Weekly 2015 recruiting update

Depth in Army’s secondary is an area of concern for first-year coach Jeff Monken.

Monken moved sophomore quarterback Tevin Long and junior running back Jared Rogers to cornerback after spring practice.

The Black Knights starters – cornerbacks Josh Jenkins and Chris Carnegie and safeties Geoff Bacon and Hayden Pierce – are experienced. But, the most of the remaining defensive backs are untested.

Help is on the way. Army added two more defensive backs to its 2015 recruiting class this week.

Charlotte (N.C.) Christian cornerback Jaylon McClinton and Prince George (Va.) cornerback Richard Hanson gave Army their verbal commitments Monday (July 28).

The two commitments push Army’s total to 13, three days before it opens preseason camp on Monday. Army received commitments from Westfield (Va.) safety James Gibson and Broken Arrow (Okla.) cornerback Markale Moses last week.

When I asked Monken if he was happy with the way recruiting was going, he said, “I’d like to have the 25 best players in America say, ‘I’m committed to West Point.’ I’m like everybody else. Then, I would be where we want to be. That’s not where we are. We are not where we want to be yet. We are going to keep pushing to try to get the best players that we can.

“I’m excited about the young men that we are recruiting. Our staff is doing a great job of identifying the right kinds of young men for West Point, for this football program and for this academy. Men, who will serve their nation and be officers in the United States Army. We are going to find those kinds of guys. It takes time and it takes a tremendous effort by everybody involved. I’m really pleased with the work our staff is doing. I think they are doing a great job.”

Army offered Hillcrest defensive lineman Roderick Stoddard Thursday.

Army 2015 verbal commitments
OL Jake Baumert, 6-3, 300, Lovejoy HS, Lucas, Texas
LB Jacob Covington, 6-2, 215, Liberty Hill (Texas) HS
DE Nick Czar, 6-4, 255, Highland (Ill.) HS
DE T.J. Jackson, 5-11, 245, Trinity Christian HS, Jacksonville, Fla.
S James Gibson, 6-1, 200 Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.
CB Richard Hanson, 5-10, 170, Prince George (Va.) HS
QB Kelvin Hopkins, 5-10, 194, Independence HS, Charlote, N.C.
CB Jaylon McClinton, 5-10, 185, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian HS
DE Julian Meares, 6-3, 219, John Carroll School, Bel Air, Md.
CB Markale Moses, 5-10, 164, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS
LB Corey Sanders, 6-4, 215, The Woodlands (Texas) HS
DT Tanner Sheffield, 6-3, 245, North Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.
QB Troy Smith, 6-0, 185, Harker Heights (Texas) HS

Here’s a list of the high school players from the class of 2015, who have received an offer to play Army football.

Might be missing a few but a pretty solid list.

Offers
RB Jordan Asberry, 5-9, 165, Colerain HS, Cincinnati, Ohio: Navy and Air Force have also offered Asberry.
S D’Angelo Amos, 6-1, 175, Meadowbrook HS, Richmond, Va.
TE Brion Anduze, 6-4, 225, Central Kitsap HS, Silverdale, Wash.: (COMMITTED to Arizona)
CB Aaquil Annoor, 5-11, 170, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy
WR Chad Artist, 6-3, 180, Logan (Utah) HS: Artist’s Hudl profile says he runs a 4.39-second, 40-yard dash. (COMMITTED to Utah State)
DT Luc Bequette, 6-2, 290, Little Rock (Ark.) Catholic: Played junior season at Centennial High in Champaign, Ill. Also a center.
S Rashaad Bolton, 5-11, 205, Veterans HS, Kathleen, Ga.
T Christian Castleberry, 6-4, 270, Mesquite (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED to Arkansas State)
T-DE Nick Carmen, 6-4, 255, Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix, Ariz.
T-DT Nick Carnesale, 6-2, 260, Hammonton (N.J.) HS
T Tyler Carr, 6-6, 322, Southside (Ala.) HS: Carr is ranked the fourth-best offensive tackle nationally and the 30th-best player overall by Rivals. Has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Georgia and Nebraska among others. (COMMITTED to Auburn).
LB Dyson Chmura, 6-3, 212, Waukesha West (Wisc.) HS: The son of former Packers tight end Mark Chmura has potential to play on the offensive side of the ball.
WR Glen Coates, 5-11, 172, Davidson (N.C.) Day HS: Also offered by Navy.
QB Austin Conway, 5-11, 165, Overland HS, Aurora, Colo.: Conway, a three-star football recruit by Rivals, has offers from Nebraska and Colorado among others. He’s also a highly-recruited basketball player. Indiana has offered Conway for hoops. COMMITTED to Wyoming (basketball)
LB Jacob Covington, 6-2, 215, Liberty Hill (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED to Army)
LB Trevor Darby 6-3, 210 Davidson (N.C.) Day HS: Navy has also offered Darby.
DL Jack Darnell, 6-3, 260, Champlin Park HS, Champlin, Minn.: (COMMITTED to North Dakota State)
RB Andrew Davidson, 6-2, 210, Emmaus (Pa.) HS
RB Charlie Davidson, 5-10, 200, Blackman HS, Munfreesboro, Tenn.
S Chuck Davis, 5-8, 160, Broad Run HS, Ashburn, Va.: Davis has received a scholarship offer from Wisconsin among others.
RB Taye Davis, 6-2, 225, Lebanon (Tenn.) HS
OG Pat DiCarlo, 6-3, 280, Foothill HS, Santa Ana, Calif.
CB Daivon Ellison, 5-9, 180, Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.: Second-team, all-state cornerback is the No. 27 prospect in New Jersey, according to NJ.com. Ellison top four schools are Boston College, Penn State, Rutgers and Syracuse.
C Josh Fannin, 6-3, 290, Mill Creek HS, Hoschton, Ga.: Fannin is ranked the nation’s 10th best center and Georgia’s 70th-best player by Rivals. (COMMITTED to Middle Tennessee State)
FB-LB Pena Fitisemanu, 6-foot,255, Kahuku (Hawaii) HS: Navy offered Fitisemanu before Army.
S Kyle Floyd, 6-3, 205, Humble (Texas) HS
DE Marques Ford, 6-4, 217, East Bay HS, Gibsonton, Fla.: Ranked the 14th-best defensive end and 48th-best player in Florida by Rivals.com. Ford has offers from Clemson, Wisconsin, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Duke, N.C. State and among others. (COMMITTED to Tennessee)
RB Jonathan Forrest 5-11, 202, New Rochelle (N.Y.) HS: Forrest is ranked the second-best overall player in New York and the 50th-best running back in the country by Rivals.
S Clay French, 6-2, 200, Northview HS, Duluth, Ga.: French has an unofficial visit to West Point planned for July 21.
LB Eric Gallon, 6-2, 220, Jenkins HS, Lakeland, Fla.: Buffalo, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan are among the schools that have offered Gallon.
TE Jeff Gemmell, 6-3, 215, Heritage HS, Wake Forest, N.C.: (COMMITTED to UNC Charlotte)
S James Gibson, 6-1, 200 Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Voted top safety at Army’s second prospect camp in June. (COMMITTED to Army)
C Michael Gomez, 6-foot, 270, Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.
RB Evan Gray, 5-10, 228, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Voted best running back at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
T-DE Devin Hannan, 6-4, 270, Belle Vernon (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED to Towson)
CB Richard Hanson, 5-10, 170, Prince George (Va.) HS: Voted top cornerback at Army’s second prospect camp in June. (COMMITTED to Army)
WR Jaylen Harris, 5-7, 150, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas
G R.J. Harris, 6-3, 260, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
CB Montre Hartage, 6-foot, 180, Crisp County HS, Cordele, Ga.
LB Hayden Haupt, 6-2, 210, Clovis North HS, Fresno, Calif.
RB Robert Heyward, 6-foot, 195, Calvary Day School, Savannah, Ga.
WR Tabari Hines, 5-10, 165, South Florence HS, Florence, S.C.: (COMMITTED to Wake Forest)
LB Kendrick Jackson, 6-1, 235, Haynesville (La.) HS: (COMMITTED to Arizona)
DE T.J. Jackson, 5-11, 245, Trinity Catholic HS, Jacksonville, Fla.: (COMMITTED to Army)
QB Issac James, 5-11, 183 Carmel (Ind.) HS
WR-CB Brenndan Johnson, 5-11, 170, Midway HS, Waco, Texas: (COMMITTED to Navy)
RB Jalen Johnson, 5-9, 167, Westview HS, Avondale, Ariz.
C Andrew Jones, 6-foot, 280 Unionville HS, Kennett Square, Pa.
LB Cole Jones, 6-foot, 210, St Xavier HS, Cincinnati
DE Milord Juste, 6-1, 242, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) HS: (COMMITTED to Florida International)
TE Christian Kelley, 6-2, 230, Mount Carmel (Pa.) HS: Kelley went on an unofficial visit to Army on June 17.
DL Simeon Lane, St. Xavier’s HS, Cincinnati
LB-RB Noah Lazaro, 6-2, 215, Southwest HS, Lincoln, Neb.
DB Trey Lee, 5-10, 185, Thomas Stone HS, Waldorf, Md.
LB Gus Little 6-3, 224, Massaponax HS, Fredricksburg, Va.: (COMMITTED to Maryland)
DE Kirk Livingstone, 6-4, 235, Stranahan HS, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: (COMMITTED to Alabama-Birmingham)
DE Dante Lonardo, Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED to Lafayette)
RB DeAngelo Malone, 5-11, 185, Cathedral HS, Erie, Pa.
DT Thad Mangum, 6-1, 270, Christ Church Episcopal HS, Greenville, S.C.
RB Marcus Marshall, 5-10, 200, Millbrook HS, Raleigh, N.C.
S Andrew Martel, 6-1, 195, Foster HS, Richmond, Texas: (COMMITTED to Texas-San Antonio)
OL Mitch Mathes, 6-3, 280, Troup County HS, LaGrange, Ga.: (COMMITTED to Mercer)
DE-LB Julian Meares, 6-3, 220, John Carroll School, Bel Air, Md.: Made unofficial visit to West Point on July 17. (COMMITTED to Army)
C-NG Jamarion McBride, 6-2, 290, Hillcrest HS, Simpsonville, S.C.
CB Jaylon McClinton, 5-10, 185, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian HS: (COMMITTED to Army)
G Kyle-Malik Mitchell, 6-2, 295, Alcoa (Tenn.) HS
G Trenton Mooney, 6-5, 255, Lamar (Mo.) HS
CB Sammy Morrison, 5-11, 160 Gonzaga HS, Washington, D.C. (COMMITTED to Arizona)
CB Markale Moses, 5-10, 164, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS: (COMMITTED to Army)
NG Army Motuapuaka, 5-11, 285, Salem HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Army is Motuapuaka’s first FBS offer. Father is first sergeant in Army. Brother is linebacker for Virginia Tech. Made unofficial visit to West Point on July 16.
DT Kevin Murphy, 6-3, 275, West Chester (Pa.) East HS (COMMITTED to UConn)
LB-FB Robert Muschamp, Darlington School, Rome, Ga.: A three-star recruit by Rivals, Muschamp is ranked as the 38th-best outside linebacker in the nation and the 41st-best player in Georgia.
DE Jalen Nash, 6-3, 235, SouthLake Christian HS, Huntersville, N.C.
WR Devin Nixon, 6-foot, 181, Viera (Fla.) HS
OL-DL Michael Owens, 6-4, 270, Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park, Ill.
RB Devine Ozigbo, 5-11, 230, Sachse (Texas) HS: Rivals ranks Ozigbo the 42nd-best running back in the class of 2015. Texas back has 23 FBS offers (COMMITTED to Iowa State)
G Ethan Palelei, 6-foot, 290 Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas: Brother, Evan, was a senior defensive end at Navy last season. Father, Lonnie, played for Steelers, Eagles, Giants and Jets.
LB Charlie Patrick, 6-1, 208, Mays HS, Atlanta: Patrick has named his top three schools. In no particular order, Western Kentucky, Appalachian State and Georgia State.
WR Christian Philpott, 6-4, 203, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.: Georgia state 1A 200 and 400-meter champion also has offers from Wisconsin, Miami (Fla.), Iowa State, Maryland, Central Florida and Louisville among others. (COMMITTED to Georgia Tech)
QB Elijah Robinson, 6-1, 174, Montclair HS, N.J. (COMMITTED to Boston College)
QB Rashad Robinson, 6-foot, 180, Hermitage HS, Richmond, Va.
OL Nelson Santiago, 6-4, 266, Oakleaf HS, Orange Park, Fla.: Also has offers from Cincinnati, Western Kentucky and Florida International.
LB Ben Schrider, 6-4, 225, St. Mary’s College HS, Albany, Calif.
LB Gabriel Sewell, 6-foot, 215, Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah
DT Lausii “Boogie” Sewell, 6-foot, 305, Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah
DL Tanner Sheffield, 6-3, 245, North Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.: (COMMITTED to Army, July 10)
QB Jeff Smith, 6-1, 170, Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS: (COMMITTED to Boston College)
LB-S Aron Spann, 6-2, 195, Dorman HS, Roebuck, S.C.
WR Brad Stewart, 6-1, 190, Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Ga.
DL Roderick Stoddard, 6-foot, 250, Hillcrest HS, Simpsonville, S.C.
OL Nathan Thacker, 6-2, 250, Lord Botetourt HS, Daleville, Va.
DL Josh Uluocha, 6-3, 267, Stafford (Texas) HS: Uluocha received his first offer from Army. Texas State followed up with an offer on same day.
RB Quaide Weimerskirch, 6-foot, 200 pounds, Pace HS, Milton, Fla. (COMMITTED to Louisiana-Lafayette)
QB McKinley Whitfield, 6-4, 195, Spiro (Okla.) HS: Army is recruiting Whitfield, who was named the top basketball player in his area, as an quarterback and an athlete. Rivals ranks Whitfield as the 13th-best player in the state of Oklahoma.
WR Kielan Whitner, 6-1, 178, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
QB Greg Williams, 5-10, 193, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas: (COMMITTED to Texas State)
QB Arion Worthman, 6-foot, 200 University HS, Normal, Ill.
C Kendel Wright, 6-3, 280, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
DT Raymond Wright, 6-3, 265, Kell HS, Charlotte, N.C.
DE Will Yancey, 6-4, 240, Landmark Christian HS, Fairburn, Ga.
LB Christian Young, 6-2, 215. Hough HS, Cornelius, N.C.

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Schurr questionable for start of preseason

Junior quarterback A.J. Schurr may not be ready to practice when Army opens preseason camp Monday, coach Jeff Monken said.

Monken said Schurr, who finished spring practice No. 1 on the depth chart, pulled a muscle in conditioning training last week.

Schurr had edged out senior Angel Santiago, who started 11 games last year, in the spring.

With Schurr banged up, Santiago and sophomore Matt Kaufmann are the the only upperclassmen quarterbacks going into camp. Santiago led the team with 10 rushing touchdowns in 2013.

“Kaufmann is in the mix and we will give all of those freshmen that we’ve got coming in an opportunity to compete and learn the position and see what they can do,” Monken said.

Ahmad Bradshaw and Kado Brown rotated at quarterback for Army Prep last fall. Brandon Barnes played mostly cornerback at Army Prep last season but was a prep quarterback. Seth Gonzales and Blake Goddard are true freshman.

Goddard, who played at Kirkwood (Mo.) High, was named a second-team linebacker by the St. Louis Dispatch last fall.

Gonzales led Chapin High in El Paso, Texas to three straight district titles. He averaged 347 total yards and three touchdowns per game as a senior.

I don’t know which ones (freshmen) are going to stand out,” Monken said. “I don’t know which ones are going to be the guys that are going to rise up out of that pack. We’ll see as we progress through preseason camp.”

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Army picks up commitment from Okla. CB

Broken Arrow (Okla.) cornerbacker Markale Moses tweeted Monday morning that he has verbally committed to Army.

Army recently offered Moses, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 164 pounds.

Broken Arrow coach David Alexander said Army is getting, “a true ‘man corner’ type of kid.  He’s got great change of direction, and has open-field speed to track down any receiver. Markale also has tremendous ball skills, he could easily return punts and kickoffs.”

For more on Army football, follow me Twitter @salinterdonato

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2014 Army Prep football tentative roster (updated)

The following players are expected to report for Army Prep “R” Day Monday.

If I’m missing anyone, please Tweet me @salinterdonato or email me at sinterdonato@th-record.com

DE Emmanuel Aka, 6-3, 215, Norcross (Ga.) HS
FB Teran Barnitz, 6-foot, 215, Cabell Midland HS, Ona, W. Va.
DE Loyd Beal, 6-3, 210, Seneca HS, Louisville, Ky.
RB Nicholas Black, 5-9, 189, College Park HS, Woodlands, Texas
QB Chris Carter, 5-11, 165, Imperial (Calif.) HS
RB Malik Crossdale, 5-11, 205, Fordham Prep, Bronx, N.Y.
S Casey Dionne, 6-1, 180, Madison Southern HS, Berea, Ky.
LB Nika Davis, 6-foot, 190, Waco (Texas) HS
LS Scott Flanick, 6-2, 215, Pine Bush (N.Y.) HS
LB Jaquan Frazier, 6-foot, 194, Norcross (Ga.) HS
T Tim Gant, 6-3, 270, Christian Brothers College HS, St. Louis
DE Juwan Griffith-James, 6-2, 201, Bergenfield (N.J.) HS
QB Jake Gnacinski 6-2, 225, Fossil Ridge HS, Keller, Texas
RB Ray Hardaway, 5-11, 195, Mountainview HS, Auburn, Wash.
DB Jalen Hemphill 6-foot, 184, Novato (Calif.) HS
DB Kadeem Hemphill 6-foot, 180, Novato (Calif.) HS
LB Max Hernandez, 6-3, 215 Warren Central HS, Indianapolis, Ind.
LB Calen Holt, 6-1, 205, Kamehameha HS, Honolulu, Hawaii
WR-CB-KR Brandon Jackson, 6-foot, 175, Holy Cross (N.Y.) HS
LB Sam Johnson, 6-2, 220, Riverview HS, Sarasota, Fla.
T Sheldon Johnson, 6-3, 260, Gilman School (Md.), Baltimore
LB Jarrod Jones, 5-10, 205, Prattville (Ala.) HS
G Rick Kurz, 6-2, 265, St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio
QB Luke Langdon, 5-11, 185, Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif.
DT Britt Lee, 6-3, 295, Greater Atlanta (Ga.) Christian
LB Cole Macek, 5-11, 216, Montour HS, McKees Rock, Pa.
LB Zach Maxwell 6-1, 205, Southington (Conn.) HS
CB Isa Muhammad, 5-11, 175, Riverdale (Ga.) HS
LB James Nachtigal, 6-2, 205, Fort Atkinson (Wisc.) HS
DL Angelo Natter, 6-3, 250, Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh
G Victor Nieves, 6-4, 331, Northview (Ala.)
WR Jalen Parson, 6-3, 185, Heritage HS, Wake Forest, N.C.
WR Luke Peterman, 6-4, 190, Vandegrift HS, Austin, Texas
WR-LB Christian Poe 6-4, 190, Cienega HS, Vail, Ariz.
LB Chandler Ramirez, 6-foot, 210, Archbishop Mitty (Calif) HS
OL Josh Rea, 6-foot, 280, Northwest Mississippi CC
S Max Regan, 6-3, 188, Vandegrift HS, Austin, Texas
CB Michael Reynolds, 6-foot, 175, Northview (Ala.) HS
WR-CB Malik St. Hilaire, 6-foot, 175, Palisades Park/Leonia, N.J.
WR Malik Sanders, 6-5, 193, Harlan HS, Chicago
TE Zach Saum, 6-4, 215, Cathedral HS, Indianapolis, Ind.
OT Austin Schuffert, 6-3, 250. Prattville (Ala.) HS
WR Jalen Sharp, 6-1, 175, Greenhill HS, Addison, Texas
LB Demetro Stephens, 6-1, 220, Arabia Mountain HS, Lithonia, Ga.
WR Shafer Swann, 6-2, 195, Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh
OL Jericho Tamasese, 6-2, 280, Archbishop Riordan HS, San Francisco
WR-S Jamal Tookes, 6-4, 195, Eagle’s Landing Christian (Ga.) HS
RB E.J. Turner, 5-10, 170, Grissom HS, Huntsville, Ala.
G Kaveinga Tuitahi, 6-3, 300, Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif.
FB Kendall Tu’ua, 5-11, 215, Timpview HS, Provo, Utah
DE Austin Weaver, 6-2, 250, Salpointe HS, Tucson, Ariz.
RB Isaiah Williams, 6-foot, 195, South Forsyth HS, Ga.
RB Kenyon Williams, 5-8, 165 LaQuinta (Calif.) HS
FB Darnell Woolfork, 5-10, 220, Maine Endwell (N.Y.) HS

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Catching up: Alex Moore

Note: This entry is a part of  a series of interviews with former Army football players at the 2014 Army Football Club golf function.

The best day of Alex Moore’s life was December 1, 2001, he says.

Moore, then a junior guard, and his Army teammates celebrated a 26-17 victory over Navy at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

Army has lost 12 straight games to Navy since the win.

Moore, a 2002 captain, talks about the impact of beating Navy, his time at West Point, how he would play for first-year coach Jeff Monken if he had any eligibility left and representing Army in a recent Army-Navy arena football game.

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Catching up: Calvin Cass

Note: This entry is a part of  a series of interviews with former Army football players at the Army Football Club golf function.

Calvin Cass remembers Army coach Jim Young giving him two options his senior season.

Cass could put his dislocated elbow in a cast and never play again.

Or Cass could begin rehabilitation and hope to be ready for the Navy game.

Cass chose the second option as Army prepared to play Syracuse on Oct. 27, 1990.

Seven weeks later, Cass took the field against Navy and played in most of Army’s 30-20 victory at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

“I had the arm all bandaged up,” Cass said. “I took the brace off my knee (which he hurt against Wake Forest on Sept. 29, 1990) and I had a pretty good game. You’ll never forget those games. Unless I was in the hospital or a cast, I wasn’t going to miss that game. I started and played just about every play. Coach said if  I was able to play, I could play. I was going to play.”

Army football still means a lot to Cass except on one December Saturday. Cass sat on the Navy side for the first time in the rivalry last season. Calvin, Jr., Cass’ son, was a Navy freshman running back. Calvin Jr. chose Navy over Army.

“I sat on the Navy side but I wore neutral colors,” Cass said. “It’s one of those feelings where you know your son is on one team and you want the very best for him and you graduated from the other school. You go back and at the end of the day, I’m a father and I love my son and I want what’s best for him.

“You look at as my time at Army is different than his time at Navy. As a 17-year-old kid being recruited, he had to look at both opportunities and based on what was best for him, he chose Navy. I couldn’t be prouder of him whether he chose Navy, Army, Air Force. Any one of the service academies, you can’t go wrong. You got a little rivalry thing every time you have an Army-Navy game. It’s fun. I look at that as a great opportunity for him. I think the coaches do a great job down there and I think he will do well there.”

First-year coach Jeff Monken is trying to instill the toughness that Cass showed his senior season into Army current players. During the spring, Monken thought some players missed too much practice time with minor injuries.

“I’m hopeful that there will be a positive change with the program,” Cass said. “Everything I hear about coach Monken is positive and upbeat. He’s doing the right things. He doesn’t want to use the indoor facility. You play outside, you practice outside. Those things sound good to me. Navy’s kicked our butt for some time. He came from Navy. I know what Navy does. If he can do half of what they do down at Navy, I think we will be better off…

“He’s no-nonsense. But, you know what, I look at that as he really cares for the kids and wants the best out of them.”

Catching up series
Josh Holden
Clarence Holmes

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Recruiting: Sheffield on commitment

Tanner Sheffield has thought about attending a service academy since he was in middle school.

Sheffield just wasn’t sure exactly which academy.

The choice became clearer when Sheffield, a senior defensive lineman at North Paulding (Ga.) High, was offered a chance to play Division I football for Army in March. Sheffield visited the academy for its spring game on April 18. The next day – Easter Sunday – Army defensive coordinator Jay Bateman took Sheffield and his family on a three-hour tour on post.

“The whole campus, I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Sheffield said.  “The football crowd really seemed into it. The coaches were great. The coaching staff really impressed me and the campus really impressed me. It’s really historic. Everybody up there was very respectful. I just liked all the surroundings.”

Sheffied left West Point, leaning toward Army. But, college was the biggest decision of his life. Sheffield wanted to make sure he was making the right choice. So, Sheffield attended a football camp at Air Force on June 18.

“The coaching staff has been there (at Air Force) for a while and I compared it to what I saw at West Point and their coaching staff felt like they were going through the motions,” Sheffield said. “They didn’t seem as fired up or excited about the football program. I prefer a coaching staff with that mentality. It was just a completely different atmosphere.”

Sheffield recently gave Army his verbal commitment. Education, becoming a commissioned officer and an enthusiastic coaching staff pulled Sheffield to West Point.

“I came to the conclusion when you have the opportunity to go to Army,  a $500,000 education and a chance to play Division I football, it’s hard to turn that down,” Sheffield said… ” I thought about it and I don’t think there can be a better offer to come along than Army…

“They (the coaches) are down to earth and they understand what’s going on. The main part that I like about them is that they seemed really fired up about what they are doing and what they are getting ready to do. I feel like they are going to change the Army football program around and it’s going to be something special here soon.”

After Sheffield’s West Point visit, Army coaches kept him on their radar. Offensive coordinator Brent Davis came down to Sheffield’s spring football practice and ate dinner at his home.

“He said he was going to come back for dinner,” Sheffield said. “We had baked ziti. He had three plates so I guess it was good.”

Sheffield is pushing to join the program in 2015. He is the commander of North Paulding’s ROTC program and has a 3.9 grade-point average. Sheffield’s SAT (1,100) and ACT (23) scores are just below the requirements for a direct football admit.

“My GPA is where it needs to be,” Sheffield said. “I just need to get my standardized test scores up a tiny bit. I’m like right on the line.”

Sheffield will start his second season at defensive tackle for North Paulding this fall. He also punts for North Paulding. He averaged 42 yards per punt last season.

“I play on the inside just because I’m the biggest kid there,” said the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Sheffield, who could move to defensive end at West Point…That’s an odd combination (defensive tackle and punter), isn’t  it? I averaged 42 yards per punt last year. I might try out for punter.”

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More preseason recognition for Baggett, Maples

Arny seniors Terry Baggett and Raymond Maples were one of eight teammates named to the Doak Walker Award watch list Thursday.

The award is given to the best running back in the country. Boston College’s Andre Williams, a New York Giants rookie, won the award last year. No Army running back has received the award.

Baggett is coming off a 1,113-yard junior year in which he set the academy’s single-game rushing record with 304 yards against Eastern Michigan. He was also named to College Football Performance Award watch list for running backs.

Maples was limited to 23 carries and 123 yards in three games due a groin injury last season. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2011 and 2012. Maples, who was granted a fifth-year of eligibility for this season, is also a candidate for the Maxwell Award, given to the college football player of the year. He ranked sixth on Army’s all-time rushing list (2,612 yards).

Doak Walker Award watch list (teammates)
Derrick Henry, T.J. Yelden (Alabama)
Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams (Arkansas)
Terry Baggett, Raymond Maples (Army)
Byron Marshall, Thomas Tyner (Oregon)
Bill Belton, Zach Zwinak (Penn State)
Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown (Texas)
Tra Carson, Trey Williams (Texas A&M)
Javorius Allen, Tre Madden (USC)

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Weekly Class of 2015 recruiting update

John Carroll (Md.) DE-LB Julian Meares wasted little time scheduling an unofficial visit to Army.

Meares, who received an offer from Army last Friday (July 11), was on campus Thursday (July 17).

Before Meares left West Point, he gave defensive line coach Ray McCartney his verbal commitment.

Salem (Va.) DT Army Motuapuaka made his unofficial visit on Wednesday. Motuapuaka tweeted, “My visit at West Point was amazing.” He said he will probably make his college decision during or after his high school season.

Army offered Kahuku (Hawaii) FB-LB Pena Fitisemanu Wednesday. Fitisemanu is listed at 6-foot and 255 pounds on his hudl page

East Bay (Fla.) defensive end Marques Ford, who had been offered by Army, tweeted he’s committed to Tennessee on Saturday (July 19). Rivals ranks Ford as the country’s 14th-best defensive end and the state of Florida’s 46th-best player.

The Black Knights fell out of contention for Lake Norman (N.C.) wide receiver Corey Joyner, who verbally committed to Elon, a FCS school, Wednesday.

Here’s a list of the high school players from the class of 2015, who have received an offer to play Army football.

Might be missing a few but a pretty solid list.

Offers

RB Jordan Asberry, 5-9, 165, Colerain HS, Cincinnati, Ohio: Navy and Air Force have also offered Asberry.
S D’Angelo Amos, 6-1, 175, Meadowbrook HS, Richmond, Va.
TE Brion Anduze, 6-4, 225, Central Kitsap HS, Silverdale, Wash.: (COMMITTED to Arizona)
CB Aaquil Annoor, 5-11, 170, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy
WR Chad Artist, 6-3, 180, Logan (Utah) HS: Artist’s Hudl profile says he runs a 4.39-second, 40-yard dash. (COMMITTED to Utah State)
DT Luc Bequette, 6-2, 290, Little Rock (Ark.) Catholic: Played junior season at Centennial High in Champaign, Ill. Also a center.
S Rashaad Bolton, 5-11, 205, Veterans HS, Kathleen, Ga.
T Christian Castleberry, 6-4, 270, Mesquite (Texas) HS
T-DE Nick Carmen, 6-4, 255, Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix, Ariz.
T-DT Nick Carnesale, 6-2, 260, Hammonton (N.J.) HS
T Tyler Carr, 6-6, 322, Southside (Ala.) HS: Carr is ranked the fourth-best offensive tackle nationally and the 30th-best player overall by Rivals. Has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Georgia and Nebraska among others. (COMMITTED to Auburn).
LB Dyson Chmura, 6-3, 212, Waukesha West (Wisc.) HS: The son of former Packers tight end Mark Chmura has potential to play on the offensive side of the ball.
WR Glen Coates, 5-11, 172, Davidson (N.C.) Day HS: Also offered by Navy.
QB Austin Conway, 5-11, 165, Overland HS, Aurora, Colo.: Conway, a three-star football recruit by Rivals, has offers from Nebraska and Colorado among others. He’s also a highly-recruited basketball player. Indiana has offered Conway for hoops. COMMITTED to Wyoming (basketball)
LB Jacob Covington, 6-2, 215, Liberty Hill (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED to Army)
LB Trevor Darby 6-3, 210 Davidson (N.C.) Day HS: Navy has also offered Darby.
DL Jack Darnell, 6-3, 260, Champlin Park HS, Champlin, Minn.
RB Andrew Davidson, 6-2, 210, Emmaus (Pa.) HS
RB Charlie Davidson, 5-10, 200, Blackman HS, Munfreesboro, Tenn.
RB Taye Davis, 6-2, 225, Lebanon (Tenn.) HS
OG Pat DiCarlo, 6-3, 280, Foothill HS, Santa Ana, Calif.
CB Daivon Ellison, 5-9, 180, Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.: Second-team, all-state cornerback is the No. 27 prospect in New Jersey, according to NJ.com. Ellison top four schools are Boston College, Penn State, Rutgers and Syracuse.
C Josh Fannin, 6-3, 290, Mill Creek HS, Hoschton, Ga.: Fannin is ranked the nation’s 10th best center and Georgia’s 70th-best player by Rivals. (COMMITTED to Middle Tennessee State)
FB-LB Pena Fitisemanu, 6-foot,255, Kahuku (Hawaii) HS: Navy beat Army to Fitisemanu offering him last week.
S Kyle Floyd, 6-3, 205, Humble (Texas) HS
DE Marques Ford, 6-4, 217, East Bay HS, Gibsonton, Fla.: Ranked the 14th-best defensive end and 48th-best player in Florida by Rivals.com. Ford has offers from Clemson, Wisconsin, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Duke, N.C. State and among others. (COMMITTED to Tennessee)
RB Jonathan Forrest 5-11, 202, New Rochelle (N.Y.) HS: Forrest is ranked the second-best overall player in New York and the 50th-best running back in the country by Rivals.
S Clay French, 6-2, 200, Northview HS, Duluth, Ga.: French has an unofficial visit to West Point planned for July 21.
LB Eric Gallon, 6-2, 220, Jenkins HS, Lakeland, Fla.: Buffalo, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan are among the schools that have offered Gallon.
TE Jeff Gemmell, 6-3, 215, Heritage HS, Wake Forest, N.C.: (COMMITTED to UNC Charlotte)
S James Gibson, 6-1, 200 Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Voted top safety at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
C Michael Gomez, 6-foot, 270, Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.
RB Evan Gray, 5-10, 228, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Voted best running back at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
T-DE Devin Hannan, 6-4, 270, Belle Vernon (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED to Towson)
CB Richard Hanson, 5-10, 170, Prince George (Va.) HS: Voted top cornerback at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
WR Jaylen Harris, 5-7, 150, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas
G R.J. Harris, 6-3, 260, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
CB Montre Hartage, 6-foot, 180, Crisp County HS, Cordele, Ga.
LB Hayden Haupt, 6-2, 210, Clovis North HS, Fresno, Calif.
RB Robert Heyward, 6-foot, 195, Calvary Day School, Savannah, Ga.
WR Tabari Hines, 5-10, 165, South Florence HS, Florence, S.C.: (COMMITTED to Wake Forest)
LB Kendrick Jackson, 6-1, 235, Haynesville (La.) HS: (COMMITTED to Arizona)
DE T.J. Jackson, 5-11, 245, Trinity Catholic HS, Jacksonville, Fla.: (COMMITTED to Army)
QB Issac James, 5-11, 183 Carmel (Ind.) HS
WR-CB Brenndan Johnson, 5-11, 170, Reicher Catholic HS, Waco, Texas
RB Jalen Johnson, 5-9, 167, Westview HS, Avondale, Ariz.
C Andrew Jones, 6-foot, 280 Unionville HS, Kennett Square, Pa.
LB Cole Jones, 6-foot, 210, St Xavier HS, Cincinnati
DE Milord Juste, 6-1, 242, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) HS
TE Christian Kelley, 6-2, 230, Mount Carmel (Pa.) HS: Kelley went on an unofficial visit to Army on June 17.
DL Simeon Lane, St. Xavier’s HS, Cincinnati
LB-RB Noah Lazaro, 6-2, 215, Southwest HS, Lincoln, Neb.
DB Trey Lee, 5-10, 185, Thomas Stone HS, Waldorf, Md.
LB Gus Little 6-3, 224, Massaponax HS, Fredricksburg, Va.: (COMMITTED to Maryland)
DE Kirk Livingstone, 6-4, 235, Stranahan HS, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: (COMMITTED to Alabama-Birmingham)
DE Dante Lonardo, Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED to Lafayette)
RB DeAngelo Malone, 5-11, 185, Cathedral HS, Erie, Pa.
DT Thad Mangum, 6-1, 270, Christ Church Episcopal HS, Greenville, S.C.
RB Marcus Marshall, 5-10, 200, Millbrook HS, Raleigh, N.C.
S Andrew Martel, 6-1, 195, Foster HS, Richmond, Texas: (COMMITTED to Texas-San Antonio)
OL Mitch Mathes, 6-3, 280, Troup County HS, LaGrange, Ga.: (COMMITTED to Mercer)
DE-LB Julian Meares, 6-3, 220, John Carroll School, Bel Air, Md.: Made unofficial visit to West Point on July 17. (COMMITTED to Army)
C-NG Jamarion McBride, 6-2, 290, Hillcrest HS, Simpsonville, S.C.
RB-DB Jaylon McClinton, 5-10, 185, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian HS
G Kyle-Malik Mitchell, 6-2, 295, Alcoa (Tenn.) HS
G Trenton Mooney, 6-5, 255, Lamar (Mo.) HS
CB Sammy Morrison, 5-11, 160 Gonzaga HS, Washington, D.C. (COMMITTED to Arizona)
CB Markale Moses, 5-10, 164, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS
NG Army Motuapuaka, 5-11, 285, Salem HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Army is Motuapuaka’s first FBS offer. Father is first sergeant in Army. Brother is linebacker for Virginia Tech. Made unofficial visit to West Point on July 16.
DT Kevin Murphy, 6-3, 275, West Chester (Pa.) East HS (COMMITTED to UConn)
LB-FB Robert Muschamp, Darlington School, Rome, Ga.: A three-star recruit by Rivals, Muschamp is ranked as the 38th-best outside linebacker in the nation and the 41st-best player in Georgia.
DE Jalen Nash, 6-3, 235, SouthLake Christian HS, Huntersville, N.C.
RB Devine Ozigbo, 5-11, 230, Sachse (Texas) HS: Rivals ranks Ozigbo the 42nd-best running back in the class of 2015. Texas back has 23 FBS offers
G Ethan Palelei, 6-foot, 290 Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas: Brother, Evan, was a senior defensive end at Navy last season. Father, Lonnie, played for Steelers, Eagles, Giants and Jets.
LB Charlie Patrick, 6-1, 208, Mays HS, Atlanta: Patrick has named his top three schools. In no particular order, Western Kentucky, Appalachian State and Georgia State.
WR Christian Philpott, 6-4, 203, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.: Georgia state 1A 200 and 400-meter champion also has offers from Wisconsin, Miami (Fla.), Iowa State, Maryland, Central Florida and Louisville among others. (COMMITTED to Georgia Tech)
QB Elijah Robinson, 6-1, 174, Montclair HS, N.J. (COMMITTED to Boston College)
QB Rashad Robinson, 6-foot, 180, Hermitage HS, Richmond, Va.
OL Nelson Santiago, 6-4, 266, Oakleaf HS, Orange Park, Fla.: Also has offers from Cincinnati, Western Kentucky and Florida International.
LB Ben Schrider, 6-4, 225, St. Mary’s College HS, Albany, Calif.
LB Gabriel Sewell, 6-foot, 215, Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah
DT Lausii “Boogie” Sewell, 6-foot, 305, Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah
DL Tanner Sheffield, 6-3, 245, North Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.: (COMMITTED to Army, July 10)
QB Jeff Smith, 6-1, 170, Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS: (COMMITTED to Boston College)
LB-S Aron Spann, 6-2, 195, Dorman HS, Roebuck, S.C.
WR Brad Stewart, 6-1, 190, Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Ga.
OL Nathan Thacker, 6-2, 250, Lord Botetourt HS, Daleville, Va.
DL Josh Uluocha, 6-3, 267, Stafford (Texas) HS: Uluocha received his first offer from Army. Texas State followed up with an offer on same day.
RB Quaide Weimerskirch, 6-foot, 200 pounds, Pace HS, Milton, Fla.
QB McKinley Whitfield, 6-4, 195, Spiro (Okla.) HS: Army is recruiting Whitfield, who was named the top basketball player in his area, as an quarterback and an athlete. Rivals ranks Whitfield as the 13th-best player in the state of Oklahoma.
WR Kielan Whitner, 6-1, 178, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
QB Greg Williams, 5-10, 193, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas: (COMMITTED to Texas State)
QB Arion Worthman, 6-foot, 200 University HS, Normal, Ill.
C Kendel Wright, 6-3, 280, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
DT Raymond Wright, 6-3, 265, Kell HS, Charlotte, N.C.
DE Will Yancey, 6-4, 240, Landmark Christian HS, Fairburn, Ga.
LB Christian Young, 6-2, 215. Hough HS, Cornelius, N.C.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

 

 

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Catching up: Clarence Holmes

Note: This blog is part of a series of interviews with former  players, who attended the Army Football Club’s golf function last week.

West Point football was Clarence Holmes’ life.

Holmes was a three-year letterman, a two-year captain and starting defensive end/tackle (2001-02) and the academy’s defensive line coach from 2003-12. He was dismissed by former head coach Rich Ellerson in February 2012

Now, Holmes is adjusting to life after football. He works in information systems and technology for Ernst & Young in Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s definitely been a good transition for me,”  said Holmes, who had 121 tackles and 11.5 sacks in his Army career. “It’s a good company. I’m able to be around people doing things I like to do. I’m definitely learning a lot. I still have a great heart for football and the things that are happening at West Point. I definitely am tracking Army at all times. During the season, my family and I still find time to be Army fans and support the guys.”

A part of Holmes is still with the Black Knights this season. Holmes mentored senior defensive linemen Joe Drummong, Richard Glover, Bobby Kough and Mike Ugenyi.

“I’m so proud of their fortitude,” Holmes said. “I’m so proud of them going through these changes and sticking with it. I know they are putting the work in. I hear they are leading from the front now. I’m just excited to watch them play this year and hopefully get what they deserve because no one works harder.”

At Army, Holmes coached one of academy’s most dominant defensive fronts in 2010. Defensive end Josh McNary, now a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, and nose guard Mike Gann helped Army to its first postseason win (16-14 over SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl) since 1985 and end a streak of 13 losing seasons.

“They had great chemistry,” Holmes said. “Those guys believed in the vision and led the rest of the group and it showed. It showed on Saturdays. They played hard. We got results. Those were some gaps that had to be filled when they left. We were scratching for that. You saw us line up post-bowl year.”

What has gone wrong since Army’s bowl win? The Black Knights have won a combined eight games over the last three seasons.

“Of course, we graduated some good players,” Holmes said. “That mattered. It’s really hard to pinpoint. We did everything the same. We prepped the same, maybe just not with the same (players). There was a lot of development that needed to take place and fast, doing the things we were doing. There was definitely no room for error in our systems.”

A change in the team’s culture is needed, Holmes says. He thinks first-year coach Jeff Monken is the right man for the change.

“You really have to hit home the discipline and the precision,” Holmes said. “Push perfection and get greatness, that’s the thing we have to have here. I think that’s what coach Monken has demanded and the guys are taking to it and it’s showing in their bodies and their work ethic.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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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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