Army was high on Kenny Willoughby’s college list before he took his official visit over the weekend.
Willoughby’s first trip to West Point sealed his decision. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Florida offensive lineman arrived Friday and gave Army his verbal commitment Saturday morning.
“After the visit this weekend, my whole perspective changed,” Willoughby said. “The biggest thing for me was my player host, Jaxson Deaton. He’s the same size as me and play the same position. I asked him every question I had. He’s a great guy and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
“I really just felt there’s a brotherhood there more than it would be anywhere else. Those guys are going through not only the struggles of football but the struggles on the military aspect as well. I felt like I belonged and that was what I wanted to do.”
Willoughby met with Brent Davis, Army’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, during the visit. Davis told Willoughby he’s being recruited as a guard. Willoughby played tackle for Astronaut (Fla.) High as freshman, sophomore and part of his junior season. He was moved to guard with the hopes of attracting attention from Division I schools.
“I love playing guard more than anything but I’ll play wherever they want me to play,” Willoughby said. “Wherever I can help out the team is what I’m going to do.”
“I’m more of a road grater than I am a pass blocker. There’s another great thing about West Point is how much they run the ball. I love the triple option.”
Willoughby has military ties in his family. Lane Elder, an uncle, was a member of the 82nd Airborne. Another member of his family was a Green Beret.
Army continues to bolster its offensive line late in the recruiting season with commitments from Willoughby and Holton Greenfield of Vandegrift (Texas), who joined the 2017 class Sunday. Willoughby said he was told this weekend there’s an “80 percent chance ” that he will a direct admit in the fall.
“Before I got there (for the visit), I didn’t want to do a prep year,” Willoughby said. “When I actually got to see the prep school and how it was and what they do, I would be 100 percent fine with going to prep.”
Other visitors this weekend included Duncanville (Texas) lineman Kamaron Holloway; LaMirada (Calif.) defensive lineman Trevor Hallock and Williams Field (Ariz.) cornerback Tre Bugg. Holloway and Hallock are commits. Bugg has narrowed his college choices to Army, Air Force and Montana and is expected to announce his decision Wednesday.
On the recruiting trail: Billerica (Mass.) defensive end Scott Murphy announced on Twitter he’s committed to Army Sunday…St. Genevieve (Calif.) cornerbacker Jordan Blackman announced his commitment to Army Saturday. Blackman picked off six passes his senior year, according to Max Preps. He rushed for three touchdowns, caught three touchdown passes and returned a fumble for a score…
Chancellor (Va.) defensive tackle Georgie Brown, who committed to Army in August, tweeted Sunday that he has committed to VMI…Bendictine (Va.) defensive back Tyren Cloyd, another former Army commit, visited VMI over the weekend. Former Army commit, Destin Flloyd, a defensive lineman from Havelock (N.C.), committed to Elon this weekend…Lamar (Houston) Texas defensive lineman Troy Porche is no longer committed to Army.
2017 Army football commits (84)
DL Hunter Adams, 6-1, 275, Cy-Fair HS, Cypress, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Citadel, Columbia. (COMMITTED, July 28)
QB Christian Anderson, 6-1, 180, Cardinal Hayes HS, Bronx, N.Y.
DE Kendall Bailey, 6-4, 240, Kell HS, Marietta, Ga.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 7)
TE Justin Barna, 6-4, 237, Parkway HS, Rockford, Ohio: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED to July 30)
TE Simon Behr, 6-4, 215, Franklin Regional HS, Murrysville, Pa.: Other offers – Fordham, Yale. (COMMITTED, July 28)
LB Greg Benton, 6-1, 210, Long Reach HS, Columbia, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 29)
CB Dallas Blacklock, 5-10, 165, Sharpstown HS, Houston, Texas: First offer – Army. Member of 2016 United States Under-18 national team. Army official visit: Jan. 7 (COMMITTED, July 31)
CB Jordan Blackman, 5-11, 170, St. Genevieve HS, Panorama City, Calif.: First FBS offer – Army
DE/LB Luke Blanton, 6-2, 225, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas
*S Zack Boobas, 5-10, 190, Jefferson (Ga.) HS: First offer – Army. Hudl profile – 4.50 40-yard dash (COMMITTED, October 27)
S Elijah Boyd, 6-2, 175, Frisco (Texas) HS: First FBS offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 17)
QB Darius Bracy, 5-10, 185, Baker HS, Mobile, Ala.: Other offers – Navy, Georgia Southern (Jan. 16). (COMMITTED, Jan.
RB Kaelin Byrd, 5-11, 207, Cambridge HS, Milton, Ga.: (COMMITTED, July 2)
TE Chris Cameron, 6-3, 220, Catholic HS, Baton Rogue, La.: Son of former LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
S Daniel Charles, 6-1, 190, Marietta (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Navy, East Carolina, Miami (Ohio), Georgia State, Tulane, Appalachian State, Charlotte. (COMMITTED, Nov. 18)
RB-LB Nasser Clark, 5-10, 190, White County HS, Cleveland, Ga.: First offer – Army. Army visit – July 23. (COMMITTED, Oct. 15)
DL Alex Crawford, 6-1, 255, Southern Alamance HS, Graham, N.C.: (COMMITTED, June 27)
RB-LB Keelan Crosby, 5-10, 200, Appling County HS, Baxley, Ga.
DE Eddie Crutchfield, 6-3, 240, Charlotte (N.C.) Latin School: First offer – Army. Army official visit: Jan. 26-28 (COMMITTED, July 26)
RB-S Cedrick Cunningham, 6-foot, 190, North Central HS, Kershaw, S.C.: Army official visit: Jan. 13-15 (COMMITTED, July 26)
*QB Clay Czyzynski, 6-foot, 205, New Trier HS, Winnetka, Ill.
LB Kieren Douglas, 6-2, 212, Pickerington (Ohio) Central HS: Other offers – Air Force (Nov. 6). Army official visit: Jan. 7 (COMMITTED, July 3).
DE Ryan Duran, 6-5, 220, Pine-Richland HS, Gibsonia, Pa. (COMMITTED, Sept. 11)
WR Sean Eckert, 6-4, 180, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, August 21)
RB Ton Evans, 5-8, 175, Northgate HS, Newnan, Ga.: Other offers – Georgia Southern. Former Georgia Southern commit (COMMITTED, Jan. 16)
*TE Austen Ferbet, 6-4, 225, Prairie Ridge HS, Crystal Lake, Ill.: First FBS offer – Army. 10 touchdown catches for state 6A champions.
LB Nick Ghazarian, 6-2, 218, Crespi HS, Encino, Calif.: Other offers – Air Force. (COMMITTED, Jan. 9)
P Michael Gillespie, 6-foot, 180, Howard HS, Ellicott City, Md.: First offer – Army. Army official visit – Jan. 13-15 (COMMITTED, Dec. 15)
LB Ray Gonzalez, 6-3, 215, Grafton HS, Yorktown, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 15)
OL Holton Greenfield, 6-3, 245, Vandegrift HS, Austin, Texas: First offer – Army.
DE Harrison Greenhill, 6-4, 235, Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla.
DL Trevor Hallock, 6-2, 255, La Mirada (Calif.) HS: Army official visit: Jan. 20 (COMMITTED, Jan. 7)
WR Jonathan Hamilton, 6-3, 220, St. Patrick HS, Chicago, Ill.: Army visit – Nov. 15
LB Ty Harris, 6-1, 220, Dacula (Ga.) HS: Army official visit: Jan. 13-15. (COMMITTED, Jan. 17)
OL Ethan Harvey, 6-4, 286, Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, La.: Army official visit – Jan. 13-15 (COMMITTED, Jan.
DE Karl Holler, 6-5, 247, The Tatnall School, Wilmington, Del.
OL Kamaron Holloway, 6-3, 255, Duncanville (Texas) HS: Army visit – Spring game. (COMMITTED, July 31)
K Brooks Hosea, 6-foot, 175, Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 13)
DB Jordan Hunt, 5-10, 180, Theodore (Ala.) HS
S Daniel Jackson, 6-1, 192, Middle Creek HS, Apex, N.C.: 2016 stats – Associated Press all-state first team, 97 tackles, 10 interceptions, 2 blocked kicks. (COMMITTED, August 18)
S Jordan Jackson, 5-11, 180, Park Vista HS, Lake Worth, Fla.: First FBS offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force (COMMITTED, Nov. 17)
CB Caleb John, 5-10, 181, St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
LB Nate Jones, 6-4, 200, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Army official visit: Jan. 13-15
QB Jordan Johnson, 6-foot, 205, Hooks (Texas) HS: Former Air Force commit. (COMMITTED, Nov. 23)
RB Issac Kinsey, 5-11, 173, Chattahoochee HS, Alpharetta, Ga.: First offer – Army. Army official visit – Jan. 13-15. (COMMITTED, Jan. 16)
OL Noah Knapp, 6-foot, 270, Bishop Sullivan HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 6)
SB Aaron Knowles, 5-11, 184, Cherokee HS, Canton, Ga. (COMMITTED, Jan.
S Jordan Lane, 6-1, 185, North Guilford HS, Greensboro, N.C.: First offer – Army.
RB Tyler Lavine, 5-11, 210, Cedar Park (Texas) HS: Lavine was named top 2017 running back at Army prospect camp in June.
QB Jabari Laws, 5-9, 160, Wise HS, Upper Marlboro, Md.: USA Today’s Maryland offensive player of the year.
P-K Michael Leisle, 6-foot, 165, Nease HS, Ponte Vedra, Fla.: Army visits – June 24, Nov. 5. (COMMITTED, Nov. 13)
LB Jeremiah Lowery, 6-3, 235, Edgewood Academy, Elmore, Ala.: (COMMITTED, June 24)
K Kevin Madigan, 5-10, 170, Coppell (Texas) HS: First offer – Army.
OL Luke McCleery, 6-5, 285, Grapevine Faith Christian HS, Grapevine, Texas: Former Tulane commit. (COMMITTED, Jan. 18)
DB Julian McDuffie, 5-11, 162, Shiloh HS, Snellville, Ga.: Other offers – Ball State, Colorado State, Georgia State, Buffalo. Army official visit – Jan. 7 (COMMITTED, Jan. 9)
T-DE Daniel McGeough, 6-6, 230, Chartiers Valley HS, Bridgeville, Pa.: First offer – Army. Army visit: Oct. 15.
*K Sean McNulty, 6-1, 210, Maine South HS, Park Ridge, Ill.
CB Akyah Miranda, 5-10, 160, Belton-Honea Path HS, Honea Path, S.C.: First offer – Army. Army official visit: Jan. 7 (COMMITTED, July 22)
DE Scott Murphy, 6-4, 243, Billerica (Mass.) Memorial HS: Will attend prep school in fall. (COMMITTED, Jan. 22)
#RB Garnett Nicolas, 6-1, 225, John S. Burke Catholic HS, Goshen, N.Y.: Other offers – Navy. Army visit – July 22. (COMMITTED, Sept. 27)
CB Dean Ngendakuriyo, 5-11, 180, Benedictine HS, Richmond, Va.: First FBS offer – Army. Visits – Army, March 30. Army official visit – Jan. 27 (COMMITTED, August 1)
LS Kyle O’Connor, 6-1, 210, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Louisville, Ohio. Army visit: October 22. (COMMITTED, Nov. 15)
DT Ryan O’Malley, 6-4, 260, Libertyville (Ill.) HS: Former Illinois commit. Other offers – Buffalo, New Mexico. (COMMITTED, Oct. 17)
S Ayrton Payne, 5-10, 176, St. Pius X HS, Houston, Texas: (COMMITTED, June 23)
FB Markens Pierre, 5-11, 215, Glades Day School, Belle Glade, Fla.: (COMMITTED, Nov. 14)
OL-DL Dean Powell, 6-1, 290, Buford (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Tulane. (COMMITTED, July 30)
LB Jon Rhattigan, 6-2, 220, Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.: Army official visit: Jan. 13-15. (COMMITTED, Jan. 16)
WR Michael Roberts, 6-4, 205, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Army official visit: Jan. 13-15 (COMMITTED, Nov. 20)
LB Ben Roth, 6-1, 210, Seminole HS, Sanford, Fla.: First commit of 2017 class. Direct admit. (COMMITTED, June 22)
WR Gabe Schappell, 6-3, 215, Exeter HS, Reading, Pa.: (COMMITTED, June 23)
DE-TE Nick Slusher, 6-4, 238, Cedar Creek HS, Ruston, La.
LB Joe Stephenson, 6-foot, 197, Woodberry Forest (Va.) HS: First FBS offer – Army (COMMITTED, August 1)
QB Tyhier Tyler, 5-9, 168, Woodside HS, Newport News, Va.: (COMMITTED, June 27)
DE-LB Tommy Upton, 6-4, 205, Strake Jesuit Prep, Houston, Texas: (COMMITTED, Nov. 28)
S Taylor Vessel, 6-1, 195, Clear Falls HS, League City, Texas: Other offers – South Alabama, Texas State
DE Ted Wages, 6-4, 225, Auburn (Ala.) HS: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force. (COMMITTED, Sept. 18)
RB Joe Wallace, 5-10, 185, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, Fla. (COMMITTED, July 27)
*OL Caden Williams, 6-5, 270, Franklin (Tenn.) HS: Other offers – Air Force. Army official visit – Jan. 13-15. (COMMITTED, Jan. 16)
S Mike Williams, 6-3, 180, Watson Chapel HS, Pine Bluff, Ark.: First offer – Army. Army official visit – Jan. 7 (COMMITTED, August 20)
G Kenny Willoughby, 6-5, 295, Astronaut HS, Titusville, Fla.: Army official visit: Jan. 20-22. (COMMITTED, Jan. 21)
DB Wally Wilmore, 5-10, 175, Northwestern HS, Rock Hill, S.C.: Other offers – Navy, Citadel, Charleston Southern, Western Carolina, Furman. (COMMITTED, Nov. 23)
DT Dontae Wilson, 6-foot, 290, Jefferson (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Colorado State, Citadel
S Malachi Winters, 6-foot, 185, Hammonton (N.J.) HS: First offer – Army.
LB Kemonte Yow, 6-1, 235, DeSoto (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, June 24).
* – Direct admit # – Army Prep
Commit breakdown by state: Texas (14); Georgia (14); Florida (7); North Carolina (6); Illinois (6); Virginia (6); Alabama (4); Maryland (4); Pennsylvania (4); California (3); Louisiana (3); Ohio (3); South Carolina (3); New York (2); Arkansas (1); Delaware (1); Massachusetts (1); New Jersey (1); Tennessee (1).