March 25, 2011

ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS 2011 RECRUITING CLASS: Part II

ARMY 2011 RECRUITING CLASS: Part II

While many high school seniors will still enjoying the balance their summer vacation, the sixty-one student-athletes who have committed to play football for the Army Black Knights will be making their way to West Point or the USMAPS for what is commonly known as R-Day (Reception Day).

Their abbreviated summer will have them on campus before you say, Hooah.

As mentioned in Part I of the 2011 Recruiting Class, the Black Knights secured the commitment 26 players who will be direct admits and 33 other prospects who will be headed to the USMAPS, bringing the 2011 class total to 59. Of course with West Point as the destination, there is always the attrition component that must be factored in as the soon to be new cadets make their way to the infamous, R-Day.

This group has so many interchangeable players, that by the time their 2011 season gets underway, you could see players like safety Matt Semelsberger and defensive end Dalton Mendenhall get a look at linebacker or Cortland Fort transition from cornerback to wide receiver.

GBK presents our anticipated 2011 Army recruiting class, with Part II of our series as we take a look at those who are coming in via the USMAPS.

PREP BOUND - THE OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

1. Deandre Bell
2. AJ Schurr
3. Kelvin White

This trio of incoming signal callers vary in their respective styles, where Schurr is more Trent Steelman like, perhaps with a more accurate arm. Bell and White have impressive athletic ability and size.

Either way, it will be interesting to see how things unfold in this competitive battle for the starting role and then 2nd & 3rd on the depth chart. High probability that the number three prospect will be moved elsewhere, especially receiver where there is an apparent need on the 2011 prep roster.

Grade C+

WIDE RECEIVERS

Don't be surprised to see one of the current listed quarterbacks move over to receiver, along with the possibility of cornerback commit, Cortland Fort making that transition. But presently the cupboard is empty.

Grade INC.

RUNNING BACKS

1. Miles Bennett
2. Ja'Quail Haskins
3. Luke Proulx
4. Greg Rabb
5. Dwayne Randall
6. Jared Rogers

This group is as impressive as the group of backs assembled in 2010, lead by Trenton Turrentine and Larry Dixon. This year's Dixon could be fullback Greg Rabb and Bennett assuming the role of Turrentine.

But then you have several all-purpose backs that bring track speed that translates to the football field …especially Haskins, Rodgers and Randall.

Grade A

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

1. Justin Gilbert
2. Matt Hugenberg
3. Wyatt Wilkerson

This position will be a challenge for the prep school coaching staff. Not because of lack of talent … surely that's not the case, but the lack of numbers. As we noted earlier, this is a class that has interchangeable talent, so look for others to fill in the gaps upfront.

Grade C

PREP BOUND - THE DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1. Tala Atimalala
2. Tyrone Brown
3. Chris Smythe

When Brown said yes to Army over a preferred walk-on to Florida, he became a major pick up for the 2011 class where he adds much needed size upfront.

Grade B

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1. James Kelly
2. Gavin Maher
3. Dalton Mendenhall
4. Jonas Niusulu
5. Jalen Rosales

This a very deep group that would suggest that players like Mendenhall could be moved to one of the linebacker spots. Rosales is an outstanding prospect, who has tremendous upside. Add to this group Kelly, Maher and Niusulu and you can see why they graded out so high.

Grade A+

LINEBACKERS

1. Dan Muenzer
2. Jake Peterson
3. JT Trompke
4. Jake Watts

One of the sleepers in this class is Peterson, who is the younger brother of 2010 starting center Zach Peterson. Jake is a hard hitting backer who already possesses quality size. Overall, this is a pretty solid group.

Grade B-

CORNERBACKS
1. Chris Carnegie
2. Cortland Fort
3. Shaquille Tolbert

This trio of cornerback talent will jump start their Black Knights' career at the USMAPS, although don't be surprised to see Fort moved to wide receiver. They bring more than above average speed and all are very athletic.

Grade B

SAFETIES

1. Kendal Frederick
2. Alex Meier
3. Matt Semelsberger

If there is a position where the staff hit the jackpot, it is at safety. Both Holstein and Workman (great football name) are viscous hitters and each has quality range.

Holstein was a very nice pick-up, as he committed to Army over Stanford. Workman is in the same mode as Holstein, which makes for a very deep group of safeties coming on board.

Grade C+

ATHLETES

1. Dylan Anderson
2. Taylor Andrews
3. Marcus Poling

With regards to Downs, it will be interesting to see where the staff places him initially.

Grade C

PUNTER

1. Alex Tardieu

Tardieu is a quality punter, who has outstanding hang time and adds value to this year's recruiting class.

Note:: There are at least six walk-on prospects that we will report on in a separate covering.


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