The Black Knights have been busy trying to rebuild some of the key positions defensively, that will take a hit due to graduation, but also looking to even upgrade the talent pool. Two positions that stand out are the quick defensive end spot, along with the Rover linebacker role.
Prior to making his official visit to Army, linebacker - defensive end Derek Sanchez had mentioned to GBK that the Black Knights were high on his list and that he was looking forward to his visit to the West Point campus.
Well, forty-eight hours later, the 6-foot-3 1/2, 212 pound defender made it official as he gave his verbal commitment to the Army coaching staff or more specifically to Co-defensive coordinator, Payam Saadat who has handled Sanchez's recruiting.
GoBlackKnights.com had the opportunity to catch up with Sanchez, as he discussed the step leading up to his commitment, especially his official visit to Army.
"My visit was really good - they treated me really well and learned a whole lot about the school and the program," Sanchez confesses.
Sanchez also credits Saadat for effectively preparing him for his official, as well the manner in which the Army DC has handled his overall recruiting.
"Coach Saadat actually came over a couple days before I left for West Point and I had dinner with him," shares the prospect from Reno (Nev.) Bishop Manogue High School. "He kind of laid out what the weekend would consist of."
While on campus, Sanchez's player host was fullback Dan McGue. "I really liked Dan as my host
normal guy and he was a huge help answering all my question, but we also had some fun time
But it was it meeting with the Army's Head Coach, Rich Ellerson that really closed the deal for Sanchez.
"I really like Coach Ellerson," he shares. "He's a really smart man, he really elaborated what it is to go to West Point and be a player there. I hung on every word he had to say."
I really like Coach Ellerson
He's a really smart man, he really elaborated what it is to go to West Point and be a player there. I hung on every word he had to say.
- Defensive end, Derek Sanchez
Saying Yes To Army
So after two days had passed, which allowed him time to step away from the events surrounding his visit, Sanchez was able to deliberate on the idea of becoming a Black Knight
and become a Black Knight he did.
"Actually I just got off the phone with Coach Saadat and told him that I wanted to be a Black Knight," Sanchez shared yesterday. "I had emailed him earlier today to thank him for the time he had spent with me and my family. He called back to let us know he got the message and to ensure that everything was okay on our side and that we made it home safely."
"I let him know right then and there that I wanted to commit and he was super excited. I know he was out doing home visits, so for him to take that time out to call me it really meant a lot to me."
Although initially he is being projected as a defensive end (quick) within the Black Knights' defense, Sanchez who will be a direct admit has the athletic ability and range to become a Rover (linebacker) as well.
But for the time being, the Sanchez family is enjoying a very proud moment in the life of Derek, as noted by his dad, Gary. "I am ecstatic
our whole family is very happy," says the senior Sanchez on his son's commit to play football at Army and attend West Point.
"The school is even more impressive than we had anticipated. Just the academics, the way they treat the kids and the tools that they give them to succeed. It's just amazing to see and there is no doubt that West Point is the premier leadership building school in the world."
GoBlackKnights.com congratulates Sanchez on becoming the new member of Army 2011 recruiting class.
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