Jared Vallner was so intrigued by West Point that he chose to take his official visit on Super Bowl weekend over watching his favorite team, the 49ers in the big game.
Vallner, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder wide receiver from Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, Calif., wrapped up his visit Sunday morning by meeting Army coach Rich Ellerson for an one-on-one.
One day later, Vallner was already missing the academy.
“It was so awesome that I’d rather be there right now,” said Vallner, who committed to West Point Monday night. “It was definitely cool and I can’t wait to get back there.”
Vallner will return to West Point this summer as a direct admit. He said he isn’t sure if he’ll play on offense or defense at Army. Vallner met with offensive coaches on his visit.
When asked to describe himself as a wide receiver, Vallner confidently said, “I bring a lot of speed to my game and that’s pretty much how I play. I like to think that I’m one of the best receivers out there. Hopefully, that’s where I play.”
Vallner, a first-team West Catholic Athletic League player, made an unofficial visit to Air Force last summer and had a passing interest in Navy.
“It’s (West Point) an unique opportunity that I’m so blessed to have,” Vallner said. “I really can’t be more thankful about it. West Point is a great place. Not only do I like the academics there but it’s a great place to develop leadership. I think it’s probably the best opportunity that I’ve been presented with.”
Vallner is the seventh California player to commit to Army before signing day on Wednesday. Army recently added Las Lomas offensive lineman Derrick Stom (6-2, 280) and kicker Mitch Howard to its class.
As for the Super Bowl, Vallner, who lives 45 minutes from San Francisc, said, ” My mom actually watched the game on the plane and was telling me how it was going. I watched some highlights. It was pretty awesome to see how close they were to winning. I’m mad because the Niners should have won.”
For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato