San Diego, Miami football players receive Marine Corps leadership award

3 Jan 2013 | Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook 9th Marine Corps District

Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman presented two All-Americans with an Excellence in Leadership award during the Semper Fidelis Bowl banquet Jan. 3.

Coaches nominated players from each team who demonstrated leadership in their daily lives and embodied the Corps' values of honor, courage and commitment. This year, Marine officials selected San Diego native Darren Carrington and Miami resident Ahmad Thomas.

"These two young men have really stood out," said Osterman, former commanding general for Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "I'm proud to see this caliber of athlete out here."

Carrington played for Horizon High School and Thomas attended Miami Central.

"I'm thankful to be recognized," said Carrington, a wide receiver attending the University of Oregon next year. "Every athlete should strive to serve their community."

Thomas said he was surprised to hear his name due to the quality of athletes on the practice field.

"I'm a hard worker, but there were a lot of hard workers here," explained the defensive back who's bound for the University of Oklahoma. "It's difficult to be recognized when you're on a team full of such talent."

The Marine Corps-sponsored Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl takes place at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 4 and will be broadcast live on the NFL Network.

"No player should be happy with just those four or five stars the scouts put next to your name," said Heath Evans, honorary Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl coach and banquet host. "The true leaders are the ones who give back."

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9th Marine Corps District