Big 33 Rosters Announced

Submitted by Six Zero on January 12th, 2009 at 8:29 AM

In my Sunday paper yesterday I noticed that the 2009 Big 33 Game rosters were announced. For the very few who are not familiar with the game, I'll briefly explain: Every year since (I believe) 1957 an annual game has been played between an all-star roster of Ohio high school football players and their counterparts from Pennsylvania. It is generally seen as an honor to be named to the Big 33 roster, and for good reason-- the talent level is considerate and many players can really make an impression on a national level prior to starting their collegiate careers. Perhaps the more impressive statistic is that A BIG 33 PLAYER HAS PLAYED IN EVERY SINGLE SUPER BOWL. Not a bad track record in over forty years. What's also great is that it combines players, perhaps for the first time in their careers, regardless of school size, so you have A school players alongside Quad-A players.

In recent years, I remember memorable Big 33 performances from Terrell Pryor, Chad Henne, Maurice Clarett, etc. In other words, it's a good indicator of future talent.

Anyway, the rosters for this year's game, held in the summer in Hersheypark Stadium, have been announced. Yes, Hershey Chocolate has a town named after it, that also has a theme park, that also has a pretty large football stadium (I believe the fires started there in the previously mentioned Terrell Pryor's light-up-the-field state title performance last year have finally died out, but that's another story).

Some names worth mentioning that register on the Michigan radar, include:
From Ohio:
RB commit Fitzgerald Toussaint
OL visitor Marcus Hall
DB Mike Edwards
DB commit Justin Turner (listed oddly as J.T. Turner)
DB commit Isaiah Bell

and from Pennsylvania:
LB Dan Mason

There were obviously several other players of note on the PA roster but only Mason is the only one I recall who made serious rumblings around here on recruiting lists. One name that stands out (and I'll drop the warning now) is recent Rutgers de-commit/Penn State commit DE Jordan Hill. I watched his state title victory game last year, and I have NEVER seen a Defensive End shape a game as much as this young man did (think Vernon Gholston in the game a few years back x 10!). He could be cause for future concern.

Anyways, what really stood out to me is that Je'Ron Stokes is not going to be one of the wideouts for Pennsylvania. I didn't even really recognize the others at that position, and certainly Stokes has garnered a lot of attention in Eastern PA. AND there's been plenty of Philadelphia talent selected before... very strange.

I'm going to try to make it to the game this summer-- it's not very far from my home and tickets are pretty easy to score. If I do make it there I'll be sure to wear as much Maize n Blue as I can and try to make an impression on our incoming freshmen. I'll also be sure to deliver a strong scouting report to the MgoBlog faithful. Personally I think I'll be there most to get a good look at Fitzgerald Toussaint, who I've never seen play but sounds very promising as a future tailback.




January 12th, 2009 at 9:14 AM ^

I have been going to the Big 33 since I can remember, and there have been some very memorial games. First I just want to start off by stating over the course of the Big 33, it has always consisted of the "elite" players from Pennsylvania going against All-American high school squads (teams consisting of players from all over the nation vs. PA), PA East vs PA West, Texas, Maryland, and most recently Ohio. I have seen some big names come through this game ( especially loved when Steve Breaston played and Chad Henne (who I got to play against at a 7 on 7 camp!)). As mentioned, the SuperBowl has never gone without a football player from the Big 33, so it just shows the caliber of athletes that participate in this game.
Last year my sister was able to get a spot cheerleading for PA, and after the game we were allowed on the field. I was decked out in my Michigan gear, and saw Michael Shaw being interviewed for Ohio Offensive Player of the game, and afterwards I approached him and was able to talk to him and told him how excited I was he was going to become a Wolverine. He was very laid back and down to earth guy and promised a bright future for the Michigan program (which did not happen this year, but the future looks brighter and brighter each day). Definately my most cherished memory of the Big 33, and hopefully a lot more good times to come!
Go Blue!
Also, Pryor did not play in the Big 33 game last year, but he did tear up Hershey in the AA State Championship Game against Dunmore!


January 12th, 2009 at 10:11 AM ^

" (I believe the fires started there in the previously mentioned Terrell Pryor's light-up-the-field STATE TITLE PERFORMANCE last year have finally died out, but that's another story)."

Nowhere did he say that Pryor played in the BIG 33 game.

My wife was amazed the other day when they kept rattling off coaches in the NFL and such that have come from our part of OH. OH is one of the biggest states for football talent in the US. I'm not sure how exactly this happened.

Six Zero

January 12th, 2009 at 10:18 AM ^

No, he's right-- I did say that Pryor played. I didn't research myself and was merely writing from my starting-to-age memory-- I could've sworn TP played in it last year, but then again now I do remember he was all caught up in basketball prior to signing day. But I was wrong, he didn't. Either way, I accept the criticism-- shouldn't post if you don't want to be held accountable.

Some names I definitely remember standing out in the past were Mario Manningham, Pat Devlin in the 2006 scorefest, Kevin Jones, Thad Gibson, that OH QB Mauk... etc

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 10:27 AM ^

His exact words: "In recent years, I remember memorable Big 33 performances from Terrell Pryor, Chad Henne, Maurice Clarett, etc. In other words, it's a good indicator of future talent." It doesn't get much more clear than that. The next time you try to be a wise ass and call someone out on something, you might want to read more carefully before you do it.