January 9, 2008

Black Knights Recruiting Notebook: Updates

There is a level of anticipation surrounding this upcoming weekend's official visits. The common bond of this weekend like all others is the level of talent coming to the West Point campus, along with very strong recruiting efforts on the part of Coach Brock and his staff. The uniqueness of these visits versus previous weekends is this group will already have 2-3 already committed (Army) players as part of the visitors. Hence, you will see players like tight end Corey Myersdoing his own personal recruiting to get others to say yes to the Black Knights. In fact, it was Myers who took the initiative to reach out to a fellow recruit during the football season. "I was watching a high school game on local TV and the announcers mentioned that this kid from Saguaro High School had an appointment to West Point," shares Myers. "I found out his name and looked him up." That player was defensive lineman, Derrick Bisgard, and they now keep in contact with each other - they also will fly out together for this weekend's official visit.

What are they saying?

Joe Bailey - OT- Marist High School

Offensive lineman, Joe Bailey will be keeping his bags packed and adding to his frequent flier miles, as he will spend this weekend visiting Georgetown and the following weekend at Cornell. These visits will have to be nothing less than spectacular to surpass what Bailey experienced during his Army official visit (1/4), which placed the Black Knights at the top of his list. "My visit there went great," confirms the 6-foot-2, 265 pound recruit. "It was real enjoyable and I'm leaning towards Army, but I want to take a couple other visits before I make my decision."

Bailey out of Marist High School (GA) was hosted during his Army visit by offensive lineman, Jude Cooke and his recruiting coach is Gary Miller. "The coaching staff is great and focused on turning the program around," says Bailey.

Travis Tarpley - WR - George Washington High School

At only 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, Tarpley has literally fallen under the radar, but this confident wide receiver-kick returner is a game breaker and could add value immediately to the Black Knights special teams (kick & punt returner), as well as offensively.

Tarpley has "jitterbug" like moves and runs a "legit" 4.5 forty to go along with a 32 vertical inch (Nike Camp - Staton, VA.)

This speedster, who also is the starting point guard for his high school is also hearing from William & Mary, Richmond, VMI, Norfolk State and a few others.

He ranks high on Army recruiting charts and recognizing their level of interest. "Army contacts me once a week," declares Tarpley. "They are looking at me at wide receiver and kick returner to fill a spot they have vacant. I am considering them and want to go 1A, but I have to also think about the obligation there."

Tarpley is being recruiting by wide receiver coach, Dan Baranik and is looking to schedule his official visit to Army.

Jordan Osborne - Safety - The Woodlands High School

Safety Jordan Osborne had a familiar face with him during his recent official visit to Army and it was teammate and now Black Knight commit, John Neill (OL). Although Osborne enjoyed his visit, but is still in the evaluation mode. "I think I was further along in the process (recruiting) with Army than Jordan was, but I know he enjoyed himself there," shares Neill. Osborne, whose dad also accompanied him on the visit, echoed Neill's assessment. "It went good - I was impressed with the coaches and the facilities, but I'm not ready to make my decision right now," says the 6-foot-0, 185 pound safety.

Osborne is scheduled for visit North Dakota State (1/11) and has indicated that he will make his decision after that visit.

Matt Brewer - LB - Lafayette High School

With offers from Army & Air Force, and interest still coming from Rice, Miami of Ohio and Baylor, Matt Brewer remains open when it comes to selecting a school. He has already taken an official visit to Army (1/4) and is scheduled to visit Air Force the first weekend in February.

The 6-foot-0, 220 pound linebacker took an unofficial visit to the West Point campus during the football season, where he and his dad saw Army take on Tulsa. "I really like the game atmosphere and the facilities are really top notch," declares Brewer.

Before deciding on a school, Brewer has stated that he will most likely take all of his visits.

In other news:

The fourth annual Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game Classic took place this past weekend in Jackson, Mississippi. Army commit Matt Villanti started at offensive guard for the West team, but from a team perspective, things did not go to well for Villanti and his teammates. "I had fun, but they handed it to us," says the future Black Knight.

The final score of the game saw the East All-Americans dominated the West to the tune of 42-0. On an individual level, Villanti had a chance to go head-to-head with some talented defensive lineman, and not only during the game, but in practice as well. One player in particular that Villanti went against was Arkansas commit, Lavunce Askew. "Not only did we play against each other during the game, but during the practice as well," shares Villanti. "With the run, I did well against him, but pass protection I struggled - he was a chore."

Needless to say, the 6-foot-3, 302 pound recruit is now ready to go to the next level and the Black Knight fans are looking forward seeing Villanti in the Black & Gold of Army

Ross has special visitors

Speaking of linemen, another of our Top 20 recruits for Army is getting close to countdown time and that's defensive tackle recruit, Michael Ross. The 6-foot-1 1/1, 260 pound defender, who benches 410 and squats 650 will have some home visitors soon. Army Head Coach Stan Brock and Defensive Coordinator John Mumford will visit the Ross home in Boca Raton, Florida this Sunday evening. Clearly there is no doubt of Army's level of interest Ross' talents and he would a welcome addition to what is amounting to a very solid recruiting class.


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