It was a fitting end to a standout season for the Chargers. Days after helping his team achieve victory at Utah’s 6A Football Championships, Corner Canyon High’s strong-side defensive end Van Fillinger was awarded his All-American Bowl jersey before an auditorium of cheering peers.
To be chosen for the All-American Bowl is a rare distinction reserved for the nation’s top players. Fillinger, ranked Utah’s No. 2 football recruit, is among three players chosen from the Beehive State to play for the western team.
“It’s a pretty big step,” Fillinger told KSLTV, an affiliate of NBC, which will air the All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 at noon. “There’s really nothing more that I could ask for from my high school experience. I was lucky enough to take part in two state championships and now I’m getting to play in the All-American Bowl. It’s been a dream ever since I was little. It’s really a blessing.”
Fillinger credits the support of his family and his coaches, and the competitive camaraderie of his teammates. Originally committed to play collegiately for the Texas Longhorns, the back-to-back Utah state champion de-committed and is back on the market with at least four college offers already extended. He was named to the Deseret News’ 2018 5A All-State first team his junior year during which he helped lead the Chargers to a championship victory and was credited with 65 tackles and 5 sacks. He also was named to the 2018 American Family Insurance All-USA Utah Football Team.
The Chargers’ head coach Eric Kjar says Fillinger is deserving of these honors. At 6-3 and 255-pounds, he is a strong and gifted player, but what really distinguishes Fillinger, says Kjar, is “his dedication and the way he practiced” and performed every day on the field.