WEST POINT, N.Y. --
Army head coach Rich Ellerson
welcomed the newest members of the Black Knights' football program into the fold on Monday as he announced his club's 2010 recruiting class.
Twenty-eight recently graduated high school student-athletes and 27 others that attended the U.S. Military Academy Prep School last year help comprise the football-playing members of West Point's Class of 2014 that arrived at the Military Academy for Reception Day activities on Monday.
"It's great to have these young men here at West Point," said Ellerson. "You bring this group up from the Prep School and then you blend a really gifted group of direct guys that are relative strangers to each other. They are all going to become closer than brothers in the next couple of years. It's an exciting moment. It is a talented group. I think we were able to complement what was coming from the Prep School with a very gifted direct group that filled in some of the gaps.
"We've put a lot into the recruiting process as coaches, but that really dims when you realize how momentous this moment is for the families of our recruits. It is one of those days, one of those moments, that you remember for the rest of your life, both as a parent and a young man. This is an iconic day for the young men and their families, and the path they've chosen."
The group of signees includes 29 offensive standouts, 25 defensive players and one specialist. Heading the positional breakdown is offensive line where Ellerson and his staff have imported 11 newcomers, followed by linebacker (9), wide receiver (9), defensive back (8), running back (5) and defensive end (5).
Twenty different states are represented in the class. California leads the way with 10 newcomers, followed by Florida with six and Texas with five. The states of New York and Illinois boast four new Black Knights each, while Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Indiana feature three apiece.
"We can't say whether we believe this class is stronger on either offense or defense, because we don't even know that. In most cases, we recruit guys who we think have a chance to play on both sides of the ball. That really remains to be seen. We try not to `pigeon-hole' guys too early. Clearly, we have an expectation for them, but we do as coaches what we encourage them to do as players and that is relax and believe what we see as we get going.
"It will be exciting to see how they handle all of this as the summer progresses and how they are when we get them on the field. Inevitably there will be a handful of freshmen that have a chance to get in the middle of things immediately. Some of that depends on their particular position and how well they handle the trials and tribulations that Cadet Basic Training present. That of course you can't anticipate. You just have to believe what happens once you get them."
Included in Army's Class of 2014 are a trio of local products in Patrick Laird
, Jared McFarlin Mitch McKearn
. Laird and McFarlin were teammates on the local powerhouse Monroe-Woodbury High School squad, which ranked among New York state's elite gridiron teams throughout their respective prep careers. Both are wide receivers. McKearn, a defensive line candidate, is a product of O'Neill High School in Highland Falls, N.Y. That trio joins sophomore Ben Jebb
and junior Davyd Brooks
as Orange County natives owning spots on Army's football roster. Jebb graduated from Cornwall High School last June, and is in his second year with Army's football program. He is listed as a backup offensive lineman on the Black Knights' most-recent depth chart. Brooks is a 2007 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy and is projected to start at wide receiver for Army this fall.
Army opens its 121st season of intercollegiate competition on Saturday, Sept. 4 when the Black Knights visit Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. Army begins its home slate the following week, hosting Hawai'i (Sept. 11).
Full season, mini-plan and single-game tickets for all Army home contests are currently on sale at the Army Ticket Office, by phone at 1-877-TIX-ARMY or online by clicking here. Full season ticket packages in a special section dubbed "Coach E's Army," begin at just $89 for lower-deck seating locations in Michie Stadium. Fans purchasing tickets in that section also receive a special "Coach E's Army" T-shirt. A limited number of tickets remain available to Army's game against Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. In order to purchase Army-Notre Dame tickets, fans must hold membership in the Army "A" Club and purchase 2010 Army football season tickets.2010 ARMY FOOTBALL PLEBE ROSTER
|Name ||Class ||Position ||Height ||Weight ||Hometown/High School |
|Davonte Anderson ||Fr. ||DB ||5-8 ||160 ||Corona, Calif./Lutheran (USMAPS) |
|Lyle Beloney ||Fr. ||DB ||5-11 ||180 ||Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes (USMAPS) |
|Casey Brewer ||Fr. ||LB ||6-2 ||210 ||McAlpin, Fla./Lafayette (USMAPS) |
|Zachary Carrasco-Burge ||Fr. ||OT ||6-5 ||280 ||Whittier, Calif./Servite (USMAPS) |
|Cameron Carter ||Fr. ||RB ||5-10 ||195 ||Dakota Dunes, S.D./Dakota Valley |
|Jordan Crockett ||Fr. ||DB ||5-6 ||160 ||Wesley Chapel, Fla./Berkeley Prep (USMAPS) |
|Julian Crockett ||Fr. ||RB ||5-8 ||168 ||Wesley Chapel, Fla./Berkeley Prep (USMAPS) |
|Jonathan Crucitti ||Fr. ||DB ||5-11 ||185 ||Salisbury, N.C./West Rowan |
|Tyler Dickson ||Fr. ||DB ||6-0 ||189 ||Mansfield, Ohio/Lexington (USMAPS) |
|Kyle Dravis ||Fr. ||DB ||5-9 ||175 ||Orange, Calif./Orange (USMAPS) |
|Alfred Fields ||Fr. ||LB ||6-0 ||195 ||West Palm Beach, Fla./Suncoast (USMAPS) |
|William Fisher ||Fr. ||K ||6-1 ||170 ||Canfield, Ohio/Canfield |
|James Holland ||Fr. ||WR ||6-1 ||200 ||Renton, Wash./Hazen |
|John Hughes ||Fr. ||WR ||6-1 ||165 ||Reading, Pa./Governor Mifflin (USMAPS) |
|Cody Jackson ||Fr. ||QB ||6-0 ||200 ||San Lorenzo, Calif./Junipero Serra (USMAPS) |
|Shelby Jackson ||Fr. ||OL ||6-2 ||270 ||Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge (USMAPS) |
|Scott Jones ||Fr. ||RB ||5-10 ||184 ||St. Augustine, Fla./St. Joseph Academy |
|Shane Jones ||Fr. ||OL ||6-1 ||270 ||Van Alstyne, Texas/Van Alstyne |
|Colin Joy ||Fr. ||OL ||6-3 ||230 ||West Islip, N.Y./St. John Baptist |
|Ryan Kalnins ||Fr. ||DE ||6-1 ||210 ||Watertown, Conn./Holy Cross |
|Quentin Kantaris ||Fr. ||DE ||6-2 ||205 ||Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark |
|Clayton Keller ||Fr. ||LB ||6-2 ||220 ||Lakeville, Conn./Salisbury School (USMAPS) |
|Michael Kime ||Fr. ||OL ||6-2 ||230 ||Zionsville, Ind./Culver Academies |
|Robert Kough ||Fr. ||DE ||6-3 ||220 ||Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Colony (USMAPS) |
|Patrick Laird ||Fr. ||WR ||6-3 ||195 ||Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury |
|Matthew Luetjen ||Fr. ||QB ||6-1 ||205 ||Hennessey, Okla./Hennessey |
|Raymond Maples ||Fr. ||RB ||6-1 ||200 ||Philadelphia, Pa./West Philadelphia Catholic (USMAPS) |
|Ryan McCollum ||Fr. ||OLB ||6-1 ||224 ||Cortland, Ohio/Kennedy |
|Jared McFarlin ||Fr. ||WR ||6-5 ||195 ||Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury |
|Marcus McInerney ||Fr. ||RB ||5-11 ||190 ||Stamford, Conn./Stamford (USMAPS) |
|Mitch McKearn ||Fr. ||DL ||6-3 ||215 ||West Point, N.Y./O'Neill |
|Keegan Merrigan ||Fr. ||DE ||6-3 ||235 ||Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton |
|Colby Miller ||Fr. ||LB ||6-1 ||205 ||Phenix City, Ala./Smiths Station (USMAPS) |
|Dylan Mohamed ||Fr. ||WR ||5-10 ||175 ||Brawley, Calif./Brawley Union |
|Reggie Nesbit ||Fr. ||QB ||6-2 ||190 ||Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor |
|Brandon Porter ||Fr. ||DB ||5-7 ||160 ||Laplace, La./John Curtis Christian (USMAPS) |
|Richard Rainey ||Fr. ||OL ||6-4 ||240 ||Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge |
|Zachary Reichert ||Fr. ||OL ||6-2 ||270 ||Quincy, Ill./Quincy Notre Dame |
|Victor Ripley ||Fr. ||DE ||6-4 ||230 ||Glen Allen, Va./Henrico |
|James Rutherford ||Fr. ||LB ||6-2 ||210 ||Marietta, Ga./Kell (USMAPS) |
|Luke Shumacher ||Fr. ||WR ||6-3 ||170 ||Indianapolis, Ind./Culver Academies |
|Michael Sikorski ||Fr. ||DT ||6-0 ||230 ||Temecula, Calif./Chaparral (USMAPS) |
|Matthew Strack ||Fr. ||OL ||6-4 ||285 ||Champaign, Ill./Centennial |
|John Szott ||Fr. ||OT ||6-3 ||265 ||Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley |
|Hayden Tippett ||Fr. ||LB ||5-11 ||215 ||Tempe, Ariz./McClintock |
|Charles Tobin ||Fr. ||DL ||6-3 ||225 ||Hope Mills, N.C./South View |
|Justin Trimble ||Fr. ||WR ||6-0 ||185 ||Ashburn, Va./O'Connell (USMAPS) |
|Earnest Tucker ||Fr. ||DB ||5-11 ||205 ||Morganville, N.J./Marlboro (USMAPS) |
|James Tully ||Fr. ||LB ||6-1 ||205 ||Park City, Utah/Battle Ground Academy (USMAPS) |
|Corey Watts ||Fr. ||LB ||5-11 ||220 ||Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny (USMAPS) |
|Daniel Whitaker ||Fr. ||OT ||6-3 ||250 ||San Ramon, Calif./California (USMAPS) |
|Scott Williams ||Fr. ||WR ||5-8 ||160 ||Villa Park, Calif./Lutheran (USMAPS) |
|Zachary Williams ||Fr. ||QB ||5-11 ||210 ||Van Alstyne, Texas/Melissa (USMAPS) |
|James Woodward ||Fr. ||WR ||6-4 ||185 ||Anna, Ill./Anna-Jonesboro |
|Brian Zalneraitis ||Fr. ||OL ||6-2 ||220 ||Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock |