January 30, 2009

Army host last official visit weekend before Signing Day

Although this is the last official visit weekend remaining before Signing Day, it doesn't mean everything is wrapped up in a nice, neat little package. There is still recruiting to be done, commitments to be made and if you're in the Army Black Knights' Nation, a decision from a few of the committed and uncommitted prospects still need to be waited out.

While Army may only be hosting about eight prospects this weekend, the list is still very impressive. Leading the group this weekend will be newsworthy prospects, safety Joe Rippe and linebacker Jamal Mtshali.

Along with Rippe and Mtshali, Army will be attempting to impress Tanner Roberson, Austin Williams, as well as linebacker/defensive end Clayton Keller from Connecticut, running back Nick Cole and wide receiver Kyler Martin where both are from California.

Not only will Florida be keeping an eye on those they are hosting, they will also be watching for news to keep tabs on the other prospects on the board who are visiting elsewhere.


Speaking of impressing, there's Nat Harrison who is on the "must get" list as well. However, Harrison knew after his visit Army last week that Army is where he wanted to commit. "I was ready to commit to Coach Ellerson," shares Harrison. When the talented defensive/linebacker returned home and shared the news with his parents, his father was on board, but he mother made it clear that she did not want him going to Army or as Harrison states, "she won't let me go to Army."

Her sentiments were made crystal clear to the Army staff, as she pointed this out during a home visit from Head Coach Ellerson, along with Coach Andy Guyader, who made their way Tuesday to California to stop by the Harrison home.

To make matter worst for the 6-foot-2, 205 pound defender is that his second choice Fresno State may have chilled against him when he spoke with Head Coach Pat Hill and told him that he liked Army. "He got mad at me and talked about bringing in another recruit in my place," declares a somewhat confused and disappointed Harrison. "He said that if you are still looking around, then I will still look around."

For Harrison, if may come down to who is left standing, which may leave him UC Davis. Although don't be surprised if the Black Knights don't make one last & strong effort to reach out to the Harrison family.


Like Harrison, defensive end Rob Ferrell visited Army last weekend and walked away very impressed. However unlike Harrison, the 6-foot-2, 205 pound prospect out of Bentonville (AR) Bentonville High School is not so eager to give his pledge to Army so quickly, even though he along his dad walked away impressed. "The official visit was fantastic," declares Ferrell father, Joe. "Coach Ellerson and all the coaches were great and the facilities are incredible."

Ferrell echoed his father's assessment of the weekend. "Amazing tradition, everything was breathtaking …. It blew my mind," confirms Ferrell. "It appealed to me on every level.

Ferrell declared that he father served in the Army and it was listening to his stories that caused Ferrell to research West Point as a sophomore in high school. However, Ferrell is still exercising due diligence in the matter and will take off this weekend for an official visit to Air Force. "I'm trying to keep an open mind, even though I loved everything about Army," says Ferrell. "For example, I like the fact that Air Force went to a bowl game recently and my teammate Brandon Sleeth is leaning towards Air Force."

Look for Ferrell to make his decision on the 4th, just before Signing Day.

Defensive tackle Matt McBain is probably closer to saying yes to Army, although his recruitment from UTEP has dwindled, he is still being pursued by New Mexico and Texas State and stated that he expects an offer from both.

For the 6-foot-4, 260 pound tackle out of El Paso (TX) Burges High School, the Black Knights have taken the lead for his talents. "My interest in Army is high," shares McBain as he speaks about his official visit to Army the weekend of January 9th. "My host was Ted Bentler and he was great, as well as buddies, who were all real."

What else stood out for McBain during his visit? "The facilities are amazing - top of the line and state of the art," says McBain, who had a recent conversation with Coach Ellerson. "I spoke to Coach Ellerson on the phone recently and he called to how everything was going with my recruiting. I'm pretty sure that it's Army for me … my future would be good if I graduated from West Point."

McBain, who was pre-season All-State, concluded his senior year by being named 1st Team All District (both ways), All-City (offensive line), despite missing the first three games of the season with a broken foot.

Stay tuned for up-to-date recruiting coverage of the Army Black Knights as GoBlackKnights.com follows the process of recruits across the country.

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