Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) coach Gary Swenson understands first-hand the level of talent in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Swenson was one of the coaches in the 2015 edition in San Antonio.
When he looks at Valley star guard John Raridon, he sees a player who belongs.
“He would’ve measured up very well with those guys (who played on the offensive line in the 2015 game),” Swenson said. “And they were all four- and five-star recruits. Nobody plays in that game unless they’re a high-BCS-level recruit.”
Raridon is certainly that. He is ranked as the No. 1 player overall in the state of Iowa, the No. 2 guard in the nation and the No. 76 player in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He committed to Nebraska in September 2014. His father, Scott, was an All-American offensive lineman for the Huskers.
Raridon received his honorary jersey for the Army Bowl when the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance came to his school.
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Aside from winning a state title, Raridon has been focusing on improving for the next level.
“The past couple years I’ve been more physically dominant than some of the players I’ve played against,” he said. “It’s going to be a huge focus for me to have good footwork, so when I go to college and I’m up against Division-I linemen I can compete as good as I can.”
Contributing: The Des Moines Register