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January 6, 2012
SAN ANTONIO - He was the first one standing, leading the applause when his fellow U.S. Army All-Americans won their individual awards.
But when it came time for his moment, when Dorial Green-Beckham heard his name announced as the winner of the Ken Hall Trophy that goes to the U.S. Army Player of the Year, he just dropped his head, almost embarrassed by the recognition.
The moment probably epitomizes Green-Beckham. Though he has all the stats, he doesn't view himself as a star. A team guy, through and through.
"For me to get this honor in a room full of these guys, where everybody's so good - I don't know what to say," he said. "I'm just from a small town from Missouri."
It's a theme Green-Beckham of Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest has preached all week. He's never been quite able to figure out why he's getting so much attention - from fans, from his fellow players.
It's not hard for others to understand. He is, after all, the nation's No. 1 overall recruit by Rivals.com, a position he's had all season.
And he did have an unstoppable senior season, catching 119 passes for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns on the way to breaking the national record for receiving yards with 6,447.
He has not made a decision on where he'll attend college. And unlike many others, he will not announce his pick until after making all of his college visits.
Nearby schools Missouri and Arkansas join Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama as his finalists. All of those schools will hold a scholarship for him. Those schools realize he's a big star - even if Green-Beckham does not.
The other two big awards went to Darius Hamilton of Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep (American Family Defensive Player of the Year) and D.J. Humphries of Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek (Anthony Munoz Award for top lineman).
It's the second Defensive Player of the Year award for Hamilton, who was honored by RivalsHigh last month.
Winning, however, is never expected.
"To be selected in a room full of these guys; that's amazing," Hamilton said. "Especially for a defensive lineman. Sometimes I wonder if people even notice me."
Quarterbacks sure did.
Hamilton had 72 tackles and 21 sacks in just 11 games for Don Bosco, which finished No. 2 in the final RivalsHigh 100.
The team that finished No. 1, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity was led by Bob Beatty, who won the National Coach of the Year award.
Graham Shuler of Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy won the Blanchard Award and Kyle Murphy of San Clemente (Calif.) High won the Davis Award. The honors go to the players who best exemplify athletic performance combined with academic achievement and community service.