Recruiting: Black Knights add Kentucky kicker Gronotte to 2021 class

Covington Catholic (Ky.) kicker Trey Gronotte was so confident in his college football decision that he wanted to let three Army coaches know Wednesday morning.

Gronotte dialed up his recruiting coach Matt Drinkall, his position coach Sean Saturnio and head coach Jeff Monken with the news of his verbal commitment to the Black Knights.

“I’ve known for a while that this place would be a great fit and is a very special place,” Gronotte said. “West Point will provide me with a great opportunity to play football, get a great degree and skills to set me up for the rest of my life.

“Service has also been very important to me and I am excited to go to a school that is built on serving others.”

Gronotte volunteers time at his school, church and community. The COVID-19 outbreak motivated Gronotte toward future service.

“As I’ve grown and matured, the idea of service for others has extended to my country, particularly over the last couple of months as I have watched our nation face the pandemic and seeing the Army stepping up to lead,” Gronotte said.

Chris Sailer Kicking ranks Gronotte as the 32nd best kicker in the 2021 class. Gronotte made nine of 12 field goals (9-10 from inside 50 yards) and 68 of 71 extra points while adding 43 touchbacks as a junior. Air Force and Miami (Ohio) also offered Gronotte. He is the first kicking commit of Army’s 2021 class.

“I considered other offers and had other great options but in the end, West Point was by far the best fit for me,” Gronotte said. “The relationship with the coaches really sealed the deal for me.”

Gronotte received motivational quotes from Saturnio and consistent contact from Drinkall and Monken.

“We (he and Saturnio) had a great relationship and we learned a lot about each other,” Gronotte said. “Coach Drinkall really made me excited about West Point and was super easy to talk to and coach Monken would call or text me to keep in touch, which is pretty rare for a head coach.”

Gronotte grew up playing soccer and started kicking the summer before his freshman year under the guidance of Shane Popham, his neighbor and close family friend. Popham graduated from Covington Catholic in the mid-2000s and kicked and punter for Wake Forest.

Now, Gronotte will follow in his mentor’s footsteps, competing at the FBS level.

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of this brotherhood and I know special things are happening at West Point including this 2021 recruiting class,” Gronotte said.

2021 commits (26)
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
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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