FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- Jack Carman always dreamed about playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
On Wednesday morning, the nation’s No. 1-rated offensive tackle saw his dream become closer to a reality.
The Fairfield standout offensive lineman received his honorary game jersey from Army Bowl officials almost 11 months to the day he committed to the 18th annual all-star game.
“It’s a great honor,” Carman said. “Before I even got into recruiting, I saw the Army All-American Bowl on TV. It really stuck out to me and it’s crazy that I am playing in it now.”
Carman, 17, was introduced in front of his family, friends, coaches and teammates inside the Community Room at Fairfield High School.
Carman is the first Fairfield football player to officially commit to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, according to Fairfield Athletic Director Mark Harden.
“Obviously it’s huge for our program and for our school to have an All-American,” Fairfield coach Jason Krause said. “A guy of Jack’s stature and what he’s been able to do as a player on the field. I think the recognition he’s earned by that to be in this game is great. It’s the top 100 players in the country. To be in this game is a pretty special deal. We’re really proud of him.”
Krause told WCPO.com he will be an assistant coach in the bowl game.
Carman's parents, Ken and Mary, couldn't be more proud of Jack. Their smiles said it all.
"It's everything," said Mary Carman, Jack's mother. "It's part of the culmination process of all the hard work he's been doing."
The season has played out quickly for those around the Fairfield program entering Week 5. The Indians (2-2, 2-0 Greater Miami Conference) are No. 8 in the Ohio High School Athletic Association computer points standings for Division I, Region 4. (The top eight make the playoffs in each region). Fairfield plays at Princeton (1-3, 1-1 GMC) Friday night.
Every week will be a playoff-like game for the Indians, who have two straight postseason appearances.
However, Wednesday morning was a bit of a glimpse into the future as Carman will participate in a nationally televised game scheduled for Jan. 6, 2018 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Carman, who is 6 feet 7 and 345 pounds, will have signed with a major college football program and have graduated high school by the time he arrives at the all-star game.
Carman, a five-star recruit, will graduate early and plans to have his last day of high school Dec. 22, according to Krause.
He will sign with presumably one of his five finalists during the new NCAA Early Signing Period Dec. 20-22.
Carman said Wednesday morning he’s mostly narrowed it to Ohio State, Clemson and University of Southern California. He will take official visits to those three schools but will also take official visits to Wisconsin and Florida State in the coming weeks.
Carman is the only area football player to have officially committed to the Army Bowl this school year.
He’s the first area player to commit to the game since Elder offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer (Notre Dame), Moeller tight end Jake Hausmann (Ohio State) and La Salle punter Drue Chrisman (Ohio State) were chosen for the 2016 game.
Lakota West senior middle linebacker Xavier Peters is committed to the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 6 p.m.
Miamisburg offensive lineman Josh Myers (Ohio State) played in the 2017 Army Bowl. St. Xavier quarterback Sean Clifford (Penn State) and St. Xavier offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst (Clemson) were selected for the Under Armour All-America Game in 2017 but did not play due to injuries.