October 1, 2009

Black Knights' recruiting picks up

This weekend, will begin the official weekend cycle as a few prospects will be making their way to West Point that will include attending the Army-Tulane game on Saturday. One such prospect is linebacker Ryan McCollum out of Warren (OH) John F. Kennedy. McCollum is ranked as the No. 19th top linebacker in talent rich Ohio. Although McCollum doesn't have an offer, don't be surprised if one doesn't come soon from the Black Knights.

McCollum plays Friday evening and will be driving out late that same night. "I'm just excited to get up there and see first hand to see how the Cadets live up there, what their football program is like, what the atmosphere is like up there … I'm just really excited to see first hand what it is all about," McCollum stated.

McCollum's recruiting is being handled by Coach Chris Smeland and according to the Ohio native; they met in the spring time when Smeland visited McCollum's school. "It's good relationship because he's the defensive coordinator and it feels good to know that he knows what he is looking for in his players," declares McCollum.

In addition to Army, the hard hitting linebacker is hearing from both Navy and Air Force. McCollum was hosted by Pittsburgh last weekend as he took an unofficial last week as the Panthers played Navy. Also Notre Dame has remained in contact with the prospect out of Ohio.


The following weekend (Army-Vanderbilt game) will see a few more prospects, like 3-star running back Keith McBride making their way to the campus for their official visit.

However, it should be noted that many recruits are playing their senior seasons and will soon be setting up their officials post football season, where the list of official visits will pick up.

Like many schools, Army holds the majority of its officials after the football season.

When it comes to Head Coach Rich Ellerson's method of recruiting, he wants to ensure as much as possible, that when a prospect is offered and/or takes an official visit to Army, that the prospect is solid enough academically to be accepted into West Point or the USMAPS.


Three-star running back Orleans Darkwa is an impressive talent to say the least and would be a solid get for the Black Knights', who are the first school to offer the 5-foot-10, 210 pound prospect.

Darkwa physical style of running and breakaway ability could fit well in the Army offense as either a slot back or B-Back, but he may be more suited for the B-back position. Although he has deceptive speed, he might not have the level of speed required as a slotback in Army's triple option, but is the type of talent who could see plenty of carries from the fullback spot.

After viewing the AMP on his team's recent victory that also featured his 300 yard performance for 70th ranked Ensworth High School (Tenn.), which was done on 30 plus carries … it is clear that Darkwa is more than capable of carrying the load.

Darkwa had been hoping and waiting for the Army this evening and stated that he was both elated and relieved.

GBK.com will have more on Darkwa's offer and his game on Friday in an upcoming Sunday evening article.


Two other hot prospects have hit the Army recruiting charts and they are 3-star athlete Ramon Abreu out of Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza High School, who is an exceptional talent and 6-foot- 5, 250 pound defensive end Mike Perry from New Vienna (Ohio) East Clinton High School.

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