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November 5, 2012

U.S. Army invite keeps Boutte motivated

MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl rosters

New Iberia (La.) Westgate offensive lineman Josh Boutte has attended plenty of pep rallies but never one strictly in his honor.

There he was Friday though, the focus of his school's attention as the LSU commitment was presented with his jersey to play in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"I didn't have any idea what to expect," the 6-foot-6, 300-pounder said. "Once I got to the pep rally, they told me what all I'd be doing and I was in shock. I wasn't expecting that at all. It was like I was going somewhere and everybody was chanting for me. The whole school was in the gym and it was a big event."

Selection to the Army All-American Bowl is a big deal. Held annually at the Alamodome in San Antonio and televised on NBC, the game is scheduled for Jan. 5. The contest showcases the nation's top 90 high school football players as selected with input from Rivals.com.

"They talked about how much of a big event it was and all the former NFL players who have been in the game," Boutte said. "They mentioned Andrew Luck and a lot of other guys. The school was surprised because they didn't know what it was. They were happy for me. I got to say a speech in front of the whole school about it being an honor to accept this jersey and play in this game. Everybody was cheering me on."

For many recruits, the game has also become a prime opportunity to announce their college commitment on TV. But Boutte solidified his plans over the summer and he remains firm with LSU.

"It's something that I've watched the game and when they have the hats to say what school they are going to," he said. "It's never something I expected to play in at all. This is another dream come true. LSU was the first dream come true. Being able to play in this game my senior year is something I didn't expect. It's something I'm very proud of myself for doing. It keeps me motivated to keep working hard."

Boutte said he talks to LSU coach Les Miles every other week and already feels like part of the Tiger family.

Westgate completed its season on Friday with a 63-14 win over district rival H.L. Bourgeois to finish 3-7.

"We started off 0-7 and then we started coming back with the wins," Boutte said. "We went out with a bang so I'm happy with that."

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