Wednesday was Super Hero Day at Placer High School.
Some paraded around the Auburn campus decked in Spider-Man garb or donned a Superman shirt. At least two guys were painted green - The Hulk, presumably.
And there's Eddie Vanderdoes.
He goes about his business as...well....himself, and could pass the role of Hulk if only he'd dip himself in green. The affable senior may downplay his playing prowess, but he's pretty much deemed super-human good in shoulder pads and a helmet.
The national recruit defensive end is headed to USC on scholarship, and before that, he's headed to San Antonio this winter to compete in the U.S. Army All-American Game.
The 6-foot-4, 303-pound captain was formally named to the U.S. Army team in a presentation in the school's weight room. Vanderdoes requested that his entire team be there - including those in green paint or with a Green Lantern T-shirt. Family, other friends, coaches, boosters, administrators and media packed in to view Vanderdoes in his moment as he slipped on a jersey and thanked his mates for helping get him to this point.
In recent years, James Sample, Vei Moala and Shaq Thompson of Grant have participated in the showcase game.
"It's a great honor," Vanderdoes said. "I've watched the game on TV for years and always wanted to be in it."
Placer coach Joey Montoya raved about his leader's character and ability, making him a natural for this showcase event.
"It's not so much the great player that he is, but it's the great person that he is that we all love," Montoya said. "As a coach when you talk to recruiters, you put your reputation on the line. You have to be honest. With Eddie on his ability and character, it's easy."
As for recruiting, Vanderdoes said he is firm on his USC verbal commitment despite Internet and social media reports that he was wavering, including from recruiting websites. Simply not true, Vanderdoes said.
Vanderdoes said he will go on recruiting trips to LSU and Cal, in addition to USC. USC coaches know he is going to make other visits, per the norm for heavily recruited athletes. Letter of intent day is in February.
"I'm going to make those visits because it's a great opportunity," Vanderdoes said. "It doesn't mean I'm hesitating on USC at all. I owe it to myself to take those trips."
Placer is 5-0 with visions of a state bowl bid.
- Joe Davidson
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