January 20, 2009

Recruiting picking up for the Black Knights

As we get closer to Signing Day and as prospects scrabble to take their official visits and make their college decision, GBK.com will be right there, with our continued featured articles on each of the prospects. But for now, let's take a look at some the prospects that are on the Army recruiting board…. Some new names have surfaced, along with some familiar prospects.

Two-star linebacker prospect Jamal Mtshali out of Silver Springs (MD) Northwood High School will be headlining the twelve recruits making their way this weekend to the West Point campus for their official visit to Army. The 6-foot-2 , 230 pound linebacker is a physical specimen and would be a tremendous catch for Coach Ellerson and staff. Mtshali is clearly a under the radar prospect, who transferred before this season from Richland HS (SC), where he was teammates with running back Alexander Greene. "I played with "GG", that's my man," claims Mtshali, who will be participating in the Hargrave prep school combine on January 26th, with the idea of taking the prep route. "I'm seriously considering looking at Hargrave as a post-grad, but I'm very interested in what Army has to offer. When I'm there on my official, my interaction with the players, the vibe I get will determine if I commit. I have studied a lot about West Point and my friend's dad graduated from there."

Speaking of Alexander Greene, the speed running back committed to Wofford, although he will be taking an official visit to Navy within the next two weeks. According to Greene, who was high on Army … he just did not want to take the prep route, which he says he will not have to do should he consider going to Navy.

Also making his way this weekend for an official visit is Army commit, Brandon Porter.

Another "hot" prospect on the Black Knights must get list is safety Joe Rippe from Carmel (IN) Carmel High School. The 6-foot-2, 205 hard hitting safety is a combination of former Army safety dual, Caleb Campbell and Jordan Murray. According to Rippe, who has offers from Army and Air Force, but is being pursued by Purdue, it is down to two teams … Army and Purdue. "I'm pretty high on Army, more than Air Force right now," declares Rippe. "Army has been in contact with me a lot more and I like the staff more."

The Midwest prospect indicated that he will wait until after signing day to see how things shake out with Purdue and the recruits that commit or don't commit to the Boilermakers. Aside from having the Campbell/Murray kind of knockout punch, Rippe is very athletic, has tremendous range and knack for the ball, which netted him eight interceptions this season, along with being a threat as a punt returner.

A new name on the Army radar is athlete, Pierce Burton out of Sacramento (CA) Rio Americano High School. The 6-foot-6, 250 prospect, who can play defensive end, defensive and offensive tackle, is a commit to Hawaii. However, he was initially recruiting by the Coach Ellerson while the head coach at Cal-Poly, and clearly the Army staff believes Burton could add value to the program. "I'm very committed to Hawaii and I have no idea what to expect (visit to Army)," declares Burton. "My parents want me to check out my options, but Hawaii is number one on my list."

Burton is being recruited by Coach Shields and received his Army offer two weeks ago, which was the day after he committed to Hawaii.

Unlike Burton, linebacker Patrick Jarin is a familiar name to the Black Knights' 2009 recruiting class and remains a solid commit to Army, although he is still getting curious pursuers from other colleges. "I spoke to Coach Waugh this morning and he was telling me that he sent me all the signing date stuff," shared Jarin in his conversation with GBK.com yesterday. The hard hitting linebacker style of play and size is very similar to current Black Knights' linebacker, Steve Anderson who was named Sophomore All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com.

Another name to keep an eye on is athlete, Matt Warrick. The 6-foot-2, 212 pound prospect had a very productive year, where he rushed for approximately 1,200 yards, add to that 600 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns.

And what is Warrick's level of interest in Army? "My interest is pretty high," says Warrick, who took an unofficial visit to Army during his junior year of high school. "I just have to decide if I want to serve or not.

Warrick could project as a fullback, slot back or even quarterback. Right now, Princeton is his favorite, but has indicated that his upcoming official visit will determine where he stands with Army.

Linebacker and fullback Pete Bross is getting closer to making a decision and he just returned from his official visit to Leigh, but he remains a target for the Army coaching staff. "Coach Tripp called me today and he's coming in for a home visit," shares the 6-foot-1, 220 pound Bross, who be meeting the newly hired Black Knights' assistant coach for the first time.

Bross stated that he is looking to make his decision within the next week or two.

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