For offensive lineman Nick Bennett who has already committed to Army, he already feels like he's part of the team and yesterday's loss to Temple just made him more eager to put on the Black & Gold.
The 6-foot-2, 278 pound Bennett, along with his father, arrived in New York on Friday and they made their way early to the West Point campus on Saturday.
"We went to the Plain and then made our way to the stadium, said Bennett. "Then we took a tour with a couple of the other recruits along with Major King, where we went to the weight room, the indoor facilities and trophies."
For the prospect from Louisville (Ky.) Eastern High School, this was his second time on campus, but it was the first time for his dad, Mike.
But for Bennett, it would be the first time that he would be seeing his future teammates play in person and just the experience of being there from the team's warm-up to the game itself only reinforced his commitment to Army.
"We went onto the field during pregame and some of the coaches came over and I had a chance to speak with Coach Smeland," says Bennett who then made his way to is seat to take in game itself.
Of the game and Army loss, Bennett said, "I was in the recruiting section for the Temple game, which was a section over from the Cadets and right behind the Owls bench on the 50 yard line," shares Bennett. "It was really exciting and I liked the atmosphere
the place was packed
Although engrossed in the game, he was also able to take time to assess what was happening in the trenches. "I was watching the O-line and it was really cool how they were blocking," says the offensive lineman. "A couple of time we ran up the middle and the guard would fire out of his stance and his shoulder pads would be on the d-linemen's hip and he would just drive them out of the way."
"I thought that was so cool and I was cheering
whenever we got first downs, I would yell first down Army and get loud when it was 3rd down for Temple."
"When we had to leave (West Point), I did not want to leave.
- OL & Army Commit, Nick Bennett
So how did being there on Saturday impact your commitment decision to Army? "When we had to leave, I did not want to leave," shares Bennett, who indicated that there is 95% chance that he will be going direct.
4-2 - Two losses have come against the No. 1 & 8 teams in the state. We average 40 points in our four wins.
Through Dad's Eyes
As committed as Bennett is, his father Mike is equally as impressed with all that he saw on Saturday, despite Army losing a tight ball game.
"The environment was electric," says the Nick's dad. "Such a scenic backdrop on the game
with the stadium seating there; it is the most beautiful college football setting I have ever seen and I've been to a lot of different stadiums through the years. The atmosphere
it rivaled in my opinion down here in SEC and Big East country."
"There was a buzz from 10am right up until kickoff. It just had that electric feeling. I wanted to see them win the game and disappointed in the loss."
For Mr. Bennett, he did not hesitate to express his thoughts on the progression of the Army program and its leadership under second year head coach, Rich Ellerson.
"This is a team that is getting better and I'm excited that my son is going to have a chance to go up there and be part of the program with Coach Ellerson. I believe in what he is doing - I've watched the product on the field, last year and this year.
Those close losses are just a matter of time before they become wins.
It is such a wonderful opportunity for him (Nick)
not only to play college football but to get a world class education that is second to none and serve his country.
Quite frankly, he made this decision very easy
there are other schools that are still recruiting him, but we have told them all we appreciate the calls and letters, but he's already made his decision. Yesterday rapped everything up for good because now he had a chance to see a game in person and was everything that he thought and then some."
After the game, Nick went down to the locker room area where he met Coach Smeland and then he and his dad went to his office where they talked and I hung out there for about an hour.
Clearly, Saturday not only confirmed, but has made Bennett more anxious to start his Army football career at West Point.
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