Recruiting: Okun on Army decision

Starting quarterback. Cornerback. Punter. Punt returner.

Ben Okun filled many roles for Newbury Park (Calif.) High in the last two seasons.

Where will Okun play this fall at West Point?

“I’ll go in there and do whatever they want me to do,” said Okun, who passed for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for 828 yards and nine scores in 2012. “I love playing quarterback. I like having the ball in my hands but I’ll be a team player. I’ll play wherever they needs me to play.”

Okun, who was a league most valuable player and all-county cornerback in 2012, verbally committed to Army earlier this week without making an official visit.

Army’s co-defensive coordinator Payam Saadat recruited Okun, who is 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. Andy Guyader, Army’s recruiting coordinator, paid Okun a visit last week.

“Coach (Rich) Ellerson is a great coach and they have the players that can win right now,” Okun said. “I’d just love to be part of it. I think it’s all coming around and big things are ahead for Army football.”

Okun, who will be a direct admit, will make his official visit to West Point on Feb. 8

Newbury Park coach Gary Fabricius says Army is getting an athletic, versatile player.

“We’ve always been able to protect our quarterbacks and keep them mainly on offense,” Fabricius said. “This year and last year, Ben was just too good of an athlete for us to take off the field…He can do anything. He’s quite an athlete.”

Okun, who has played quarterback since he was 7, ran read-option plays as a senior. Fabricius said Okun created big plays in the passing game with his ability to scramble.  Fabricius mentioned the 49ers Colin Kaepernick a few times when talking about his quarterback. But, Kaepernick isn’t Okun’s favorite quarterback.

“Growing up, I always liked Brett Favre,” said Okun, who was recruited by Penn, Harvard and the University of San Diego. “I liked how he was a gritty player. He’d take a hit, get up and make a pass or run. He’d just make plays.”

Okun said he’s been working out five days a week to prepare to Army training camp in August.

“I’m just trying to get ready for what’s to come,” Okun said.

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

 

 

 

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    Sal Interdonato

    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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