If there were any questions of Derrius Guice’s legacy within the Catholic High School football program, Friday should clear them up.
In front of the Bears’ wall of fame, highlighting former athletes who continued their careers past the high school ranks, Guice received his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey — the first Catholic High player to do so.
He is only the second player in program history to receive an All-America status, following in the footsteps of former Miami Dolphins running back Travis Minor who was named USA Today High School Player of the Year in 1996.
“It just kind of put the ends to my book here,” Guice said. “I played well all three years here and did what I had to do to make it through school here and now it’s coming to a end. Hopefully I’ll be on one of these walls one day when I get to college and hopefully leading on to the NFL.”
Sgt. First Class John Fulton, along with several other representatives from the Army, presented Guice with the No. 15, highlighter-yellow jersey and helmet in front of a small group of local media and some of Guice’s teammates in the school’s weight room.
Guice, an LSU commitment, received the honor just a few days after being named a finalist for the U.S. Army Player of the Year award, which was also on hand at the presentation.
The five-star recruit said he was surprised to learn he was selected for the game, but that it was something he always wanted.
“It’s something I’ve been working for my whole life,” Guice said. “I’m just thankful to the Army for giving me the opportunity to play in this event because they thought I was a very talented player. It’s just an honor to be in this event.”
Catholic coach Dale Weiner said Guice has earned his place among former Bears greats like Warrick Dunn and Minor ever since registering 700 yards rushing while splitting time at the position in his sophomore season.
Three years later and Guice is third all-time in rushing for Catholic High with 3,268 yards and 45 touchdowns on 409 attempts. He also ranks in the top five in total offense with 3,980 total yards.
“I think as far as achievement and ability go, he’s right up there,” Weiner said. “Greatness is not ever really reminding you of somebody else. “Guys like Warrick Dunn stand alone, guys like Travis Minor stand alone and I think Derrius stands alone.”
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is Jan. 3 in San Antonio at the Alamodome.