On Thursday, GoBlackKnights.com confirmed that Army will have a surprise visitor (official visit) in Winter Garden (Fl.) West Orange High School prospect Nathaniel Ozdemir, who is currently committed to Navy.
What was also noted is that teammate and defensive lineman Jock Petree is a commit to the Midshipmen, but there appears to be some uncertainty surrounding Petree's pledge to Navy.
Fast forward to our Thursday evening chat with the 6-foot-2, 246 pounder, who provided some insight to his commitment status or lack thereof, but also what is presently unfolding with his overall recruiting.
"I committed to them (Navy) in June, which really wasn't smart, but it was really the only offer at the time," said Petree. "All the other schools were aggressive, but Navy went ahead and offered me. I wanted to go there, but honestly, I didn't weigh all my options and I committed to them on a visit there. So from there, they told me every-things good, every-things fine."
However, according to the Florida native, his pledge to the Naval Academy hit a major bump in the road. "But then October comes around and they are like, Jock, there's a deadline to get students in was yesterday and your ACT wasn't high enough and we can't get you in ... sorry to tell you this," shared Petree, recalling his conversation with the recruiting coach at Navy. "Mind you, this was for the prep school. I was like, coach you told me all along that everything was okay. My GPA and SAT were fine, so I was like coach, why didn't you let me know earlier, because I committed to you in June and you had all this time to let me know and I would have re-taken it (ACT) as many times as I needed to in order to get a higher score. And this particular coach said to me that it was his first year and he didn't have everything organize and he apologized. I'm not trying to talk bad about him or Navy, because they are great college, but I'm just being honest here. He said that all my other stuff was fine, but he said that the ACT is the big one there."
"When I found that out, I washed my hands clean of them."
Now that Navy is officially out of picture and Petree has thrown his hat back in the ring, he has witnessed a consistent increase in interest from several schools that had initially backed away relative to his fall commitment to Navy, but also a couple of new schools have come courting.
"Army and Air Force are just a couple, because a lot a schools in the past few days have come in to give me a home visit, come to see me or call me," said Petree, who took time to refine the list of prospective schools. "It's been Florida, FAU and UCF.
Although he doesn't hold an offer from any of the aforementioned programs, Petree remains highly optimistic that is just a matter of time before that comes to past. "I'm going to UCF's practice on Saturday and Coach Beckton said we'll talk there and Coach O'Leary is going to have a meeting with me ... and he said it's going to happen there. And then for FAU, I literally just started talking to these schools about a week ago because I was committed to Navy, so they kind of backed off, but now that they know that I'm not, they are starting the recruiting process back up."
"For FAU, I'm going on an official visit sometime in January and they said they would offer me there and Florida, Coach Robinson said he would get with me in the next couple of weeks."
And when it comes to Army, Petree had this to offer. "Coach Holmes came down to see me and Nate (Ozdemir) and I talked to him and I need to get more film for him," he shared. "I sent him my highlights from this year and they want to use me as a D-line or H-back. I have interest in Army and Air Force, because I have a desire to have a career in the military, but it is also hard to pass up an offer from the Florida schools as well."
"It would be great to go to Florida, but I just want to go to a place where I can play a lot and make a difference."
The hybrid defender played defensive end, as well as nose guard/tackle and in the right college system, could be equally as effective at fullback. Defensively, he is the type of player who can put his hands on people and he is very physical.
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