February 21, 2012
GBK Recruiting 2012 Update: Army commits speak out
They hail from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois, but despite the miles that separate them, four Army bound recruits spoke with GoBlackKnights.com about the next step toward preparing for college mentioned common themes.
They've already hit the weights and are confident they'll be in shape when they report for R-Day (Reception Day) followed by the football field at West Point or the USMAPS (prep school).
"I lift five days a week and run just about every day," said Greg Bender (6-foot-1, 205), an outside linebacker from Ironton (Ohio) Dawson Bryant High School. "I'm doing just about everything you can be doing to get my body faster and stronger. We have a powerlifting team at my high school and we usually win state just about every year."
They also are adept at getting to know each other and through social media before they become classmates.
"I've met guys on the GoBlackKnights Facebook page and I've been talking with guys I met on my trip (to West Point)," said Jevon Elmore (5-foot-10, 171), the running back from New London (Conn.) High School. "I've been talking with Elijah St. Hilaire, Andrew King and Cedrik Bell. We're all excited."
They like the quality and depth of the Class of 2012 that makes up their future classmates and teammates.
"There are a lot of athletes and a lot of speed," said Gervon Simon i (5-foot-11, 190), recruited as an athlete out of Johnstown (Penn.) High School. "I think a lot of the guys will make an impact early in their careers whether they're going directly to West Point or to the prep school. I think with the last two classes, and hopefully the next class, we're going to be putting together a team that can compete at a high level and win a lot of games and beat Navy."
And their excitement for starting their West Point academic and athletic futures is growing now that the recruiting process is behind them and they've clearly mapped out the first phases of the rest of their lives.
That goes for the recruits that knew little about West Point when Army's coaches first contacted them as well as those such as Evan Finnane, a defensive tackle from St. Elgin (Ill) whose brother Shane Finnane was a sophomore defensive lineman last season for the Black Knights.
"I look forward to getting to West Point every day," said Evan Finnane, a 6-foot-2, 260-pounder. "I'm ready to get it underway. My brother is there, so I already knew a lot about it. Coach (Joe) Ross kept asking me if I had any questions. He said I never had any questions. But that was because I felt I already knew everything I needed to know."
In addition to lifting weights, Finnane and Simon say their wrestling seasons will help prepare them for college football.
"I consider wrestling preparing for football," said Finnane. "So much of wrestling relates to football."
Simon is 13-0 in the 191-pound weight class after a midseason injury interrupted his season, but he's back in the mats now that the postseason is here. He was ranked in Pennsylvania's Top 10 before his injury.
"I think wrestling is helping get me ready for basic training more than anything," Simon said. "I lift after every practice and I'll be running and lifting when track season comes around. I want to be in shape and ready to go."
The recruits also see the large recruiting class as encouragement rather than as competition.
"I'm not too worried about that," Elmore said. "I'm coming in as an athlete and I'm excited to see where the coaches will think I fit in best. Then I will try to get the most out of myself at that position. I'm more focused on team success than individual positions."
They're also savvy enough to use recruiting tools such as Rivals.com videos found on GBK to learn about their future teammates.
"Just from looking at highlight videos of guys I can tell we have a lot of talent coming in," Bender said. "I like to win, and with that talent I think we've got a real shot to do something. That makes me feel good. I've been talking to about 10 guys on Facebook. You can tell everyone wants to be there and is committed to getting it done once we get there."
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