Recruiting: Georgia LB Jomier Augustine, RB Jonathan Andrews join 2018 class

Jeff Monken has placed major emphasis on recruiting the state of Georgia since taking over Army coach in late 2013.

The efforts of Army’s staff was rewarded Monday when the Black Knights received not one but two commitments from the Peach State.

Collins Hill linebacker Jomier Augustine and Dutchtown running back Jonathan Andrews posted their intentions to attend and play football at West Point.

Augustine, who visited Army on the weekend of July 21-23, is being recruited to play middle linebacker. The 6-foot, 217-pound senior made 93 tackles his junior year. Among the schools offering Augustine, who hails from the same high school as Army senior safety Rhyan England, were The Citadel, Stetson and Howard.

Andrews, who had an offer from Navy, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, according to Recruit Georgia.

Augustine and Andrews are the third and fourth Georgia commits in Army’s 2018 class.

In other recruiting news: Springfield (Ohio) linebacker Cameron Hoelscher announced his commitment to Army Saturday. Hoelscher had offers from Air Force, Kentucky, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo.

High school seniors from 19 states have committed to Army. Here’s a breakdown: Texas (9); Georgia (4); Pennsylvania (4); Virginia (4); Florida (3); North Carolina (3); Ohio (3); Tennessee (3); Alabama (2); Louisiana (2); Michigan (2); Missouri (2); California (1); Connecticut (1); Indiana (1); Maryland (1); Oklahoma (1); South Carolina (1); Wisconsin (1).

2018 commits (48)

RB Jonathan Andrews, 6-foot, 185, Dutchtown HS, Hampton, Ga.: Other offers – Navy. (COMMITTED, August 7)
LB Jomier Augustine, 6-foot, 217, Collins Hill HS, Suwanee, Ga.
OL Sam Backenstoe, 6-3, 263, Davidson HS, Hillard, Ohio: First offer – Army.
*LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
*DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
WR Cole Caterbone, 6-foot, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Other offers – Iowa, Rutgers, Cincinnati, East Carolina (COMMITTED, July 25)
DE-TE Nolan Cockrill, 6-3, 230, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, June 4)
QB Garrett Cody, 5-10, 180, Rockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 1)
*K Matteo Cordray, 5-10, 155, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas.: (COMMITTED, July 23)
TE-LB Trevor Cosenke, 6-3, 212, John Champe HS, Aldie, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 28)
S Zion Davis-Thompson, 6-2, 175, North Stafford HS, Stafford, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 31)
LB Morgan Ernst, 6-foot, 195, Webb HS, Knoxville, Tenn.: (COMMITTED, May 14)
DE Damir Faison, 6-foot-2, 240, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Other offers – Maryland, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Georgia State. Former Appalachian State commit. (COMMITTED, July 7)
CB Khalil Fleming, 5-11, 163, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Air Force, May 22. (COMMITTED, April 19)
*DE Chris Frey, 6-5, 225, Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
*LS Cale Garrison, 5-10, 215, The Woodlands (Texas) HS: Offered after attending Army prospect camp on June 4. (COMMITTED, June 5)
*WR-CB Will Hankins, 6-2, 175, Munford (Tenn.) HS: (COMMITTED, June 26)
OL Blake Harris, 6-1, 299, Ben Lippon School, Columbia, S.C.: (COMMITTED, August 3).
QB-RB Tionne Harris, 5-9, 178, Vianney HS, St. Louis, Mo.: Led Vianney to its first state title, passing for 2,549 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 1,502 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
LB Cameron Hoelscher, 6-2, 219, Springfield (Ohio) HS. Other offers: Air Force, Kentucky, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo. (COMMITTED, August 5)
LB Chris Hunter, 6-2, 225, Austin-East HS, Knoxville, Tenn.
DE Henry Janeway, 6-5, 215, Utica Eisenhower HS, Shelby Township, Mich.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Eastern Michigan, Ball State. Army visit – July 24 (COMMITTED, July 30)
LB Tim Johns, 6-3, 230, Greenwood (Ind.) HS: First FBS offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 12)
*DL Tim Kater, 6-3, 265, Steelton-Highspire HS, Steelton, Pa.: First commit of 2018 class. Brother of former Army tight end Kelvin White. Other offers – Delaware, Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State. (COMMITTED, April 12)
S Ja’ren Kenyatta, 6-1, 190, Urbana HS, Ijamsville, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 26)
*OL Drew Kraatz, 6-6, 240, Standish-Sterling HS, Standish, Mich.: (COMMITTED, April 27)
*LS Brendan Knoespel, 6-foot, 210, Antonian Prep HS, San Antonio, Texas: Other offer – Air Force. (COMMITTED, May 25)
OL Nick Kotok, 6-4, 285, Moon Area HS, Moon, Pa.: (COMMITTED, June 28)
*K Miller Kronk, 6-2, 195, London (Ohio) HS: First offer – Army. Army unofficial visit: May 24. (COMMITTED, June 1)
DL Kenese Leomiti, 6-4, 275, Calallen HS, Corpus Christi, Texas: (COMMITTED, August 2)
*DE Ryan Matz, 6-3, 235, East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: (COMMITTED, June 22)
LB Brandon Mays, 6-foot, 210, Viera (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Buffalo. (COMMITTED, July 21)
FB Elliott McElwain, 6-foot, 215, Hewitt-Trussville HS, Trussville, Ala. (COMMITTED, July 4)
*DB Braheam Murphy, 5-10, 160, Harding University HS, Charlotte, N.C.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 4)
LB Troy Nachtigal, 6-foot, 205, Fort Atkinson (Wis.) HS: Brother, James, is Army junior linebacker. First offer – Army.
RB Keyshawn Palmer, 5-11, 200, Marbury (Ala.) HS: (COMMITTED, July 26)
*QB-WR A.J. Payne, 6-1, 193, Americus-Sumter HS, Americus, Ga. (COMMITTED, July 4)
OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
*DL Hunter Richard, 6-3, 270, Edmond (Okla.) North HS: Other offers – Princeton, Abilene Christian. (COMMITTED, June 21)
CB Torey Richardson, 6-foot, 180, Tomball Memorial (Texas) HS: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
OL Harmon Saint Germain, 6-foot-5, 280, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: (COMMITTED, July 6)
LB Duncan Van Kouteren, 6-3, 205, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS
LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB-WR Travis West, 6-foot, 180, Woodrow Wilson HS, Dallas, Texas: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB David Woodward, 5-11, 180, Mout Pisgah Christian School, Alpharetta, Ga.: (COMMITTED, July 30)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa.: (COMMITTED, July 6)

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Wide Receiver Update: Cline climbing depth chart

The route and catch impressed Army coach Jeff Monken.

Sophomore Kjetil (pronounced “Jetil”) Cline caught a post route at the end of the Commander in Chief’s period (live scrimmage) during Wednesday’s practice.

Cline, a scout-team player as a freshman, has taken advantage of his chances as returning senior starting wide receiver Jeff Ejekam works his way to practicing fully with the team.

“You just get more comfortable with the offense from working hard through summer and spring,” said Cline, who played in one game for Army last season. “The entire team has been working hard and everyone is ready to step up and make plays. I was just getting the opportunity and I made the play (the catch on post route).”

Cline and senior Jermaine Adams were the first-team receivers during Saturday’s practice with sophomore Christian Hayes and Chris Gregg lined up with the second team.

“He’s put himself in position to make some plays in this camp already,” Monken said of Cline earlier this week. “Physically, he’s developed so much from last year. He looks like a different kid.”

Cline played his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla after two seasons at East Ridge High in Woodbury, Minn.

“It (IMG) got me prepared for this with being away from home and being with a good group of guys who worked hard,” Cline said. “We work harder here.”

Ejekam missed the first four practices due to disciplinary reasons, Monken said. He should have enough practices to work in with the receivers early this week.

Monken said earlier in the week that Ejekam would, “be a guy that’s certainly at the top (of the depth chart). He’s a returning starter.”

Sophomore Glen Coates hadn’t been able to practice without restriction as of Saturday. Monken said Coates injured his knee during summer training.

Adams started a few games last season and Monken said, “he’s played some and enough to know what to do and have the confidence to go in and do it. He’s not as fast as some of the other guys we got. We got to make it work with him. He’s a great kid, works really hard and he’ll help us.”

When asked if the receivers collectively as a group can replaced the production of 2016 senior Edgar Poe, Monken said, “I think all of those guys are going to have to play. None of them are like Edgar. Edgar was really a talented guy. I wish we could get another guy like that and whole of them like that because he was a very willing blocker and he was a good enough athlete to handle that no matter who it was.

“He wasn’t mauling people and sending them into the water jugs but he just kept people off of the ball carriers and when you threw the guy the ball he had a better chance than the other guy to come down with it. He was really good. We don’t have anybody like that. I don’t know if I’ll ever coached another (receiver) like that.”

Edgar Poe and his brother, Christian, a sophomore in 2016, combined for 26 of Army’s 54 receptions last season. Christian Poe is no longer at the academy.

Monken said Army has some young receivers, “that I’m excited to see develop, long guys built like the Poe brothers. Not blazing fast but neither were those guys.” The coach didn’t mention any names. But, I’m assuming he was talking about freshmen Cam Harrison and Jon Hamilton.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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August 5 practice blog

Army coach Jeff Monken’s post-practice speech went a little longer than usual.

Saturday was the first time that Army’s upperclassmen and freshmen fully practiced together.

Monken wasn’t pleased with the sense of urgency at points in the practice.

“I’m not sure we did a great job of it today, showing those guys what it means to practice our best and maximize our reps,” Monken said. “I talked to our guys about it after practice. Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow. I think there’s times where we compete hard and we compete well. It’s just got to be all of the time, here especially.

“We can’t do any walk-through, tag football here. We got to tackle and block and it’s got to be very physical. There’s times where it’s good and times where it’s not what we need it to be.”

Attentive Anderson: It usually takes a while for most true freshmen quarterbacks to pick up any college offense, let alone Army’s triple-option attack.  Christian Anderson has proved to be a quick study. In just his fifth practice, Anderson was taking meaningful snaps.

Army is set at quarterback with senior Ahmad Bradshaw returning as the starter and junior Chris Carter and sophomore Kelvin Hopkins compete for the backup position. But, Anderson has impressed Monken and his staff.

“I think he’s going to be a good player,” Monken said of Anderson. “He’s got to develop physically. He’s got a lot of skills. He throws the ball really well. He’s fast. He’s a quick learner. He’s really done a great job with learning the offense. That’s been the most impressive thing in how he’s picked things up.

“To be the quarterback this year is going to be a struggle for him. I hope he doesn’t have to be. I hope we don’t have to play a freshman quarterback, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a good player or going to be a good player.”

Anderson threw for 3,653 yards, the second-highest total in New York state history, in his senior season at Cardinal Hayes. Anderson’s 37 touchdown passes in 2016, were the fifth-best total by a New York quarterback.

First-team offense (from my observations): QB Ahmad Bradshaw; FB Andy Davidson; SB Kell Walker; SB John Trainor; WR Jermaine Adams; WR Kjetil Cline; LT Alex Herndon; LG Josh Boylan; C Bryce Holland; RG Jaxson Deaton; RT Brett Toth.

Second-team offense: QB Kelvin Hopkins; FB Darnell Woolfolk; SB Jordan Asberry; SB Donovan Franklin; WR Christian Hayes; WR Chris Gregg; LT Jeff Panara; C Connor Simpson; RG Jack Sides; RT T Schuffert

First-team defense: DE John Voit; NT Andrew McLean; DE Ray Wright; LB Alex Aukerman; LB Kenneth Brinson; LB James Nachtigal; LB Scott Washle; CB Elijah Riley; CB Jalen Sharp; S Rhyan England; S Jaylon McClinton.

Second-team defense: DE Wunmi Oyetuga; NT Cordarrell Davis; DE Amadeo West; LB Bayle Wolf; LB Jake Ellington; LB Cole Christiansen; LB Ryan Parker; CB Mike Reynolds; CB Zach Scott; S Gibby Gibson; S Max Regan.

Special teams notes: Junior Nick Schrage, senior Blake Wilson and junior John Abercrombie alternated on kickoffs. Abercrombie, who was the kicker for Army’s sprint football team last fall, made a 35-yard field goal at end of scrimmage-like conditions.

Practice observations/highlights: Junior fullback Andy Davidson busted up the middle for a big gain during scrimmage-like conditions…Sophomore linebacker Ryan Grady showed great concentration, tipping a pass to himself for an interception…Sophomore safety Jaylon McClinton recovered a fumble…Freshman slotback Donnell Diego made a nice catch falling to the ground during 1-on-1s. (see below for video)

VIDEO: The goal of Army’s offensive line is to be the best in the country this season. Josh Boylan and Bryce Holland talk about the line’s progress and its bonding this summer, which included an annual rafting trip.

VIDEO: Army linebackers engage in a shuffling drill

VIDEO: Check out this catch by freshman slotback Donnell Diego

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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August 2 practice blog

Army’s first full-pads practice of the preseason was moved inside to the Foley Athletic Center due to thunderstorms in the West Point area.

Sophomore cornerback Elijah Riley said he felt an adrenaline rush with his first hit during practice.

“It’s nice to be able to pop again,” Riley said.

What did sophomore running back Kell Walker think of Army’s first full-contact preseason practice?

“It was faster than usual,” Walker said. “We had guys on the ground. As a slotback, we were trying to work hard on perfecting our craft and cut-blocking and low blocking. It was a crazy day.”

Riley, Walker and their teammates should enjoy the full-contact practices when they can. Coach Jeff Monken said his team isn’t going to be in full pads for the preseason as much as they have in the past. Monken cited injuries concerns as the main reason. Read my story on the topic here.

Senior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam practiced for the first time this preseason. Monken said Ejekam, a returning starter, missed Army’s first four practices due to a “disciplinary issue.” Ejekam caught nine passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in nine starts last season.

“He will be out in shorts and a helmet (Friday) and then shells the next two days,” Monken said. “He’ll follow the protocol and then, he’ll be back to full speed. He’s really the only veteran we got over there. There isn’t anybody else.”

Kicking update: Special teams was one of Army’s major weaknesses last season as kickers made just 50 percent of their field goals and punters averaged just 35.1 yards per kick. Asked Monken if five practices were enough to evaluate kicking and punting competitions and if freshmen were in the mix and he said, “We are going to give them all a shot and we see how it plays out.”

Monken said senior kicker Blake Wilson, “has really improved. He’s gotten so much better. I think just being out there and being the guy last year after Mitch (Howard) got hurt gave him some confidence even though he missed some kicks and didn’t perform how we hoped. He’s really kicking the ball better and striking it really well.

“There’s a couple of young kickers that I think are doing a good job already. We’ll find out more as we get through camp and just see how Beast Barracks is taking its toll on their legs. Sometimes, they will come in here and are really excited to be out here and pretty soon they start to get tired and worn down and they are not hitting it really well.”

Monken also said kicker Landon Salyers, who played at Army Prep last year, has some promise.”

Freshman punter Michael Leisle has impressed Monken. “Leisle is doing a good job. He doesn’t have as strong of a leg as J.D. (Mote) and (Nick) Schrage (Army’s returning punters). But, he has a good leg and great technique. You see punters a lot of times swinging across their body. He’s got a really clean stroke and it’s always on the same side as his body as it’s supposed to be.”  We have a kicker Landon Salyers who was at the prep school last year. He’s got some promise. We are going to give them all a shot and we see how it plays out.

Moving up: Freshmen running backs Artice Hobbs, Sandon McCoy and T.J. Wisham, offensive lineman Peyton Reeder and defensive lineman Emmanuel Ukhueligbe practiced with the veterans (upperclassmen).

QUOTE: ”It’s not like we played well last year so I can just go through the motions this year. We still have to build. We still have a lot more stuff that we can work on. We still have to work on the things that we did last year and get better at it…We have younger guys that have an opportunity to contribute like I did as a freshman last year. We have to work with them and continue to be the example and not take a rep off or a day off.” – sophomore slotback Kell Walker

Practice observations: Junior quarterback Luke Langdon connected on a deep ball to tight end Zach Saum…Sophomore wide receiver Kjetil Cline hauled in a deep pass and junior cornerback Zach Scott forced a fumble during the Commander in Chief’s period…Cline also clinched the Fourth Quarter Warriors competition for the offense. Players had to shuffle a lacrosse ball between a few cones and finished the exercise with a quick sprint. Army receivers stayed after practice and worked on catching football from a JUGS machine…Junior linebacker Kenneth Brinson stays late after most every practice to get in extra work. Brinson had some company Wednesday as freshman long snapper Paul Lawless worked on his game.

VIDEO: Sophomore defensive backs and returning starters Elijah Riley and Jaylon McClinton on the first day of full pads and how the secondary is shaping up.

VIDEO: Quarterbacks Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Carter, Kelvin Hopkins and Luke Langdon warm up before practice

VIDEO: Freshmen defensive backs Joe King and Jahvari Bourdeau drilling

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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Quick thoughts: First freshmen practice

Army’s freshman class took the practice field for the first time Monday afternoon.

Strength and conditioning coach Brian Hess guided the freshmen through their first warmups.

The practice was about 90 minutes long and featured plenty of fundamental work.

Didn’t see a lot of offense, but quarterback Christian Anderson showed a strong arm on a few throws.

Jordan Blackman and Zack Boobas were working with the slotbacks on the first day.

In an interview before R-Day, Blackman, who also played cornerback at St. Genevieve (Calif.), said he may get a look at slotback.

Boobas was an all-state safety at Jefferson (Ga.) High. According to Max Preps, Boobas rushed for 650 yards, scored 14 touchdowns and averaged 5.6 yards per carry as a senior.

Among the freshmen who stood out in practice were defensive lineman Emmanuel Ukhueligbe and linebackers Jon Rhattigan and Markus Wright.

There’s a ton of depth at defensive line and linebacker in the freshmen class.

Freshmen specialists warmed up with the upperclassmen, whose practice followed the plebes.

VIDEO: The freshman class warms up before its first practice

VIDEO: Freshman defensive lineman Trevor Hallock attacks a drill

VIDEO: Freshman linebacker Christian Gomez getting his feet right

ROSTER UPDATE: Wasn’t able to get every player, but here are some updated roster numbers for freshman class:

13 QB Christian Anderson, 6-1, 165, Cardinal Hayes HS, Bronx, N.Y.
*27 S-KR Wallace Barrett, 6-1, 185, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Franklin, Tenn.
*45 LB Gavin Bassett, 6-1, 215, Farmington HS, Farmington, Minn.
21 K Camden Bauman, 5-10, 220, Jesuit (Fla.) HS, Lutz, Pa.
10 RB Jordan Blackman, 5-11, 165, St. Genevieve HS, Lake View Terrace, Calif.
94 DE/LB Luke Blanton, 6-2, 225, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas
29 RB Zack Boobas, 5-10, 180, Jefferson HS, Nicholson, Ga.
*25 S Jahvari Boudreau, 5-8, 180, Flanagan HS, Miramar, Fla.
87 WR Jake Carlson, 6-2, 190, Billerica HS, Billerica, Mass.
*38 DL August Cook, 6-2, 220, Bedford HS, Bedford, Mass.
*92 DE Rahmeel Cook, 6-3, 225, Demopolis HS, Gallion, Ala.
*27 RB Fred Cooper, 5-11, 225, Reagan HS, Houston, Texas
68 DL Alex Crawford, 6-foot, 270, Southern Alamance HS, Burlington, N.C.
*38 RB Donnell Diego, 6-foot, 195, Curtis HS, Lakewood, Wash.
*30 RB Dominic DiStefano, 5-7, 170, Hendrickson HS, Pflugerville, Texas
39 LB Kieren Douglas, 6-3, 230, Pickerington HS, Reynoldsville, Ohio: Other offers – Air Force.
42 TE Austen Ferbet, 6-4, 220, Prairie Ridge HS, Cary, Ill.
*63 OL Tyler Fleagle, 6-3, 265, Linganore HS, Mount Airy, Md.
*62 OL Michael Gerber, 6-4, 275, Stoughton HS, Stoughton, Wisc.
48 LB Nick Ghazarian, 6-2, 215, Crespi HS, Chatsworth, Calif.: Other offers – Air Force.
22 *LB Christian Gomez, 6-foot, 240, Cypress Bay HS, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
84 DE Harrison Greenhill, 6-3, 240, Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla.
66 DL Trevor Hallock, 6-1, 245, La Mirada HS, La Habra, Calif.
14 WR Jonathan Hamilton,  6-4, 225, St. Patrick HS, Elmwood Park, Ill.
*88 WR Cam Harrison, 6-2, 195, Allen HS, Allen, Texas
32 *RB Artice Hobbs, 5-9, 175, Newton HS, Covington, Ga.
90 DE Karl Holler, 6-4, 255, The Tatnall School, Chadds Ford, Pa.
87 DE Jack Hough, 6-3, 230, Coate Rosemary Hall HS, Wilmette, Ill.
* 55 C James Hunter, 6-4, 265, Oceanside HS, Oceanside, Calif.
2 QB Jordan Johnson, 6-foot, 185, Hooks HS, Hooks, Texas: Former Air Force commit.
* 37 LB Aaron Jones, 6-1, 240, Pike HS, Indianapolis, Ind.
OL Weston Jones, 6-4, 248, Capital Christian HS, Sacramento, Calif.
63 DL Jonathan King, 6-2, 290, Nolan Catholic HS, Ft. Worth, Texas
*17 CB Joseph King, 5-10, 170, Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.
*46 TE Geoff Kirk, 6-5, 232, Avon (Conn.) HS
16 S Jordan Lane, 6-1, 200, North Guilford HS, Summerville, N.C.
*47 TE Jake Lauer, 6-3, 235, Franklin Regional HS, Murrysville, Pa.
40 LS Paul Lawless, 6-3, 215, Cardinal Gibbons HS, Boca Raton, Fla.
98 P-K Michael Leisle, 6-foot, 185, Nease HS, Ponte Vedra, Fla.
*44 RB Chambo Liddell-Patacsil, 5-10, 240, Mira Mesa HS, San Diego, Calif.
34 LB Jeremiah Lowery, 6-2, 240, Park Crossing HS, Elmore, Ala.
79 OL Luke McCleery, 6-5, 260, Grapevine Faith Christian HS, Keller, Texas: Former Tulane commit.
*36 RB Sandon McCoy, 5-11, 215, Brown HS, Kannapolis, N.C.
69 OL Daniel McGeough, 6-6, 225, Chartiers Valley HS, Carnegie, Pa.
45 LS Caleb McKee, 6-1, 205, Arlington HS, Pantego, Texas
95 K Sean McNulty, 6-foot, 220, Maine South HS, Park Ridge, Ill.
43 FB DJ Miller, 6-foot, 230, Chico HS, Chico, Calif.: Other offers – Air Force.
96 K Billy Mitchell, 5-11, 185, American Heritage HS, Weston, Fla.
6 CB Dean Ngendakuriyo, 5-10, 190, Benedictine HS, Midlothian, Va.
48 LS Kyle O’Connor, 6-1, 245, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, North Canton, Ohio
60 OL Ryan O’Malley, 6-4, 260, Libertyville HS, Libertyville, Ill.: Former Illinois commit.
OL Jack Owens, 6-4, 230, Aquinas HS, Rochester, NY
*86 DE Edriece Patterson, 6-3, 245, Rahway HS, Rahway, N.J.
76 DL Mackay Phillips, 6-1, 240, South Gwinnett (Ga.) HS, Loganville, Ill.
*76 OL Peyton Reeder, 6-6, 290, Coosa HS, Rome, Ga.
47 LB Jon Rhattigan, 6-1, 220, Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.
*39 FB Parker Ross, 6-1, 225, Fountain Lake HS, Hot Springs, Ark.
40 LB Ben Roth, 6-1, 215, Seminole HS, Sanford, Fla.: First commit of 2017 class.
*33 DB Alex Rowe, 6-foot, 185, Greater Atlanta Christian HS, Stone Mountain, Ga.
*99 K-P Landon Salyers, 6-1, 190, Dobyns-Bennett HS, Kingsport, Tenn.
50 C Will Schumacher, 6-2, 255, Penn-Trafford HS, Harrison City, Pa.
*46 S Chris Skyers, 5-11, 165, South Gwinnett HS, Loganville, Ga.
98 DE Nick Slusher, 6-4, 235, Cedar Creek HS, Ruston, La.: Other offers – Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe.
*51 OL Connor Smith, 6-4, 275, Issaquah HS, Bellevue, Wash.
*33 CB Bryson Stephens, 6-foot, 185, Morristown-Hamblen HS, Morristown, Tenn.
31 LB-S Joe Stephenson, 6-foot, 205, Woodberry Forest HS, Brodnax, Va.
* 71 DL Nick Stokes, 6-5, 265, Kempsville HS, Virginia Beach, Va.
*4 QB Cameron Thomas, 5-10, 175, Lee HS, Huntsville, Ala.
85 DE Josh Thomas, 6-4, 230, St. John’s HS, Pearland, Texas
*9 S Justin Thomas, 6-2, 200, Chaminade-Madonna HS, Plantation, Fla.
*95 DE Emmanuel Ukhueligbe, 6-3, 280, Seventy-First HS, Fayetteville, N.C.
89 DE-LB Tommy Upton, 6-3, 220, Strake Jesuit Prep, Houston, Texas
3 S Taylor Vessel, 6-1, 205, Clear Falls HS, League City, Texas: Other offers – South Alabama, Texas State.
65 DE Ted Wages, 6-4, 240, Auburn (Ala.) HS: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force.
*19 WR Kevin Waites, 6-1, 185, Manor (Texas) HS
*15 WR Max Weisman, 6-foot, 195, Burbank HS, Burbank, Calif.
*49 CB Keshaun Wells, 6-3, 195, Aldine Davis HS, Houston, Texas
56 OL Caden Williams, 6-5, 290, Franklin HS, Nashville, Tenn.: Other offers – Air Force.
64 G Kenny Willoughby, 6-4, 305, Astronaut HS, Titusville, Fla.
*97 LB Demann Wilson, 6-3, 230, Ginn HS, Cleveland, Ohio
* 20 RB T.J. Wisham, 5-10, 220, Episcopal HS, Baton Rogue, La.
*13 LB Markus Wright, 6-2, 215, Jordan HS, Columbus, Ga.
For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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Recruiting: Georgia RB David Woodward fulfills dream, commits to Army

David Woodward’s decision to commit to Army went over pretty well considering his company at a family reunion Sunday.

Woodward’s grandfather, uncle and aunt are all Naval Academy graduates.

Woodward remembers sitting down with his grandfather, David Woodward, and opening military books at a young age. David Woodward was a commander of a nuclear submarine during his service in the Navy.

“I’ve wanted to go to an academy for almost my whole life,” said Woodward, a senior at Mount Pisgah Christian School in Alpharetta, Ga. “I was addicted to (the military books). He (his grandfather) kind of got me started on the academies. I was open to West Point and the Naval Academy.”

Woodward called Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis and committed to Army Sunday. Davis visited Mount Pisgah this spring. Woodward, who is being recruited to play slotback, attended Army’s prospect camp on June 3 and had an impressive showing.  Davis contacted Woodward with an offer the next day.

“It’s pretty much everything that I’ve ever wanted,” said Woodward of his commitment to West Point. “I just notified Coach Davis today. But, really, I’ve known my decision for a long time.”

Interest from Navy never materialized for Woodward. He attended Navy’s prospect camp on June 24 but didn’t receive an offer from Army’s service-academy rival.

“I was bummed out after the camp,” Woodward said. “I thought it was impersonal. They had 250-300 guys there and really the coaches haven’t been contacting me as much as I would have liked. Coach Davis stayed in contact with me, calling me every few weeks. I felt at home with him.”

Woodward plays in a spread offense for Mount Pisgah. He caught 48 passes for 850 yards as a junior. Woodward received offered from the University of Pennsylvania and Davidson. He said one of the main reasons why he chose West Point was the military and serving his country.

As for what his grandfather, uncle and aunt thought when they heard his decision, Woodward said, “They were obviously really excited for me. They are glad that I can fulfill my dream. Obviously, they would push me to the Naval Academy a little bit but they were proud of me.”

Army picked up a commitment from Utica Eisenhower (Mich.) linebacker Henry Janeway Sunday. Janeway chose Army over Eastern Michigan. He also had an offer from Navy.

2018 commits (41)

OL Sam Backenstoe, 6-3, 263, Davidson HS, Hillard, Ohio: First offer – Army.
LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
WR Cole Caterbone, 6-foot, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Other offers – Iowa, Rutgers, Cincinnati, East Carolina (COMMITTED, July 25)
DE-TE Nolan Cockrill, 6-3, 230, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, June 4)
K Matteo Cordray, 5-10, 155, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas.: (COMMITTED, July 23)
TE-LB Trevor Cosenke, 6-3, 212, John Champe HS, Aldie, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 28)
LB Morgan Ernst, 6-foot, 195, Webb HS, Knoxville, Tenn.: (COMMITTED, May 14)
DE Damir Faison, 6-foot-2, 240, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Other offers – Maryland, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Georgia State. Former Appalachian State commit. (COMMITTED, July 7)
CB Khalil Fleming, 5-11, 163, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Air Force, May 22. (COMMITTED, April 19)
DE Chris Frey, 6-5, 225, Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
LS Cale Garrison, 5-10, 215, The Woodlands (Texas) HS: Offered after attending Army prospect camp on June 4. (COMMITTED, June 5)
WR-CB Will Hankins, 6-2, 175, Munford (Tenn.) HS: (COMMITTED, June 26)
QB-RB Tionne Harris, 5-9, 178, Vianney HS, St. Louis, Mo.: Led Vianney to its first state title, passing for 2,549 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 1,502 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
LB Chris Hunter, 6-2, 225, Austin-East HS, Knoxville, Tenn.
DE Henry Janeway, 6-5, 215, Utica Eisenhower HS, Shelby Township, Mich.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Eastern Michigan, Ball State. Army visit – July 24 (COMMITTED, July 30)
LB Tim Johns, 6-3, 230, Greenwood (Ind.) HS: First FBS offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 12)
DL Tim Kater, 6-3, 265, Steelton-Highspire HS, Steelton, Pa.: First commit of 2018 class. Brother of former Army tight end Kelvin White. Other offers – Delaware, Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State. (COMMITTED, April 12)
S Ja’ren Kenyatta, 6-1, 190, Urbana HS, Ijamsville, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 26)
OL Drew Kraatz, 6-6, 240, Standish-Sterling HS, Standish, Mich.: (COMMITTED, April 27)
LS Brendan Knoespel, 6-foot, 210, Antonian Prep HS, San Antonio, Texas: Other offer – Air Force. (COMMITTED, May 25)
OL Nick Kotok, 6-4, 285, Moon Area HS, Moon, Pa.: (COMMITTED, June 28)
K Miller Kronk, 6-2, 195, London (Ohio) HS: First offer – Army. Army unofficial visit: May 24. (COMMITTED, June 1)
DE Ryan Matz, 6-3, 235, East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: (COMMITTED, June 22)
LB Brandon Mays, 6-foot, 210, Viera (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Buffalo. (COMMITTED, July 21)
FB Elliott McElwain, 6-foot, 215, Hewitt-Trussville HS, Trussville, Ala. (COMMITTED, July 4)
DB Braheam Murphy, 5-10, 160, Harding University HS, Charlotte, N.C.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 4)
LB Troy Nachtigal, 6-foot, 205, Fort Atkinson (Wis.) HS: Brother, James, is Army junior linebacker. First offer – Army.
RB Keyshawn Palmer, 5-11, 200, Marbury (Ala.) HS: (COMMITTED, July 26)
QB-WR A.J. Payne, 6-1, 193, Americus-Sumter HS, Americus, Ga. (COMMITTED, July 4)
OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
DL Hunter Richard, 6-3, 270, Edmond (Okla.) North HS: Other offers – Princeton, Abilene Christian. (COMMITTED, June 21)
CB Torey Richardson, 6-foot, 180, Tomball Memorial (Texas) HS: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
OL Harmon Saint Germain, 6-foot-5, 280, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: (COMMITTED, July 6)
LB Duncan Van Kouteren, 6-3, 205, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS
LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB-WR Travis West, 6-foot, 180, Woodrow Wilson HS, Dallas, Texas: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB David Woodward, 5-11, 180, Mout Pisgah Christian School, Alpharetta, Ga.: (COMMITTED, July 30)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa.: (COMMITTED, July 6)

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

 

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July 29 practice blog: They’re Back

Army football is back.

The Black Knights opened the fourth preseason camp under coach Jeff Monken Saturday. Well, more than half of the Black Knights did. Monken said the freshmen class, which numbered 82 players in an academy press release, will report to camp Sunday and have their first practice as a class Monday.

Army’s upperclassmen will practice separately from the freshmen until next Saturday, August 5, when the full team will be united. In the past, a handful of more advanced freshmen have practiced some with Army’s seniors, juniors and sophomores.

Saturday was a helmets-only practice. Practice was a mix of mostly individual positional work with some 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s.

The Black Knights ended their first preseason practice with their traditional Fourth Quarter Warriors competition. This edition has six members of offense and six members of the defense pairing up. One teammate had to lift and drop a 65-pound medicine ball over the hurdle to his teammate’s side. The teammate had to lift the medicine ball back over the hurdle and drop it on the other side. The offense’s winning team was Malik Hancock, Christian Hayes, Alex Herndon, Quinten Parker, Michel Toure and Noah Utley.

Senior tackle Brett Toth said being named to the Outland Trophy watch list is humbling but he would not have received the honor with Army’s success running the football last season. The Black Knights ranked second in the nation, averaging 339.4 yards per game. Toth  was rated one of the country’s top run blockers in 2016.

“When you have the second-ranked rushing offense in the nation, you have to look at someone on the offensive line especially with the guy next to me, (right guard) Mike Houghton,” Toth said. “I’m extremely honored to be talked about on the Outland Trophy watch list but I still look up to the guys around me.”

First-team defense: DE John Voit; NT Andrew McLean; DE Wunmi Oyetuga; LB Alex Aukerman; LB Kenneth Brinson; LB Scott Washle; LB James Nachtigal; CB Elijah Riley; CB Jalen Sharp; S Rhyan England; S Jaylon McClinton

Number changes: Senior safety Rhyan England (8) and sophomore slotback Kell Walker (5) have kept their spring football numbers. England was 20 and Walker 32 last season. Sophomore linebacker Donavan Lynch is now No. 11; sophomore fullback Connor Slomka (No. 25); junior linebacker Chandler Ramirez (No. 29); sophomore defensive end Amadeo West (No. 42); sophomore tackle Alex Herndon (No. 60) and sophomore wide receiver Kjetil Cline (No. 82). Junior cornerback Mike Reynolds, who has returned to the team after stepping away in the spring, is wearing No. 10.

Asked Andy Davidson and Darnell Woolfolk before shooting a video if Army’s junior fullback tandem had a nickname. Nothing that has stuck yet. Might have to start Twitter poll.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for images from Army’s first preseason practice.

VIDEO: Andy Davidson and Darnell Woolfolk give their thoughts on the first preseason practice

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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2017 Preseason Camp Prospectus: QB, slotback, linebacker breakdowns

There will be no battle to be starting quarterback when Army opens preseason camp Saturday.

Senior captain Ahmad Bradshaw is the unquestioned starter heading into Army’s opener against Fordham on Sept. 1 at Michie Stadium.

“He’s just grown so much as a leader,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “His confidence is what it needs to be to be the starting quarterback.”

Starts by Army quarterback since 2009 (Trent Steelman’s freshman year): Steelman 46; Angel Santiago 22; Ahmad Bradshaw 19; A.J. Schurr 6; Chris Carter 3; Max Jenkins 2.

Junior Chris Carter and sophomore Kelvin Hopkins will compete to be Bradshaw’s backup. Junior Luke Langdon, who missed last season due to a knee injury, and a trio of freshmen Christian Anderson, Jordan Johnson and Cameron Thomas are the only quarterbacks in camp.

The departure of starter Tyler Campbell and Christian Drake after their sophomore year and the loss of sophomore Malik McGue to academics has left Army thin at slotback. Senior John Trainor, junior Jordan Asberry and sophomore Kell Walker return and have all started during their careers. Behind the top three slotbacks is a bunch of untested talents. Sophomores Donovan Franklin and Malik Hancock and freshmen Fred Cooper and Artice Hobbs are some names to keep an eye on.

“There’s some guys (Franklin and Hancock) that are there that took some snaps in the spring,” Monken said. “I don’t know if they are going to play or not. We’ll have to find out. I think there’s some guys coming from our prep school particularly that may be able to help us. I’m excited to see what we got when those guys show up. Hobbs has a chance to be one of those guys. I’m really looking forward to watching Fred Cooper and see what he can do there. He’s a bigger more physical guy…There’s a long line there. That’s a good thing. We have some guys to look at and hopefully we have some players.”

Monken said junior Calen Holt, who moved from linebacker to offense in the spring, is staying at fullback but he has some flexibility to play slotback if needed.

For an update on cornerback Marcus Hyatt and a breakdown of the position heading into camp, click here.

Monken said switching James Nachitgal from outside linebacker to inside linebacker in the spring was a move to get him on the field. Nachtigal, who played in third-down situations as a sophomore, was behind returning starters Alex Aukerman and Kenneth Brinson on the outside.

“Those two (Aukerman and Brinson) are as good of football players as we got,” Monken said. “I think this is a good place for him (Nachtigal) and I’m excited to see him grow and develop in that position.”

Aukerman said Nachtigal, “is one of the most talented players on the team, athletically and in the weight room.” Nachtigal will team with senior Scott Washle at the top inside linebackers heading into camp. They replace three-year starters and 2016 captains Andrew King and Jeremy Timpf.

Army is also high on sophomore inside linebackers Cole Christiansen and Ryan Parker. Christiansen was used in some defensive schemes late last season. Parker played special teams and saw limited snaps on defense.

“Though we don’t have a lot of experience (at inside linebacker), we have some guys that I think are talented enough to do it and there’s some depth,” Monken said.

Freshmen have not been added to Army’s roster as of Friday night.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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Recruiting: Alabama RB Palmer commits to Black Knights

Keyshawn Palmer’s breakout junior season drew the attention of Division I-A (FBS) schools.

Army, Alabama-Birmingham and Middle Tennessee expressed interest in the Marbury (Ala.) running back.

Palmer committed to the only school that had offered him to this point – Army on Tuesday.

“I like the tradition there,” Palmer said. “I’m all about that. I feel like they are going to push me in both aspects of my life after high school…As far as the offense, I love their system running the ball. I feel like they are going to be a team to contend with this year.”

Palmer said UAB and Middle Tennessee State wanted to see his play this fall before they offered him. He rushed for 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns out of a spread offense in 2016. With his college decision made, Palmer is focused on his goals for senior year.

“I’m shooting for 2,000 yards this season,” said Palmer, who will be a four-year starter. “But, I just want to be better this season than last season.”

Fort Atkinson (Wisc.) linebacker Troy Nachtigal, Urbana (Md.) safety Ja’ren Kenyatta and St. Pius X (Houston, Texas) defensive end Jacob Craig announced their commitments to Army on social media Wednesday.

Nachtigal had 50 tackles and 2.5 sacks as a junior. His older brother James is an Army  junior linebacker. Kenyatta, who is 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, adds athleticism to the secondary. Craig camped at Army last weekend and was offered by Army in late May. According to Max Preps, Craig has 72 tackles and 14 sacks in nine games last season.

2018 commits (35)

LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
WR Cole Caterbone, 6-foot, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Other offers – Iowa, Rutgers, Cincinnati, East Carolina (COMMITTED, July 25)
DE-TE Nolan Cockrill, 6-3, 230, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, June 4)
K Matteo Cordray, 5-10, 155, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas.: (COMMITTED, July 23)
LB Morgan Ernst, 6-foot, 195, Webb HS, Knoxville, Tenn.: (COMMITTED, May 14)
DE Damir Faison, 6-foot-2, 240, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Other offers – Maryland, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Georgia State. Former Appalachian State commit. (COMMITTED, July 7)
CB Khalil Fleming, 5-11, 163, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Air Force, May 22. (COMMITTED, April 19)
DE Chris Frey, 6-5, 225, Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
LS Cale Garrison, 5-10, 215, The Woodlands (Texas) HS: Offered after attending Army prospect camp on June 4. (COMMITTED, June 5)
WR-CB Will Hankins, 6-2, 175, Munford (Tenn.) HS: (COMMITTED, June 26)
QB-RB Tionne Harris, 5-9, 178, Vianney HS, St. Louis, Mo.: Led Vianney to its first state title, passing for 2,549 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 1,502 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
LB Tim Johns, 6-3, 230, Greenwood (Ind.) HS: First FBS offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 12)
DL Tim Kater, 6-3, 265, Steelton-Highspire HS, Steelton, Pa.: First commit of 2018 class. Brother of former Army tight end Kelvin White. Other offers – Delaware, Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State. (COMMITTED, April 12)
S Ja’ren Kenyatta, 6-1, 190, Urbana HS, Ijamsville, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 26)
OL Drew Kraatz, 6-6, 240, Standish-Sterling HS, Standish, Mich.: (COMMITTED, April 27)
LS Brendan Knoespel, 6-foot, 210, Antonian Prep HS, San Antonio, Texas: Other offer – Air Force. (COMMITTED, May 25)
OL Nick Kotok, 6-4, 285, Moon Area HS, Moon, Pa.: (COMMITTED, June 28)
K Miller Kronk, 6-2, 195, London (Ohio) HS: First offer – Army. Army unofficial visit: May 24. (COMMITTED, June 1)
DE Ryan Matz, 6-3, 235, East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: (COMMITTED, June 22)
LB Brandon Mays, 6-foot, 210, Viera (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Buffalo. (COMMITTED, July 21)
FB Elliott McElwain, 6-foot, 215, Hewitt-Trussville HS, Trussville, Ala. (COMMITTED, July 4)
DB Braheam Murphy, 5-10, 160, Harding University HS, Charlotte, N.C.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 4)
LB Troy Nachtigal, 6-foot, 205, Fort Atkinson (Wis.) HS: Brother, James, is Army junior linebacker. First offer – Army.
RB Keyshawn Palmer, 5-11, 200, Marbury (Ala.) HS: (COMMITTED, July 26)
QB-WR A.J. Payne, 6-1, 193, Americus-Sumter HS, Americus, Ga. (COMMITTED, July 4)
OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
DL Hunter Richard, 6-3, 270, Edmond (Okla.) North HS: Other offers – Princeton, Abilene Christian. (COMMITTED, June 21)
CB Torey Richardson, 6-foot, 180, Tomball Memorial (Texas) HS: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
OL Harmon Saint Germain, 6-foot-5, 280, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: (COMMITTED, July 6)
LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB-WR Travis West, 6-foot, 180, Woodrow Wilson HS, Dallas, Texas: (COMMITTED, July 22)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa. (COMMITTED, July 6)

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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Recruiting: LB Jesse Walsh joins 2018 class

Jesse Walsh rooted against Army growing up.

Walsh’s older brother, Matt, was a UConn linebacker and 2016 captain. Jesse was in stands at Yankee Stadium for UConn’s clash with Army in November 2014 and wasn’t cheering when Black Knights cornerback Chris Carnegie returned an interception 99 yards to seal the win.

Now, nearly three years later, Walsh, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker at Avon Old Farms (Conn.), committed to play for Army Sunday after a visit to West Point Friday as part of “Knight on the Hudson.”

“I just fell in love with the school,” Walsh said Sunday night. “I visited all of the other schools that recruited me – Duke, BC (Boston College), UConn, Harvard, Yale. But, Army stuck out to me and I was like, “I need to go here. There’s no point in extending my recruiting process.”

Walsh added, “When I visited Friday, a good majority of the kids (recruits),  I could tell their breath was just taken away with the incredible campus, the staff, the facilities.”

Walsh drew interest from Atlantic Coast Conference and Ivy League schools after his first season at linebacker his junior year. He was Avon Old Farms’ starting quarterback as a sophomore and had always played the position growing up.

“My family was mostly defensive players and I am at heart,” Walsh said. “The team needed me there (on defense). I went into camp at 225 and they (the coaches) said, ‘you can play quarterback but we want you to play some outside linebacker as well.’ It turns out I’m a good linebacker too. I stuck with that and just ran with it and it worked out pretty well.”

Army started recruiting Walsh in May. He received his offer one day after assistant coach John Loose visited him to check on his measurables. Walsh said he will be direct admit to West Point in 2018.

“Army was the second school to take a chance on me and offer me,” Walsh said. “Cornell was the first…Before this, I was a little hesitant. Army is obviously a very good school but the five-year commitment was a little troubling, I guess you can say. But, my parents convinced me to have some interest in Army and to go to “Knight on the Hudson.”

“They are on the rise. Coach (Jeff) Monken has been turning the program around. If you just look at their record, they are turning the program around pretty fast. I’m definitely optimistic (about the future).”

Army also received commitments Sunday from two Texas recruits – Centennial tackle Kyle Perry and kicker Mattao Cordray.

2018 commits (31)

LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
DE-TE Nolan Cockrill, 6-3, 230, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, June 4)
K Matteo Cordray, 5-10, 155, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas.: (COMMITTED, July 23)
LB Morgan Ernst, 6-foot, 195, Webb HS, Knoxville, Tenn.: (COMMITTED, May 14)
DE Damir Faison, 6-foot-2, 240, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Other offers – Maryland, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Georgia State. Former Appalachian State commit. (COMMITTED, July 7)
CB Khalil Fleming, 5-11, 163, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Air Force, May 22. (COMMITTED, April 19)
DE Chris Frey, 6-5, 225, Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
LS Cale Garrison, 5-10, 215, The Woodlands (Texas) HS: Offered after attending Army prospect camp on June 4. (COMMITTED, June 5)
WR-CB Will Hankins, 6-2, 175, Munford (Tenn.) HS: (COMMITTED, June 26)
QB-RB Tionne Harris, 5-9, 178, Vianney HS, St. Louis, Mo.: Led Vianney to its first state title, passing for 2,549 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 1,502 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
LB Tim Johns, 6-3, 230, Greenwood (Ind.) HS: First FBS offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 12)
DL Tim Kater, 6-3, 265, Steelton-Highspire HS, Steelton, Pa.: First commit of 2018 class. Brother of former Army tight end Kelvin White. Other offers – Delaware, Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State. (COMMITTED, April 12)
OL Drew Kraatz, 6-6, 240, Standish-Sterling HS, Standish, Mich.: (COMMITTED, April 27)
LS Brendan Knoespel, 6-foot, 210, Antonian Prep HS, San Antonio, Texas: Other offer – Air Force. (COMMITTED, May 25)
OL Nick Kotok, 6-4, 285, Moon Area HS, Moon, Pa.: (COMMITTED, June 28)
K Miller Kronk, 6-2, 195, London (Ohio) HS: First offer – Army. Army unofficial visit: May 24. (COMMITTED, June 1)
DE Ryan Matz, 6-3, 235, East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: (COMMITTED, June 22)
LB Brandon Mays, 6-foot, 210, Viera (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Buffalo. (COMMITTED, July 21)
FB Elliott McElwain, 6-foot, 215, Hewitt-Trussville HS, Trussville, Ala. (COMMITTED, July 4)
DB Braheam Murphy, 5-10, 160, Harding University HS, Charlotte, N.C.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB-WR A.J. Payne, 6-1, 193, Americus-Sumter HS, Americus, Ga. (COMMITTED, July 4)
OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
DL Hunter Richard, 6-3, 270, Edmond (Okla.) North HS: Other offers – Princeton, Abilene Christian. (COMMITTED, June 21)
CB Torey Richardson, 6-foot, 180, Tomball Memorial (Texas) HS: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
OL Harmon Saint Germain, 6-foot-5, 280, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: (COMMITTED, July 6)
LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB-WR Travis West, 6-foot, 180, Woodrow Wilson HS, Dallas, Texas: (COMMITTED, July 22)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa. (COMMITTED, July 6)

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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