CARSON, Calif. --
The Marine Corps and Junior Rank kicked off the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl selection tour during a press conference at the Home Depot Center, Sept. 22. Buhach Colony High School offensive tackle, Aaron Cochran, became the first player to receive his official game jersey.
The second annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, scheduled to be played at the Home Depot Center on January 4, 2013, is part of a partnership between the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Junior Rank. The game, which will be nationally televised on NFL Network, is an East-West format all-star game featuring players who have shown tremendous football skills, as well as great character, leadership ability and academic excellence.
“It’s a huge honor to be here and to be recognized for my ability and what you see in me,” said Cochran, the 6’8”, 360lb. lineman. “I’m happy I get to represent my little town of Atwater, California.”
Cochran is not the first player to represent Atwater in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. His older brother, Matt Cochran, currently an offensive lineman at the University of California-Berkeley, played in the 2012 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix. According to the younger Cochran, his brother is a role model he looks up to.
“[Matt] has been my idol when I play football,” said Cochran. “I look up to him. Everything I do on the football field, all my advice, comes from him.”
Cochran is wise to take advice from his brother; Matt Cochran and many other players from last year’s inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl have already made their presence felt at the next level.
“The quality of football is pretty great,” said Shaon Berry, CEO, Junior Rank. “When you take a look at the game we played last year, many of the athletes from the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl are now starting on college rosters as freshman.”
In addition to his brother, Cochran’s mother, father and other extended family members made the trip from Atwater to see him accept his invitation and game jersey.
Presenting Cochran with his official game jersey was Maj. Matthew P. Zummo, commanding officer, Recruiting Station Orange County, Calif. He explained to those in attendance what it takes to be a Semper Fidelis All-American athlete.
“We look for balanced excellence,” said Zummo. “We don’t just look for someone who excels only as an athlete or someone who excels only as a student. We look for student-athletes who excel on the football field, in the classroom and most importantly, in their community.”
Cochran has demonstrated excellence in each of those areas. His skills on the field have earned him nearly a dozen athletic scholarship offers. Even without his tremendous athletic ability, Cochran is a prime college candidate. He has maintained a 3.8 grade point average in high school and impacts his community as an active member of his church.
Following his press conference, Cochran took to the field that he will play on in January and was given an ovation from the more than 20,000 soccer fans in attendance for the L.A. Galaxy’s game against Toronto.
In the coming weeks, more Semper Fidelis All-Americans will be recognized as the selection tour winds its way across the country, visiting the players’ high-schools to present them their jersey in front of their peers. The next stops on the selection tour are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles and Atlanta on Sept. 28.To see Cochran and the rest of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl athletes in action, tune in to the game at 6:00 p.m., PST, Jan. 4, 2013, on NFL Network. To learn more about the 2nd Annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, visit www.facebook.com/SemperFidelisFootball