Quarterback Matthew Kaufmann, along with many of his future teammates at the USMAPS (United States Military Academy Prep School), are already en route to their final destination, West Point ... as their prepare for the prep school version of R-Day (Reception Day).
"We are currently at Canton Ohio at the NFL Hall of Fame," Kaufmann shared with GoBlackKnights.com during a Tuesday afternoon pitstop at the Pro-Football Shrine. "We are scheduled to arrive at West Point on the 19th."
The 5-foot-10, 185 pound quarterback prospect had a very impressive senior campaign and hope to continue that trend at the USMA Prep School.
At McAllen Memorial, Kaufmann help lead his team to a 12-1 record, where they where the 2011 District Champions. And if you wonder if his track legs translate over to the gridiron, his numbers confirm that they do. He rushed for an impressive 2,107 yards and an equally impressive 30 touchdowns. But dual threat QB showed that his arm is also a weapon, where he aired it out for 1,287 yards and 11 arial strikes that saw paydirt.
But beyond the stats, Kaufmann, like most within the incoming class have been building a bond over the past several months with future teammates. "I have spoken to Gervon Simon ... I'm in squad 5 and since he's in my squad, we have gotten to know one another," says the Texas native. "We've exchanged numbers and he and I have been communicating. Actually, I met Sean McBryde at the state track meet. We both went and he's from Texas also and we said we would connect up in Austin .... we just hung out as well."
Speaking of Simon, both players will have to face plenty of competition for playing time at quarterback and Kaufmann, who also played defensive back at McAllen Memorial says he is looking forward to the best man winning out.
"I've seen some film on the other guys," adds Kaufmann. "When I'm bored at the house I would research the other players. They are all good players ... Tevin Long is pretty athletic and he's from a small town outside of Houston and he's fast and quick. Brandon (Carletti-Silva), he's a pretty big guy and we are messaging also and we talk here and there."
And when it comes to quarterbacking at Army, the measuring stick is current four-year starting quarterback Trent Steelman. One of the strengths of Steelman's game is his decision making ability and when asked how his QB temperament ranks in that area, Kaufmann had this to say.
"My vision and be able to read the defenses before the snap," declares Kaufmann. "Because I have pretty good vision, it will help me out with my reads, right after the snap being able to read the defensive end, three technique and running the mid-line stuff. I think I will do good at making the reads because I've been doing it high school and I'm able to pick up quick."
Kaufmann feels that his tenure at McAllen and the offense sets that he was exposed to, will assist him in his transition relative to Army's triple option offense. "We were balanced," he says. "I was under center a lot. We ran the option ... that's was a part of our offense, we ran out of the gun as well, the veer, zone read. Almost a pro-style offense really, but when we wanted to, we go in the gun and ran the option. We ran the ball more than we passed."
In addition to football, he also participated in track & field which the 4x100M, 4x200M and pole vault, where the latter was Kaufmann's strongest event, with a height of 15 feet. "I got 3rd at the regionals where the top two make it to states and I didn't make it to states."
Kaufmann's best time in the 100M (split in the 4x100) was 10.9 and when ask why he didn't run the 100M at McAllen Memorial (Texas), he reminded GBK that in talent rich Texas, a time of 10.9 has you in the middle of the heap, which of course had Kaufmann shift gears to soon to be fellow prep school classmate, Abraham Hall.
Noting that Hall, who's best time in 2011 was a blazing 10.1 in the 100M which landed him the Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete Of The Year was part of the high-end group that represents the speed that comes out of Texas.
"Oh yeah, I have heard about Hall," says Kaufmann. "Heck, on our squad, we already had that spot filled ... we had a guy a 10.6 and they didn't put me in the open 100."
And as the Kaufmann family continue their 3 day car journey to West Point, the shifty quarterback's dad Marcus, who also served as his son's offensive coordinator for four years had this to say. "He played for us for four year, we are going to be hurting," says the senior Kaufmann, laughing at the idea his son has officially left the assembly of McAllen Memorial. "We are real excited about and this is a big step for us as family. We knew of West Point, but we didn't know everything that was involved with it until we went there for his official visit."
"He loved it there and got along with all the players there. Angel (Santiago) was his host there. He got along so well with those guys that it was pretty much a done deal while we were there. He felt like he was already part of the brotherhood. The same type of deal that we preached on our team, were the same type of ideals they were talking about there."
"He went to a couple of other schools and it was different. I was more about just having fun and doing your thing .... West Point was nothing like that. He really like that and I like that myself."
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