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December 5, 2008Eric Shrive has held a lot of titles during his tenure at West Scranton High School in Scranton, Pa.
Now he can officially add 'All-American' to the list.
The massive offensive tackle, who has given a verbal commitment to Penn State, was officially selected as one of 90 players that will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl today at a ceremony at his school.
The game will be played on January 3 in San Antonio, and will be broadcast live on NBC. In addition, Rivals.com will provide complete coverage from the week of practice leading up to the game.
"It just feels great to be recognized with guys like Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush, Terrelle Pryor, Tim Tebow... guys like that," he said. "It's pretty big for me to considered in the same category as those guys."
The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Shrive was an All-Region and All-Conference selection as an offensive lineman this season, and was a first-team Class AAA all-state selection a year ago. The 2008 all-state teams have yet to be released. Shrive is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, and is the only Penn State verbal commitment to be ranked in the Rivals100.
The selection was a long-term goal for Shrive, who has had his eye on playing in the game for a long time.
"I've been looking forward to this game since like my freshman year," he said. "I just worked hard and always had it in the back of my mind, and today, I guess my dreams came true. I would also say that if it wasn't for West Scranton, and my coaches and my teammates here, I wouldn't be the person that I am today."
Shrive was presented by a few local members of the U.S. Army, and said on Friday that he was honored to receive the award from those in the military.
"The Army does a lot of things for us so that we can be free," he said. "So to be picked to play in their game is just a great honor. It's a great thing that they're doing, not only to serve all of us, but they're giving high school kids an opportunity to show what they can do on national television."
Next up for Shrive will be a trip to Texas, where he will compete with America's best, not just in the game, but in the week of practice leading up to it. His goal won't just be to prove himself, but to represent Penn State's entire recruiting class.
"I just want to go there and make a name for myself going to Penn State, and I also want to recruit some guys," he said. "I think that our class is underrated this year, and thinks that it's not as good. I just want to make a name for our class and stuff like that."