Recruiting: Army lands another Buford commit in LB Brandon Castro

Brandon Castro has caught himself watching recent Army-Navy football games more often lately.

The more that Castro watched, the more the Buford (Ga.) outside linebacker could envision himself playing for Jeff Monken and the Black Knights.

When Castro received an offer from Army last week, his interest level boosted. Just seven days later, Castro announced his commitment to Army Wednesday. Castro is the second Buford player in four days to commit to the Black Knights following offensive lineman Jacob Smith’s verbal Sunday.

“With everything going on right now, it made sense,” Castro said of his commitment. “With uncertainty of everything football related like my senior season and delays, I didn’t want to rely on the unknown factor of another school reaching out last minute.

“Army reached out to me consistently and had so much to offer for me. The service part was questionable for me at first but it seems worth it considering all the successful alumni and that real brotherhood.”

Castro played with Army freshman defensive end/lineman Jackson Powell along Buford’s defense in 2019. Dean Powell, Jackson’s brother, is a junior guard for Army. Buford’s connection with West Point weighed into Castro’s decision.

“It was pretty huge because those are people that really opened my eyes to the opportunity and they have been through the same situation that I’m in right now so to see them go through it gave me a lot of confidence,” Castro said. “The pipeline will grow stronger with time. I think Jacob and I gave it that even more recognition so future Buford players will be more interested.”

Army is recruiting the 6-foot, 190-pound Castro as a hybrid outside linebacker or Apache, a position that he currently plays for Buford. Castro had received offers from Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland and South Alabama.

2021 commits (27)
RB Noah Alexander, 5-10, 188, Eufaula (Okla.) HS: Other offers – Navy. Rushed for 1,448 yards and 16 touchdowns as junior.
LB Josiah Banks, 6-1, 190, Mount Tabor HS, Winston-Salem, N.C.: Other offers – Air Force
LB Brandon Castro, 6-foot, 190, Buford (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland, South Alabama
S Michael Cerniauskas, 5-11, 192, Catholic HS, Baton Rogue, La.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe. Father Chris is 1993 West Point graduate. Attended 2019 Army prospect camp.
LB Kalib Fortner, 6-1, 205, Knoxville (Tenn.) Central HS: 2019 stats – 119 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 10 sacks
WR Liam Fortner, 6-1, 185, Knoxville (Tenn.) Central HS: 2019 stats – 48 catches, 640 yards, 6 TDs
K Trey Gronotte, 6-foot, 160, Covington Catholic HS, Park Hills, Ky.: Other offers – Air Force, Miami (Ohio). Made 9-of-12 field goals, 68 of 71 extra points and booted 43 touchbacks as a junior.
DB Terrell Jackson, 6-1, 182, Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, Fla.: Other offers – Navy. Recorded 42 tackles and three interceptions as junior.
TE Danny Joiner, 6-3, 240, North Kansas City (Mo.) HS: Other offers – Bowling Green, Toledo
RB Darien Langley, 5-9, 160, St. Joseph HS, Santa Maria, Calif.
DB Casey Larkin, 6-foot, 180, Wall (N.J.) Township HS: Other offers – Navy
OL Gavyn Lewis, 6-5, 275, Morgan County HS, Madison, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force
LS Jaxon Miller, 6-2, 240, Triton Central HS, Fairland, Ind.: Other offers – Air Force
QB Zach Mundell, 5-10, 170, Martin HS, Arlington, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Air Force
FB Lincoln Parker, 5-11, 220, Marist School, Atlanta, Ga.
LB LucRichard Rameau, 6-2, 230, Episcopal HS, Alexandria, Va.: First offer – Army
FB Hayden Reed, 6-2, 210, Plant HS, Tampa, Fla.: Other offers – Illinois, Colorado State
LB Demarcious Robinson, Warner Robins (Ga.) HS
QB Robbie Sanders, 5-10, 180, Lake Minneola HS, Clermont, Fla.
QB Nick Sawyer, Sparkman HS, Harvest, Ala.: First offer – Army. Accounted for 21 touchdowns (14 passing, 7 rushing) in 2019.
RB Casey Shorter, 5-11, 215, Taylor HS, Katy, Texas: Rushed for 1,339 yards and scored 18 touchdowns as junior.
OL Jacob Smith, 6-3, 300, Buford (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Maryland, Akron, East Carolina, South Alabama, Charlotte,
TE Gabriel Thompson, 6-4, 240, Wiregrass Ranch HS, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
LB Emaud Triplett, 5-11, 205, Owasso (Okla.) HS: Other offers – North Texas, Eastern Michigan
DL Jacob Tuioti, 6-2, 250, Long Beach (Calif) Poly HS: Other offers – Colorado State, Nevada, UNLV. Recorded 61 tackles, 22 for a loss and 10 sacks as junior.
CB Da’Veon Turner, 5-9, 170, Harper Woods (Mich.) HS: Other offers – Akron, Bowling Green
DB Leroy Watson, 5-10, 160, Central Catholic HS, Toledo, Ohio: Other offers – Arkansas State, Miami (Ohio), Western Michigan

Commitments by state: Florida (4), Georgia (4), California (2), Oklahoma (2), Tennessee (2), Texas (2), Alabama (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Virginia (1)

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