Recruiting: Indiana TE Simon Dellinger picks Army over Navy, Air Force

Simon Dellinger may know Army’s football program better than most recruits.

Dellinger has made four trips to West Point during his recruiting process and each time, all of his questions about the academy were answered.

The 6-foot-6 Snider (Ind.) tight end will be a committed Army football player on his next West Point trip. Dellinger announced Wednesday that he’s joining the Black Knights’ 2019 class. Dellinger’s Final Four was Army, Navy, Air Force and Eastern Michigan.

“There wasn’t much to it,” Dellinger said. “I knew probably a couple months back that Army was going to be the one. Last Saturday, I called the coaches to tell them in advance.”

What separated Army from its service-academy rivals?

“I think honestly it was just me visiting them so much,” Dellinger said. “They offered me my sophomore year. Getting to know them and making relationships really was a big part…Definitelty seeing what coach (Jeff) Monken has been able to do (with the program) is a big part and being able to play underneath his command.”

Dellinger remembers talking about his future in Snider football coach Kurt Tippmann’s office in the spring of 2017. He mentioned wanting to join the military after high school.

“He said, “What do you think about the academies,’” Dellinger said. “I was like, ‘I never really thought much about them’…The next day, he called up one of the coaches, (Tucker) Waugh. Within a week coach Waugh was at the school and talked to me. That next day, he told me to give him a call and he offered me.”

Army was Dellinger’s first offer in May 2017. Dellinger also received offers from Navy, Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio as well as Ivy League schools Yale, Penn, Harvard, Columbia and Dartmouth.

Among Dellinger’s visits to West Point were Army’s prospect camp in June 2017 where he was named the overall underclassman MVP and tight end MVP and the Army-Eastern Michigan game last October when safety James Gibson saved a one-point win with a tackle at the one-inch line on a two-point conversion.

Dellinger says Snider operates a run-heavy offense with play-action passes to the tight end. He’s studied Army’s triple-option offense and is looking forward to his role.

“I actually love the way Army uses the tight ends,” Dellinger said. “You don’t really recognize it but there’s always a tight end on the field.”

2019 Army commits (40)

LB Tanner Addams, 6-3, 210, Monacan HS, Richmond, Va.: First offer – Army. Attended 2018 Black & Gold Game.
QB Cade Ballard, 5-10, 195, Greeneville (Tenn.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Georgia Southern, Tulane, Middle Tennessee State.
QB Maurice Bellan, 5-10, 178, Peddie School, Hightstown, N.J.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Air Force. Hudl profile – 4.46 40-yard dash (COMMITTED, June 28)
OL Connor Bishop, 6-3, 270, Archbishop Wood HS, Warminster, Pa.
LB Jalen Brooks, 6-foot, 220, Cardinal Gibbons HS, Raleigh, N.C.: Other offers – Navy
S Jimmy Ciarlo, 6-3, 190, St. Joseph Regional HS, Montvale, N.J.: Other offers – Syracuse, Old Dominion. (COMMITTED, April 13)
DE Reed Chandler, 6-4, 240, Conley HS, Greenville, N.C.: Other offers – Coastal Carolina (COMMITTED, July 27)
CB Keyvaun Cobb, 5-11, 182, Christ School, Arden, N.C.: Member of record-breaking, state-champion 1,600 relay team (COMMITTED, July 29)
RB Shacori Collier, 5-10, 200, Many (La.) HS.
RB Clayton Cribb, 5-10, 210, North Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: Other offers – (COMMITTED, May 22)
QB Alijah Curtis, 5-9, 180, McKinley HS, Canton, Ohio: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 29)
TE Simon Dellinger, 6-6, 225, Snider HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Ohio (COMMITTED, July 28)
TE Trace Dorminy, 6-4, 220, Camden County HS, Kingsland, Ga.: Tight end MVP at Army prospect camp. First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 28)
S Kane Everson, 5-10, 170, Harrisburg (Pa.) HS: Scored 11 touchdowns, threw for three scores and made 50 tackles as a junior.
C Blake Feigenspan, 6-4, 264 Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii: Other offers – Hawaii
RB Bruno Forestieri, 5-11, 225, St. Pius X HS, Houston, Texas: Other offers – Air Force (COMMITTED, July 15)
QB Dillon Gabriel, 6-1, 180, Mililani (Hawaii) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Hawaii (COMMITTED, June 17)
RB Keiran Grant, 5-11, 175, Cuero (Texas) HS: Other offers – Texas State (COMMITTED, July 27)
LB Peyton Hampton, 6-2, 227, Davie HS, Mocksville, N.C.
T Lachlan Holt, 6-3, 270, Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS: Attended Knight On The Hudson, July 27 (COMMITTED, July 28)
DT Gerald Irons, 6-2, 260, Klein Oak HS, Spring, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Oklahoma State, Indiana, Boston College, Kansas, North Texas, UTEP, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe (COMMITTED, June 28)
LB Spencer Jones, 6-1, 215, Vandegrift HS, Austin, Texas: Other offers – Air Force. (COMMITTED, July 27)
TE Ben Koch, 6-6, 240, Austin (Texas) HS: 2017 stats – 28 catches, 363 yards, 4 TD (COMMITTED, August 1)
DE Tyler Komorowski, 6-4, 240, Weir HS, Weirton, W.Va.: First-team all-state defensive end and pitcher. Also plays quarterback. Other offers – Michigan (preferred walk-on), Kent State. (COMMITTED, July 29)
LB-S Cole Mabry, 6-2, 190, Iowa City West HS, Iowa City, Iowa: Other offers – Iowa State (COMMITTED, July 29)
DB Michael Mack, 6-2, 180, Bullis HS, Potomac, Md.: Other offers – Air Force, Rice
S Deryan McDonald, 6-foot, 210, Choate Rosemary Hall HS, Wallingford, Conn.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 29)
QB Alex Meredith, 6-foot, 185, A.L. Hanna HS, Anderson, S.C.: Other offers – Navy, Coastal Carolina (COMMITTED, June 6)
OL Justin Kopko, 6-4, 315, Hanover Area (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED, April 13)
FB Nick Mell, 6-foot, 212, Stone Bridge HS, Ashburn, Va.: Other offers – Navy (COMMITTED, May 21)
CB Boris Nicolas-Paul, 5-10, 175, Hillside (N.J.) HS: Other offers – Buffalo (COMMITTED, June 27)
QB Christian Parrish, 5-10, 200, Prince Avenue Christian HS, Bogart, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force, Georgia Southern (COMMITTED, June 28)
WR Ridge Polk, 5-10, 170, Cambridge HS, Milton, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force. (COMMITTED, July 12)
OL Carson Shaffer, 6-3, 280, Prosper (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force. (COMMITTED, July 28)
DB D’Andre Tobias, 5-10, 170, Benedictine Prep, Richmond, Va.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Air Force
OL Pearson Toomey, 6-3, 260, The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.: First offer – Army. Second offer – Air Force. Third offer – Navy (COMMITTED, July 7)
FB Cole Truex, 6-2, 226, Marin Catholic HS, Kentfield, Calif.: Other offers -  Navy, Air Force (COMMITTED, June 7)
QB Dedrick Wilson, 6-1, 195, Kenedy (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, March 28)
LB Davis Wofford, 6-foot, 225, Robinson HS, Little Rock, Ark.: (COMMITTED, August 1)
TE Garrett Woodall, 6-5, 210, West Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.: Other offers -  (COMMITTED, July 11)

2019 commits by state: Texas (7), Georgia (5); North Carolina (5), New Jersey (3), Pennsylvania (3), Virginia (3), Hawaii (2), Arkansas (1), California (1), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Indiana (1) Iowa (1) Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Ohio (1), South Carolina (1); Tennessee (1), West Virginia (1)

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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    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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