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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Football: All-American feel in the air

By Sean Ceglinsky

LOS ANGELES -- Jeremiah Allison and Jaydon Mickens slowly walked up to the stage on Thursday afternoon. Purposely or not, the senior tandem from the Dorsey football team took their time, as if they wanted the moment to last for as long as it possibly could.

Jeremiah Allison and Jaydon Mickens
Dorsey players Jeremiah Allison (12), left, and Jaydon Mickens (12) were picked for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Once Mickens and Allison arrived at the podium, former NFL veteran Mark McMillian was standing there. Accordingly, he announced the duo as participants in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and presented them with jerseys for the game Jan. 3 in Phoenix, an event that will feature 100 of the nation's premier prospects in an East vs. West showdown.

With that, suddenly, the pomp and circumstance was over.

Nevertheless, the fleeting minutes beforehand built memories Allison and Mickens won't soon forget. Suppose that best explains their attempt to take in all of the happenings at a leisurely pace. They were not alone, mind you. Bellflower St. John Bosco senior Bryce Treggs did the same thing Wednesday when he was announced to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

“This is the greatest honor any player can have, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,'' Mickens said. “I've been dreaming about something like this for a long time.''

Junior Rank and the United States Marine Corps recently teamed up to make the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl become a reality for Allison, Mickens and Treggs, among others. The festivities are scheduled to take place in accordance with Fiesta Bowl Week and the BCS Bowl. As for the game, it will be nationally televised from Chase Field by CBS Sports.

"Every month, every week, every day, our thing gets bigger and bigger, it's great to be a part of," said McMillian, a coach and operations manager for Junior Rank. "Our vision, our goal, is for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl to become an elite level event. We've received good feedback. The response while we've been here in California has been great. From the all of the players themselves, to their coaches, school administrators and alumni, boosters, it's been more than we could have ever imagined. What an atmosphere. It's something special.

Bryce Treggs and coach Jason Negro
St. John Bosco receiver Bryce Treggs, left, standing with coach Jason Negro, was picked for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
“With the U.S. Marines on board, we're heading in the right direction. We're coming out of the blocks fast in our first year. Sure, there is the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and other high-profile games, but we still plan on setting the bar high. We're not going to play second fiddle to anyone. We're not some mom-and-pop organization. We're no chopped liver, I can tell you that much. This Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl is already taking on a life of its own.''

Being back in the Southland means a bit more to McMillian than most. He is a local product through and through, having graduated from Granada Hills Kennedy in 1987. A two-year stint at Glendale College followed. McMillian went to Alabama (1990-91) for his college ball. He played professionally for eight years, including stops in Philadelphia and Kansas City.

In terms of heading down a similar path, Allison, Mickens and Treggs appear to be right on track. Each is considered a well-known prospect om ESPN Recruiting circles.

Mickens is one of the Los Angeles City's Section's most explosive offensive players. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete does it all. He lines up at receiver most times. The Dons use him at running back too as well as on special teams returning punts and kickoffs. He had several scholarship offers but will stay close to home after committing to USC.

“I'm looking forward to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl,'' Mickens said. “I'm excited for the game. It's going to be fun, everything about it. Once we put on the pads and our helmets, it's going to be all business though. I'm excited to prove myself. I'm not going to stop working until I get to the top, that's how I've made it this far. I'm not changing things up now.''

Speaking of making his way to the top, Allison is on course. The 6-1, 200-pound outside linebacker is one of the country's best at his position. He has many prospects at the next level. Allison is unsigned but has offers from multiple Pac-12 Conference programs.

Treggs, on the other hand, is off the board. The 5-11, 170-pound receiver committed to Cal in mid-July. He has 56 receptions for 1,010 yards, an 18 yards-per-catch average, this season. And his 12 touchdowns rivals that of anyone in the greater Los Angeles area.

“The atmosphere at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl announcement at my school was crazy. It was live,'' Treggs said. “I got to share the experience with my family, some of my closest friends and most of my coaches, just about everyone at St. John Bosco.

“Being able to play in a game like this, in the very first year that it's happening, is a great honor. Was I surprised about being selected? No. I'm a leader, not a follower. A trendsetter. We're going to get the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl started off on the right foot.''

Given the events in the past couple of days, so far so good.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.