With its first game in 1985, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl became a showcase for the nation’s best high school football players. The game has a rich history of future standout college and NFL players.
Like the list of best wide receivers to play in the game, this list has a little SEC flavor.
This year’s game is Saturday (1 p.m. ET, NBC) at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Alabama fans will be watching Tua Tagovailoa closely, while Georgia commitment Jake Fromm will also be in action this weekend.
Today, we’ll look at the best quarterbacks to play in the Army All-American Bowl:
5. A.J. McCarron, Alabama
The Mobile, Ala., native committed to the Crimson Tide before his senior year at St. Paul’s Episcopal School and participated in the 2009 Army All-American Bowl.
He redshirted in 2009 as Alabama won the BCS Championship, then threw only 38 passes in 2010 as a backup to Greg McElroy.
McCarron competed with Phillip Sims for the starting job in his sophomore year before winning it and making 40 starts in the last three years of his career in Tuscaloosa.
All he did in college was set the school record for passing yards (9,019), touchdowns (77) and passer rating (162.5). As a senior, he was an All-American and won both the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas awards.
The Cincinnati Bengals chose him in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he’s been backing up Andy Dalton since then. He has 854 yards and six touchdowns in seven career games and has done enough to be a potential trade target for teams in the offseason.
4. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
A 4-star recruit from Miami, Bridgewater played in the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl before heading to Louisville.
He began his true freshman season as a backup, but took over as the starter in Week 4 and never looked back.
Bridgewater finished his three-year stint in Louisville with 9,817 yards, 72 touchdowns and a passer rating of 157.2 — all of which ranks him in the top three in school history.
He came out early, initially projected as an early first-round pick, but fell all the way to the Minnesota Vikings with the 32nd overall selection.
In his first two NFL seasons, he made 28 starts while throwing for 6,150 yards and 28 touchdowns. A tear of his left ACL last August forced him to miss the 2016 season, and his recovery is ongoing.
3. Tim Tebow, Florida
Tebow was a 5-star recruit and one of the gems of Urban Meyer’s 2006 recruiting class at the University of Florida. Once there, he proceeded to have one of the best careers in the history of the sport.
He was part of two national championship teams at Florida (2006 and 2008), and won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore in 2007.
His career numbers include 9,285 passing yards and 88 touchdowns, while adding another 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns on the ground. Tebow left school with 28 Florida records and 14 more SEC marks.
The Denver Broncos made him the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and he appeared in nine games as a rookie, making three starts and throwing for 654 yards and five touchdowns while adding another 227 yards and six scores on the ground.
After Kyle Orton’s bumpy start in 2011 in a 1-4 start, Tebow became the starter and had his best season as a pro. He won a playoff game against Pittsburgh and finished the year with 1,729 passing yards and 12 touchdowns in addition to 660 yards and six scores on the ground.
After signing Peyton Manning, the Broncos traded Tebow to the New York Jets before the 2012 season, where he was used primarily as a backup. He was released after the season, and has not appeared in a regular-season game since.
In his career, he has thrown for 2,422 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 989 yards and 12 scores.
2. Vince Young, Texas
Young, a highly touted prospect out of Houston, wrapped up a sterling high school career by winning the Pete Dawkins Trophy for Most Valuable Player at the 2002 Army event.
He played his college ball at the University of Texas, where he redshirted as a freshman. In his debut season, he split time with Chance Mock before taking hold of the starting job for good as a redshirt sophomore.
Young produced in each of his three seasons, but he saved his best for his redshirt junior campaign. He became the first player to pass for 3,000 yards while rushing for 1,000 as the Longhorns went 12-0 with a Rose Bowl triumph over Southern Cal to win the BCS crown.
He won every major award he could that season, other than the Heisman Trophy, which has since been vacated by Reggie Bush. In total, he threw for 6,040 yards and 44 touchdowns while rushing for 3,127 yards and 37 more scores.
Tennessee made him the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, but after some initial flashes of his college ability, injuries and off-the-field issues eventually shortened his professional career.
He threw for 8,964 yards and 46 touchdowns while rushing for 1,459 yards and 12 more scores in his six NFL seasons.
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
Luck was a consensus top-five quarterback recruit in the Class of 2008, and after participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he wound up playing for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.
He took a redshirt in 2008 and won the starting job the following season, throwing for 2,575 yards and 13 touchdowns in the Cardinal’s run-heavy scheme.
The Houston product blossomed in his sophomore and junior seasons, finishing his standout career with 9,430 yards and 82 touchdowns while rushing for another 957 yards and 12 scores.
Luck was the first overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft — a move that made Manning expendable.
He’s been a fixture in the lineup since Day 1, setting the rookie record for passing yards with 4,374 while adding 23 touchdowns.
Luck has led the Colts to a pair of AFC South titles while being named to three Pro Bowls. In his career, he has 19,078 yards and 132 touchdown passes. He’s also rushed for 1,442 yards and 14 scores.