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Connor Howes of St. Cloud, Noah Grubbs of Lake Mary invited to Army Bowl games | Recruiting Insider

For Lake Mary rising junior quarterback Noah Grubbs, it was no surprise that he was invited to play in the 2026 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in Frisco, Texas, this past weekend. For St. Cloud rising senior offensive tackle Connor Howes, however, his invite to the 2025 All-American game was something a shock during the Army Bowl Combine Series stop at Bishop Moore Catholic High on Saturday.

Howes, a rising senior, was not at all pleased with his performance as he struggled in a few one-on-one drills against defensive linemen. He was a bit slow with his feet and players were able to get around the big, 6-foot-7, 300-pound Howes. Nonetheless, combine officials saw enough in Howes that he was offered to play in the game, which will be held at the Dallas Cowboys training facility Ford Center.

Numerous Central Florida players stook out in the camp.

“I don’t think I performed to the best of my ability, but at the end of the day I got picked so I guess that’s all that matters,” Howes said. “I was very surprised. I wasn’t expecting it. My one-on-ones weren’t the best, but I guess I did enough to earn it.”

Howes, somewhat of a newcomer on the camp circuit, has some technique issues that will need to be ironed out, but the potential is definitely sky high for the big fella, and Army officials, no doubt, saw something in the St. Cloud blocker.

He just did not feel good about his performance.

Not at all,” he said. “But, hey, a win is a win.”

Howes has five Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offers, including one from UCF.

Grubbs, a rising junior, has been proving himself since his freshman year and is coming off a prolific sophomore season that was one for the record books. He threw for 3,670 yards and 49 touchdowns, leading Lake Mary to a 10-2 record. For state TD passers, Grubbs trailed only Haden Klees of Crawfordville Wakulla, who had 50.

Grubbs was expected to get the bowl game invite. He has 23 FS scholarship offers, including UCF, Florida, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame. He has taken visits to nearly every school that extended him offers.

“It’s definitely a big invite, especially with my dad being a 30-year retired colonel from the U.S. Army,” Grubbs said. “I love to compete with people around the country and around this state and I love to come out here and just work and show people what I have and perfect my craft even more.”

Many of the 55 quarterbacks involved in Saturday’s combine took notice of Grubbs, especially the younger players looking to pick up pointers.

“It’s what I did as a kid and it’s something you have to do, because you are going to grow up and be that guy who people are learning from,” Grubbs said. “It’s just a part of life and you have to keep grinding, knowing people are watching you and they can learn things from you and you can teach things to other people … things that you perfect.”

A number of other Central Florida players were selected as top performers, including: DL Chadwicke Cannon (Port Orange Spruce Creek); DL DeAnthony Lafayette (Lake Nona); DE Jake Kreul (Bishop Moore); LB Kingston Shaw (Apopka); LB Blaze Jones (The First Academy); LB Maurice Jones Jr. (Dr. Phillips); DB Truth Hill (Spruce Creek); QB Dereon Coleman (Jones); QB Will Jackson (Lake Minneola); and WR Charles Woodson Jr. (Lake Nona).

Reactions from these players can be found in another story at OrlandoSentinel.com/sports/highschool/football.

Chris Hays covers high school and college football, as well as college football recruiting. He can be reached via email at chays@orlandosentinel.com.