2018 Signing Day: Buchanan joins fullback stable, dream come true for QB Steven Migut

JaKobi Buchanan narrowed his college football choices down to Army and Air Force.

Buchanan was leaning toward Air Force but the more that the 6-foot, 235-pound Chaminade Prep (Mo.) fullback watched Army’s triple-option offense, the more he realized West Point was more of his fit. The St. Louis recruit visited the academies in back-to-back weeks and a West Point confirmed Buchanan’s beliefs.

On Wednesday, Buchanan signed his letter of commitment to Army. Buchanan’s Signing Day included a breakfast with other college football signees in the area including Lafayette (Mo.) linebacker Hayden Bollinger and Christian (Mo.) kicker-punter Zach Harding, both Army commits.

“That’s the perfect offense for me and how I run the ball and my physical type of play,” Buchanan said of the triple option. “When I went on my official to Army, I knew that was where I wanted to be and that was the place I really wanted to spend the next four years.”

Buchanan fits the mold of Army fullbacks Darnell Woolfolk, Andy Davidson, Calen Holt and Connor Slomka, who combined for 1,869 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2017 and all return.

Army’s 2018 recruiting class was over 90 players Signing Day and December’s early period. Some commits, like Buchanan, will come directly to West Point this summer while others will attend Army Prep.

Coach Jeff Monken is prohibited to comment on an individual players until they arrive on post for R-Day this summer. But, Monken said he, “feels good about the class.”

“I think we have a lot of good players,” Monken said. “I think we have a lot of guys with some redeeming qualities who have potential. We are going to find out what they can do once they get here. I guess if there’s any advantage in recruiting for us, that’s the advantage, we can take more guys and guys that we think might have a little something to them, we can bring them and find out.”

Unity (Ill.) quarterback Steven Migut said Wednesday, “was a dream come true.” Army offered Migut on the spot after its prospect camp last summer. Monken and his staff stay committed to Migut after he suffered a shoulder injury his senior season.

“When hurt myself I said I hope Army doesn’t say, ‘we’re not as interested anymore because of your shoulder,’” Migut said. “The fact they still had a lot of interest in me and they didn’t think it was a big deal…I was definitely happy that they kept the offer on the table and allowed me to still be a part of their team.”

Migut was a dual-threat quarterback operating a spread offense for three years at Unity. He said he ran the football more than he threw it.

“I had just as many if not more rushing yards than our running back the last three years,” Migut said. “I ran the ball a lot. I’m not going to really get too far out of my comfort zone. The only difference between the offense I was running and the offense that Army runs is I’m going to have to take snaps under center. It’s going to be a lot more fast-paced after the snap. A triple option is a lot different than the spread in a lot of senses. I’m no stranger to running the ball and running it against some pretty big guys.”

Monken said if Army targeted one area in this class more than any other, “it was probably receiver. Our lines are a little bit shorter at receiver. I think we have some good young guys in the program but we wanted to make sure we took care of our numbers and hopefully, we got some guys that can help us. We’ll find out here in a couple years as they go through and develop.”

Cameron Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound wide receiver out of Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif., announced on Wednesday that he was decommitting from Cal Poly and signing with Army. According to Max Preps, Johnson caught 43 passes for 683 yards and seven touchdowns his senior year.

Hapeville Charter (Ga.) 6-foot-2 quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams announced his commitment to Army on Signing Day. Williams visited Army in mid-January. His Hudl profile says Williams runs the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds.

Ozark (Ala.) linebacker Tim McClendon flipped his commitment from Army to Air Force and signed with the Falcons Wednesday.

2018 commits (95)
S Izzy Akojie, 6-2, 185, Wise HS, Upper Marlboro, Md.: First FBS offer – Army. Former Old Dominion commit.
DB Kwantay Anderson, 6-foot, 160, Green Run HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force (COMMITTED, Jan. 18)
RB Jonathan Andrews, 6-foot, 185, Dutchtown HS, Hampton, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force. (COMMITTED, August 7)
OL Sam Backenstoe, 6-3, 263, Davidson HS, Hillard, Ohio: First offer – Army.
WR Jalen Banks, 6-3, 175, Riverside Academy, Reserve, La.: Official Army visit – Feb. 2-4 (COMMITTED, Feb. 3)
OL Sam Barczak, 6-3, 275, Sandy Creek HS, Tyrone, Ga.: Official Army visit – Feb. 2-4
FB Cade Barnard, 6-2, 225, Seminole (Texas) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Colorado State, North Texas, Bowling Green, Nevada, UMass. (COMMITTED, Sept. 17)
WR-CB Adam Bazan, 5-10, 180, Ridge Point HS, Missouri City, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 3)
LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
DE Kwabena Bonsu, 6-4, 255, South Cobb HS, Austell, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force, Rutgers, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, Charlotte. (COMMITTED, Oct. 26)
DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
LB Briar Bearss, 6-foot, 213, Millington (Mich.) HS (COMMITTED, Jan. 11)
DB Marquel Broughton, 5-10, 175, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
FB JaKobi Buchanan, Chaminade Prep, St. Louis, Mo.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force. (COMMITTED, Jan. 1)
QB-WR-TE Shayne Buckingham, 6-4, 220, Dacula (Ga.) HS: (COMMITTED, Dec. 9)
RB Amon Byars, 5-8, 167, Terry HS, Rosenberg, Texas: Other offers – Navy. Hudl 40-yard dash time – 4.46 (COMMITTED, Nov. 11)
S Luke Cameron, 6-foot, 207, Kokomo (Ind.) HS: Other offers – Air Force.
WR Cole Caterbone, 6-foot, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Other offers – Iowa, Rutgers, Cincinnati, East Carolina (COMMITTED, July 25)
LB Wilson Catoe, 6-1, 217, Peachtree Ridge HS, Suwanee, Ga.: Former Harvard commit
DE-TE Nolan Cockrill, 6-3, 230, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army. USA Today first-team, all-state (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)
S Christian Cross, 6-2, 192, Tomball Memorial HS, Tomball, Texas: First offer – Army
WR Azaveshe Daniyan, 6-foot, 183, North Mesquite HS, Mesquite, Texas
S Zion Davis-Thompson, 6-2, 175, North Stafford HS, Stafford, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 31)
CB Jontae Dobson, 5-9, 170, Ben Davis HS, Indianapolis, Ind. (COMMITTED on Jan. 16)
WR Reikan Donaldson, 6-3, 175, Wheeler HS, Marietta, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force. (COMMITTED, Feb. 2)
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)
OL Alex Faulkner, 6-4, 270, Mishawaka (Ind.) HS: First offer – Air Force. Second offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 12)
S Xavier File, 6-1, 190, St. Augustine Prep, Richland, N.J.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 4)
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)
TE-DE Jordan Funk, 6-3, 230, Damascus (Md.) HS: USA Today second-team, all-state offensive lineman. (COMMITTED, Oct. 17)
LB John Bailey “JB” Gullatt, 6-foot, 230, West Monroe (La.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe. (COMMITTED, Jan. 17)
CB Quindrelin Hammonds, 6-foot, 195, Alcivy HS, Covington, Ga.
P Zach Harding, 6-6, 185, Christian HS, O’Fallon, Mo.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 2)
OL Blake Harris, 6-1, 299, Ben Lippon School, Columbia, S.C.: (COMMITTED, August 3).
QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
P Will Hetzinger, 6-4, 200, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Hammond, La.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 6)
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, 6-1, 235, 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. USA Today second-team, all-state (COMMITTED, July 12)
WR Cameron Johnson, 6-4, 215, Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.: Former Cal Poly commit.
CB Cameron Jones, 5-10, 163, Harvard-Westlake HS, North Hollywood, Calif.
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 Mason Kolinchak, 6-2, 245, Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, Calif.: Starting guard for country’s No. 1-ranked team. (COMMITTED, Feb. 6)
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)
CB Michael Mbony, 5-11, 189, Sherwood HS, Sandy Spring, Md.: First offer – Army. Second offer – Air Force. Other offers – Navy. Mbony’s brother, James, is a senior center for Army’s rugby team. (COMMITTED, Sept. 18)
LB Rasean McCauley, 6-2, 220, Louisville Male HS, Louisville, Ky. (COMMITTED, Dec. 4)
QB Steven Migut, 6-foot. 180, Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.: First offer – Army. Offensive MVP at Army July camp. (COMMITTED, August 12)
DE/LB Marcus Mosley, 6-2, 238, Duncanville (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Colorado State, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Bowling Green, New Mexico State
CB Isaiah Morris, 5-11, 170, Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.: (COMMITTED, August 25)|
DB Malkelm Morrison, 5-10, 185, Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 21)
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)
C Daniel Parrish, 6-foot, 183, Prince Avenue Christian, Bogart, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Middle Tennessee State (COMMITTED, Oct. 22)
OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
S T.J. Rakowsky, 5-11, 205, Palisades HS, Kintersville, Pa.
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)
DE L.J. Salazar, 6-2, 220, Veterans Memorial HS, Corpus Christi, Texas: (COMMITTED, August 15).
LB Nate Smith, 6-3, 220, Bishop O’Connell HS, Arlington, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, Oct. 2)
FB Landry Songer, 6-1, 205, Midlothian (Texas) HS: Army visit: late July (COMMITTED, August 31)
LB Paul Stanley, 6-2, 220, Marist School, Atlanta, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force, Georgia (preferred walk-on)
DE Ke’Shawn Sullivan, 6-4, 227, Zachary (La.) HS: (COMMITTED, Dec. 15)
K Cole Talley, 6-foot, 175, Rockwall (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 27)
OL Jose Taveras, 6-4, 265, Union City (N.J.) HS
OL Jack Topping, 6-3, 261, Allen (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 27)
LB Evan Townsend-Henry, 6-1, 225, King HS, Norwalk, Conn.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Air Force. (COMMITTED, Oct. 26)
LB Duncan Van Kouteren, 6-3, 205, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS: 2017 stats – 77 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions
K-P Will Van Pamelen, 6-foot, 190, Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga.
S Mondo Walker, 6-foot, 183, Bishop Sullivan HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Other offers – Florida Atlantic
LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
DB Brandon Walters, 6-foot, 170, Bolingbrook (Ill.) HS: First offer. Verbal after attending Buffalo game on Sept. 9. 2017 – 60 tackles, 6 pass breakups.
QB-Athlete J.C. Watson, 5-11, 178, Basehor-Linwood HS, Basehor, Kansas: (COMMITTED, Jan. 25)
RB Danny Webb, 5-7, 160, Montclair (N.J.) HS: Other offers – Illinois, Central Michigan, Kent State.
RB Tyrese White, 5-10, 200, Hamshire-Fannett HS, Hamshire, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 29)
QB Hajj-Malik Williams, 6-2, 180, Hapeville Charter Career Academy, College Park, Ga.
OL Cody Winokur, 6-2, 260, Archbishop Spaudling HS, Severn, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB David Woodward, 5-11, 180, Mount Pisgah Christian School, Alpharetta, Ga.: (COMMITTED, July 30)
*WR Cole Wright, 6-3, 185, Union County HS, Blairsville, Ga.: Dual-threat quarterback is being recruited to play receiver for Black Knights. (COMMITTED, Oct. 10)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa.: (COMMITTED, July 6)
WR Daniel Zuloaga, 6-5, 202, Community School of Naples, Naples, Fla.: Other offers – Western Kentucky, Central Michigan.

* Signed

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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McGue leaves West Point

Sophomore quarterback Malik McGue announced on social media Wednesday that he is no longer attending West Point.

McGue was considered a top candidate to compete for the starting quarterback position this spring. He played in 11 games as Army’s third-string quarterback and punt returner as a freshman in 2016. McGue was academically ineligible for the 2017 season.

“I want to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play for this prestigious program and believing in me since Day 1,” McGue wrote. “I am grateful to have learned so much from one of the best coaching staffs in the country and I have no doubt that this program will continue to experience much success in the future. Thank you to any TACs or teachers that I have encountered in my time here.

“I am blessed to have been led and taught by the best leaders in the world and I will be sure to embrace the core values taught to me from this place because I know it will only set me up to be the best and most successful man that I can be. To the brothers, I have made, the sky is the limit for y’all. You already have the entire country on notice and I know there is still a lot left you guys want to accomplish. I’ve never been around a more hungrier group of guys so I know you will achieve anything you guys set your mind to. Keep proving everyone wrong and I will 4ever cherish my time in the #brotherhood.”

McGue rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown and completed 4-of-6 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown in his freshman year. He was also a member of team’s leadership council. McGue was moved to slotback in 2017 spring in anticipation of additional snaps. He practiced with the team as a scout-team quarterback this past season.

McGue stated in his post that he is looking for a new school and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

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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2018 Army Football Banquet wrap

Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw was named the most valuable player of the Army-Navy game and Armed Forces Bowl last month.

Bradshaw collected his third MVP award as his teammates voted their co-captain Army’s best player for the 2017 season at a season-ending banquet at Eisenhower Hall. The Chicago native set a single-season, service-academy record, rushing for 1,746 yards and helped the Black Knights to a 10-3 record.

“I can’t really describe what it means to be honored by my teammates,” Bradshaw said after the banquet. “I’m not one to care about awards. I care more about team accomplishments. But, it is an honor to recognized by my teammates.”

When asked if there’s a chance from him to return next season, Bradshaw, who has played three years at the academy, said, “We don’t know. It’s up in the air. We’ll see.”

Senior defensive end and co-captain John Voit received the Black Lion Award, given to the player that best displays the characters of former Army football player Don Holleder.

“It’s just really humbling and it’s an honor,” Voit said. “Once you walk in the locker room, the (Black Lion) plaque is on the wall and you see players going back to the 1970s. It’s just truly humbling.”

Senior tackle Brett Toth, who played in the Shrine Game Saturday and was not in attendance for the banquet, earned the William C. Whitehead Memorial Award (senior with highest class standing) and Thomas West Hammond Memorial Award (best lineman). Josh Boylan, Bryce Holland and Mike Houghton accepted to Hammond Award on Toth’s behalf.

Boylan received the Garrison Davidson Award (senior with highest military grade) and the James B. Gillespie Award (player who displays outstanding dedication and unfailing performance).

Senior linebacker Scott Washle was emotional in his acceptance speech for the Chase Prasnicki Memorial Award, which is given to the player who embodies characteristics of the former Army defensive back who was killed in action on June 2012. Washle also earned the Lifter of the Year Award.

Senior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam and senior safety Rhyan England received the Anthony Miller Coaching Staff Award (most inspirational player) for offense and defense respectively.

Freshman slotback Zack Boobas and sophomore linebacker Joe Ryan earned the Joel B. “Dopey” Stephens Memorial Award as the team’s best scout-team players.

Coach Jeff Monken honored 14 senior players, senior student coaches, equipment and video staff before the individual awards.

Nine freshmen lettered: LB Gavin Bassett, CB Javhari Bourdeau, RB Fred Cooper, WR Cam Harrison, RB Artice Hobbs, LB Aaron Jones, LS Kyle O’Connor, C Peyton Reeder, S Justin Thomas

Senior wide receiver Jermaine Adams and Boylan tied for the team lead in Ranger jerseys (extraordinary effort in games) with 11. Bradshaw, Houghton, senior linebacker Alex Aukerman and junior fullback Darnell Woolfolk tied for second with 10. Woolfolk received a Ranger jersey in all 10 games that he played.

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Toth shines at Shrine Game practices

Army senior tackle Brett Toth received some positive reviews during Shrine Game practice this week.

NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread listed Toth as one of nine players that have stood out to scouts in attendance.

Scouts were focusing on Toth’s pass blocking after Army attempted just 65 passes in 2017. Toth started all 13 games of the 2017 season without a penalty.

Toth, who measured at 6-foot-5 3/4 and 304 pounds with an 81-inch wingspan, reportedly met with the Broncos, Texas, Bears and Buccaneers this week.

Tony Pauline of Draftanalyst.com listed Toth as one of the six winners on offense this week and wrote, “There are a lot of reasons to appreciate Toth, his pending service to our nation topping the list. But after three days of Shrine practice, NFL scouts now appreciate the football potential. Toth blocked with great fundamentals and did a terrific job shutting down some of the best pass rushers on the West squad. He needs to get a bit stronger but has the makings of a next-level starter.”

NFLdraftscout.com projects Toth as a sixth-round pick in April’s draft. Believe that Toth would be a second-day pick (round three to five) if he didn’t have to serve two years of military service after graduation.

Toth will play for the West team and wear his No. 78 in the all-star game, which will air at 3 p.m. Saturday on NFL Network. He is off to Mobile, Ala. for his second all-star next Saturday where he will become the first Army player at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

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Recruiting weekend wrap: Commit Jemel Jones impressed on visit, Mosley, Walker commitments

The Colony (Texas) quarterback Jemel Jones was one of Army’s 2018 commits on post for an official visit over the weekend.

Jones signed his letter of commitment in December and is eager to be a Black Knight.

“I really had the time of my life!,” Jones said in a message. “It was a family atmosphere all the way from the entire staff to the players that we had the chance to interact with. I can’t wait to call West Point my home for good.”

Vance (N.C.) defensive end Damir Faison, Northshore (La.) quarterback Walter Harris, Ozark (Ala.) linebacker Tim McClendon and Waxahachie (Texas) running back Jerreth Sterns were among the other Army commits on official visits over the weekend.

Austin-East (Tenn.) linebacker Chris Harris announced a recommitment to Army after his weekend visit.

Army received commitments from Duncanville (Texas) linebacker Marcus Mosley and Bishop Sullivan (Va.) safety Mondo Walker. Both Mosley and Walker visited over the weekend. Ben Davis (Ind.) cornerback Jontae Dobson announced his commitment to Army Tuesday after his weekend visit.

Among the recruits visiting over the weekend were Milan (Tenn.) running back Anthony Ballard, Crosby (Texas) wide receiver Tre Patterson, Holy Innocents Episcopal (Ga.) wide receiver Mykel Tubbs and Henderson (Ala.) running back Jared Wilson. Ballard has offers from Navy and Air Force.

Recruits can direct message me photos from their visit to @salinterdonato if they would like them posted on Twitter.

2018 commits (81)
*S Izzy Akojie, 6-2, 185, Wise HS, Upper Marlboro, Md.: First FBS offer – Army. Former Old Dominion commit.
RB Jonathan Andrews, 6-foot, 185, Dutchtown HS, Hampton, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force. (COMMITTED, August 7)
*OL Sam Backenstoe, 6-3, 263, Davidson HS, Hillard, Ohio: First offer – Army.
*FB Cade Barnard, 6-2, 225, Seminole (Texas) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Colorado State, North Texas, Bowling Green, Nevada, UMass. (COMMITTED, Sept. 17)
*WR-CB Adam Bazan, 5-10, 180, Ridge Point HS, Missouri City, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 3)
*LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
DE Kwabena Bonsu, 6-4, 255, South Cobb HS, Austell, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force, Rutgers, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, Charlotte. (COMMITTED, Oct. 26)
*DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
LB Briar Bearss, 6-foot, 213, Millington (Mich.) HS (COMMITTED, Jan. 11)
*DB Marquel Broughton, 5-10, 175, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
*DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
FB JaKobi Buchanan, Chaminade Prep, St. Louis, Mo.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force. (COMMITTED, Jan. 1)
*QB-WR-TE Shayne Buckingham, 6-4, 220, Dacula (Ga.) HS: (COMMITTED, Dec. 9)
*RB Amon Byars, 5-8, 167, Terry HS, Rosenberg, Texas: Other offers – Navy. Hudl 40-yard dash time – 4.46 (COMMITTED, Nov. 11)
*S Luke Cameron, 6-foot, 207, Kokomo  : Other offers – Air Force.
*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. USA Today first-team, all-state (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)
*S Zion Davis-Thompson, 6-2, 175, North Stafford HS, Stafford, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 31)
CB Jontae Dobson, 5-9, 170, Ben Davis HS, Indianapolis, Ind. (COMMITTED on Jan. 16)
*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)
*OL Alex Faulkner, 6-4, 270, Mishawaka (Ind.) HS: First offer – Air Force. Second offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 12)
S Xavier File, 6-1, 190, St. Augustine Prep, Richland, N.J.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 4)
*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)
TE-DE Jordan Funk, 6-3, 230, Damascus (Md.) HS: USA Today second-team, all-state offensive lineman. (COMMITTED, Oct. 17)
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)
*P Zach Harding, 6-6, 185, Christian HS, O’Fallon, Mo.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 2)
*OL Blake Harris, 6-1, 299, Ben Lippon School, Columbia, S.C.: (COMMITTED, August 3).
*QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
*P Will Hetzinger, 6-4, 200, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Hammond, La.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 6)
*LB Cameron Hoelscher, 6-2, 219, Springfield (Ohio) HS. Other offers: Air Force, Kentucky, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo. (COMMITTED, August 5)
*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. USA Today second-team, all-state (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)
*CB Michael Mbony, 5-11, 189, Sherwood HS, Sandy Spring, Md.: First offer – Army. Second offer – Air Force. Other offers – Navy. Mbony’s brother, James, is a senior center for Army’s rugby team. (COMMITTED, Sept. 18)
LB Rasean McCauley, 6-2, 220, Louisville Male HS, Louisville, Ky. (COMMITTED, Dec. 4)
LB Tim McClendon, 6-foot, 205, Carroll HS, Ozark, Ala.: Other offers – Air Force, Southern Mississippi. (COMMITTED, August 7)
QB Steven Migut, 6-foot. 180, Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.: First offer – Army. Offensive MVP at Army July camp. (COMMITTED, August 12)
DE/LB Marcus Mosley, 6-2, 238, Duncanville (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Colorado State, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Bowling Green, New Mexico State
*CB Isaiah Morris, 5-11, 170, Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.: (COMMITTED, August 25)|
DB Malkelm Morrison, 5-10, 185, Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 21)
*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)
*C Daniel Parrish, 6-foot, 183, Prince Avenue Christian, Bogart, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Middle Tennessee State (COMMITTED, Oct. 22)
*OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
S T.J. Rakowsky, 5-11, 205, Palisades HS, Kintersville, Pa.
*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)
DE L.J. Salazar, 6-2, 220, Veterans Memorial HS, Corpus Christi, Texas: (COMMITTED, August 15).
LB Nate Smith, 6-3, 220, Bishop O’Connell HS, Arlington, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, Oct. 2)
*FB Landry Songer, 6-1, 205, Midlothian (Texas) HS: Army visit: late July (COMMITTED, August 31)
RB Jerreth Sterns, 5-8, 180, Waxahachie (Texas) HS: Other offers – Navy. (COMMITTED, Oct. 6)
DE Ke’Shawn Sullivan, 6-4, 227, Zachary (La.) HS: (COMMITTED, Dec. 15)
*K Cole Talley, 6-foot, 175, Rockwall (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 27)
*OL Jose Taveras, 6-4, 265, Union City (N.J.) HS
*OL Jack Topping, 6-3, 261, Allen (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 27)
*LB Evan Townsend-Henry, 6-1, 225, King HS, Norwalk, Conn.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Air Force. (COMMITTED, Oct. 26)
*LB Duncan Van Kouteren, 6-3, 205, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS: 2017 stats – 77 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions
*K-P Will Van Pamelen, 6-foot, 190, Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga.
S Mondo Walker, 6-foot, 183, Bishop Sullivan HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Other offers – Florida Atlantic
*LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
*DB Brandon Walters, 6-foot, 170, Bolingbrook (Ill.) HS: First offer. Verbal after attending Buffalo game on Sept. 9. 2017 – 60 tackles, 6 pass breakups.
*RB Danny Webb, 5-7, 160, Montclair (N.J.) HS: Other offers – Illinois, Central Michigan, Kent State.
RB Tyrese White, 5-10, 200, Hamshire-Fannett HS, Hamshire, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 29)
*OL Cody Winokur, 6-2, 260, Archbishop Spaudling HS, Severn, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB David Woodward, 5-11, 180, Mout Pisgah Christian School, Alpharetta, Ga.: (COMMITTED, July 30)
WR Cole Wright, 6-3, 185, Union County HS, Blairsville, Ga.: Dual-threat quarterback is being recruited to play receiver for Black Knights. (COMMITTED, Oct. 10)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa.: (COMMITTED, July 6)

* Signed

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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Corley leaves for Penn State, Steelman option as WR coach

Army is looking for its third wide receivers coach in three seasons after the departure of David Corley earlier this week.

Corley, whose recent social-media posts stirred up the Army-Navy rivalry, will coach running backs at Penn State. He joined Army’s staff in February 2017 after three seasons at UConn.

Corley said in a Twitter post, “I want to thank coach Jeff Monken for giving me the opportunity to work with him and the awesome staff at West Point! These players are going to be leading our nation in a few years & I feel very confident that America is in good hands. We worked hard, but we had fun tying the school record for wins (10) and shutting out Air Force on the road. It was even more fun to beat Navy in the snow, while representing the 10th Mountain Division and take the Commander in Chif trophy with players, coaches and staff who worked hard! Coaching Army West Point Football has been an experience that I will never forget. Go Army, Beat Navy Again!”

Army senior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam posted a message on social media that reads, “Huge congratulations to you Coach Corley. Will never forget the fire, passion, and love you brought to the WR Room.”

Wide receivers caught seven of Army’s 20 completions in 2017. But the unit’s blocking led by Ejekam and senior Jermaine Adams was vital in the Black Knights’ No. 1- ranked rushing attack under the direction of Corley.

One option for Corley’s replacement could be former Army quarterback Trent Steelman. Steelman has coached wide receivers the past two seasons at Jacksonville University. He was the special teams coordinator for Jacksonville in 2017. Steelman, a 2013 West Point graduate and four-year starter (2009-12) for the Black Knights, owns the academy record for rushing touchdowns (45). Steelman’s 3,320 career rushing yards are the most by a quarterback in Army history.

Army currently has one West Point graduate – fullbacks coach Mike Viti – on the coaching staff.

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Notebook: Reality of winning, Wilson’s return, improved defense in 2018

One of the realities of a winning program is the difficulty to retain assistant coaches, coach Jeff Monken said.

Monken said there are going to be members of Army’s staff receiving interest for head coaching, coordinator and assistant positions following the Black Knights’ 10-3 season.

“That’s natural,” Monken said in an interview last week. “That happens when you have success and good people and we do. We have a great staff. These are great men. They are fine football coaches and I’d hate to lose these guys. When you have success, it’s going to be hard to keep them.”

“Certainly to be at a program here where we have had success, there’s something attractive about that and getting to coach these guys and these players, being in this environment, living here at West Point. This is an unbelievable place. There’s other places where you can earn more money. Certainly, there’s places where you can make a lot less. We compensate our coaches very well here. There’s always other programs and bigger schools. Schools that have more money and the NFL…there’s other things out there.

“Sometimes, it has a matter to do with the family. They love living here. This is worth the price of admission just to be here and to live here at West Point. Others want to move to this place because it’s closer to home or my wife is from this area. There’s a lot of decisions like anybody else. Each one of these coaches as they should has to make a decision based on their family first. If they do that, they are going to be in a very comfortable position as a family and that’s important. I think this is a great place. I hope we can keep our coaches. Time will tell.”

Monken confirmed kicker Blake Wilson will return for an additional year in the fall. Wilson made only three of his eight field-goal attempts and converted 43 of 44 extra points in 2017. Wilson was 4-for-8 on field in 2016.

“I thought he (Wilson) had a good start to the season and then the inconsistency there,” Monken said. “He had some tough kicks there too. They weren’t all easy kicks. I think he’s improved tremendously and as he matures he’s gotten a lot of game experience this year and I think he’s going to get better.”

Senior linebacker Alex Aukerman doesn’t expect Army’s defense to miss a beat next season with the graduation of himself, defensive end John Voit and safety Rhyan England. Army finished third in red-zone defense, 14th in pass defense (176.8 yards/game) and 32nd in total defense (349.7 yards/game).

“I think they are going to be great,” Aukerman said. “There are a lot of talented guys coming in and a ton of guys that have played a lot and have a lot of good game experience. I’m curious to see who makes the biggest strides this offseason. We have the guys to be even better next year on defense. I know there’s a lot of guys that are really ready to play and showcase their talents.”

Aukerman mentioned sophomore defensive end Amadeo West as a player to watch in 2018. West, a projected starter, suffered a preseason ACL injury and missed the 2017 season.

Monken said sophomore offensive lineman Mike Johnson received a medical leave of absence after a preseason ACL injury and could receive an additional year. Johnson started two games at right guard as a freshman in 2016.

Marcus Hyatt’s return to the academy is unclear, Monken said. Hyatt started eight games at cornerback in 2016 before suffering an ACL injury. He missed the spring of 2017 after spending three months in a hospital battling a neurological disorder. Hyatt took a medical leave of absence from the academy this past fall and Monken said as far as he knew Hyatt wasn’t expected to return back to school this semester.

“I don’t know,” Monken said when asked about Hyatt’s football future. “I can’t say. That will all be a determination based on his health…

Marcus Hyatt: I don’t know. I can’t say. That will all be a determination based on his health…I’m sure that this spring is really going to be the determining factor on how healthy he is and what his future holds.”

Aukerman said he will not be participating in a Pro Day due to a knee injury. He said he will be a graduate assistant, working with Army’s scout team in the fall.

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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Monken speaks at AFCA convention

Jeff Monken addressed hundreds of his peers Tuesday morning at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Monken spoke during the same session as Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. Boasting about Army’s 10-3 season wasn’t on Monken’s agenda.

“I’m not going to talk about our team or our accomplishments,” Monken said in an interview last week. “Nobody is interested in that. I’m going to talk about the things that they ask me to talk about. My story, how I got here, our academy, the great things about academy, a little bit about the daily life of a cadet.”

Monken continued, “I’m more going to talk about our responsibility as coaches in general to this game, to our young people. Not only teaching the game properly and safely to protect our game but morals and ethics and standards that we set for our young men that we coach in this game and our sense of responsibility. Often times, we are the only role models that these guys have. To teach values and service to others and what it means to be part of the team, the important things in this profession. The Xs and Os, the wins and losses, those aren’t the important things. I’m going to talk about the important things.

“I’ve been going to these conventions for almost 30 years and I marvel at the coaches that get to talk during these general sessions to 1,000 people. It’s a huge ball room. You can land an airplane in there and it’s full of coaches. To have the privilege to be able to speak to that convention is pretty incredible.”

“People aren’t interested in me or our accomplishments. I think it’s my duty to profession and the association to talk about something that is important to all of us as coaches. I want to make sure I do that along with this is who I am, this is how I got here. That also gives me an opportunity to talk about our team and the young people here and the commitment that they make and the kind of young men that they are and why we able to have success here as a team when we are not as physically talented as most people we play.”

 

 

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Ahmad Bradshaw’s future

Ahmad Bradshaw’s college football future is cloudy after the senior quarterback led Army an Armed Forces Bowl win over San Diego State two weeks ago.

When asked about playing for the final time in the bowl’s postgame press conference, Bradshaw said, “It’s emotional to know that’s it’s my last game.”

Bradshaw, who rushed for a school-record 1,746 yards in 2017, may or may not have played his last down for the Black Knights.

When asked if a decision has been made on Bradshaw’s career being over, coach Jeff Monken said in an interview earlier this week, “It has not been. Time will tell there.”

Bradshaw has started 25 of Army’s 26 games over the last two seasons, leading Army to 18 wins. He didn’t play his freshman year due to an academy matter and is not on track to graduate with his class in May. Bradshaw will be a cadet in fall of 2018. A decision to permit Bradshaw to play one more season would be in the hands of the Academy and the NCAA eligibility committee.

Bradshaw is currently fifth on Army’s all-time rushing list with 3,038 yards. Mike Mayweather is the academy’s leader with 4,299 yards. Bradshaw’s 1746 yards this season were the third highest by an FBS quarterback in a single season. Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois owns the top two seasons with 1,920 in 2013 and 1815 in 2012. Lynch played in 14 games in both seasons. Bradshaw played in 13 games in 2017.

If Bradshaw does not return, who will be Army’s starting quarterback in 2018?

Monken said juniors Chris Carter and Luke Langdon, sophomore Kelvin Hopkins and freshmen Christian Anderson and Cam Thomas would compete in spring practice.

Carter practiced with the team this season but was unable to play due to academics. He started two games as a freshman, including nearly knocking off Navy and Keenan Reynolds, and one as a sophomore. Carter rushed for 263 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 162 yards and two scores in 2016.

Hopkins played in six of Army’s 13 games in 2017, and accounted for six of the team’s 20 completions. The sophomore’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Adams with one second left helped forced overtime in Army’s 31-28 win over Temple in October.

Langdon appeared in six games in 2017, rushing eight times for 24 yards and a touchdown.

Thomas was briefly moved to cornerback during the 2017 season.

Anderson was named offensive scout-team player of the week for the Temple game.

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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Toth headed to Senior Bowl

Army tackle Brett Toth will have plenty of opportunities to impress NFL scouts later this month.

Earlier this week, Toth accepted his second all-star game invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala.

According to the Senior Bowl’s Twitter account, Toth will be the first Army player to participate in the game’s 69-year history.

Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, the nation’s leading rusher, and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph are among the players expected to play in the Senior Bowl.

Toth was previously invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 20 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Scouts from most of the NFL’s 32 teams visited Army football practice this past season to look at Toth, who is 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. Toth started in 26 straight games over the last two seasons. He was named the Associated Press All-Bowl team Thursday. Toth helped Army lead the nation in rushing and set an academy-record, single-season record with 4,710 yards.

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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    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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