Jacob Drozd has left the football team to focus on track and field and academics his sophomore season at West Point.
Drozd started the last six games as a 225-pound freshman defensive tackle last season. In the middle of spring practice, Drozd, who made 18 tackles and had two sacks in 2011, was moved to bandit, a combination defensive end/linebacker position.
“I made a difficult decision that I was not going to play this year and move on to doing track and field full time,” Drozd said in an email. “This past year I was participating on both the football and track teams as well as keeping my grades up and doing all of the other cadet duties. I felt that my heart wasn’t completely there for football, which was making it difficult to focus so I made the tough decision to move on. ”
Drozd placed fifth in the high jump (6 feet, 6.25 inches) at the Patriot League championship with just three days of practice last spring. He also throws the javelin and shot put.
Drozd was one of the best athlete on the football team as a freshman.
Army is deep at the bandit position with senior Nate Combs, juniors Corey Watts and sophomores Julian Holloway and Jim Forgrave.
But, Drozd’s experience, athleticism and toughness will be missed.
Army coach Rich Ellerson said the door is open for Drozd to return in the spring.
“He really had a tremendous spring,” Ellerson said. “Track is natural for him. It’s easier. Football is not. He has to work at it. He did some great things for us last year. He had to go in there and carry the load for us. To his credit, he said, ‘This is how I see myself.’ You can’t talk somebody into loving football. He may step away from it and he may wake up this winter and say, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I’ve had that happened when guys have come back and done great.”
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