Bowl, which kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. PT at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas and can be viewed on NBCSN. Bellevue defensive tackle Marcus Griffin will take part in the Semper Fidelis Bowl on Sunday at 6 p.m. PT at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. That game can be viewed on Fox Sports 1.
The players have been practicing this week at the bowl locations.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl lists Baker as a defensive back, but the Washington state Player of the Year has said he will be an offensive player first at Oregon. Here is what the bowl says about Baker, a paragraph that appears to be written before he committed to Oregon.
“Baker’s intensity and competitive nature overshadows his lack of height. He is one of the best ball hawks around and shows tremendous skill when closing on a receiver. Baker’s tackling technique overwhelms receivers, limiting the yards they can gain after a catch. His aggressiveness and natural instincts help him thrive in run support and in blitzing downs. Baker is a fearless player who won’t back down, even if that means lowering his shoulder into bigger players.”
Downs is committed to California. Here’s what the bowl wrote about him.
“A duel threat, Downs has the skills to play both linebacker and running back. He is a very physical player on both sides of the ball and dominates opposing running backs when lined up as a linebacker. Downs is extremely quick off the edge and can get after the quarterback in a flash. He has the ability to seal the edge, as well as clog up the middle and stuff the run. His strength allows him to take down the opposition as soon as he gets his hands on them.”