February 21, 2011

2011 Recruiting Class adds speed to the Army program

He brought it from Cal-Poly and it manifested itself with Head Coach Rich Ellerson's first recruiting class at Army and has carried over to the 2011 class.

"It" is a major point of emphasis when it comes to recruiting for the Black Knights and that it is SPEED.

If you take a glance at every skilled position prospect from the 2011 recruiting class, if they are running track at their respective high schools, they run under a 11.2 in the 100M.

So when you go down the list of the 2011 commitments and you can cross check it to their track times and if they aren't tracksters, there is something very compelling about their speed or their attributes as a football player

For this staff, the hard padded - empirical evidence is needed and even hand times are often disregarded. They look for speed that can't be denied.

Again, it is a point of emphasis with the staff has a pretty good track record in this area … no pun intended

And the infusion of that speed is forthcoming, because as you look at the skilled positions across the Black Knights' roster to date, there is one glaring missing attribute and that was the overall team speed.

Yes, there are some players who can bring it, but they are few and far between and one of the areas that the staff has worked hard on during their recruiting over the past two season, is getting speed into the program.

Surely there it is one thing to be a blazer on the track and another thing to translate that to gridiron speed, but first things first.

The 2011 recruiting class pulled in a hand full of players that have registered some very impressive numbers via sanctioned track meets last year, as well as their senior year … indoor and outdoor.

Let's take a look at some of the performances of the future Black Knights.

We start out with 6-foot-0, 200 pound running back Miles Bennett who can bring it, especially for a player his size.

For Bennett, the plus side of residing in Tampa Florida is that the majority of his meets are outdoors. "There is no such thing as indoor per say," Bennett shared last week.

"We had our first track meet at Jesuit and it was a tri-meet against Strawberry and Steinbrenner.

The Army commit ran a impressive 10.6 in the 100M, but it was hand held time and also logged in a 22.3 in the 200M. "That (22.3) was a little bit slow, but I won."

Last year Bennett registered a PR (personal record) of 10.76 in the 100M at the Regional meet in Naples (Fl) and made it to the state final where he finished 4th with a time of 10.9.

He also posted a 22.12 PR during the state championships in 2010, which is pretty impressive coming from a state that producing speed on top of speed.

If Bennett can improve upon his 2010 Class 2A state finals official PR of 10.76 and 22.12 in the 100M and 200M respectively, he has a good chance of winning the one of both championships in 2011. Last season he finished 4th (100M) and 7th (200M).

Speaking of speed, one of the fastest, if not the fastest coming on board is Ja'Quail Haskins out of Killeen (Tx) Killeen High school gave his verbal commitment to the Army coaching staff on Wednesday.

The 5-foot-8, 170 pound back has scorched the gridiron and track and has the numbers to support it.

He was the 4A District champion as a junior then regional champion with an impressive 10.71, but his fastest 100M time is sizzling 10.64 at Richardson Invitational in March, 2010.

Then you have incoming wide receiver Justin Newman who registered a 49.09 in the 400M, which was 2nd in the state's 5A Division 1 Championships.

Also making some noise on the track scene is running backTony Giovannelli. The 6-foot-0, 185 pound running back runs the anchor for Glenwood's 4x400 relay team that placed 5th in the Class 2A State Championships.

Included in this group of speedy prospects in running back Dwayne Randall from Linganore High School (Md), where the 6-foot-1, 194 pound back's primary events are the 55m and 110m hurdles.

His PR in is 15.04 and 7.81 in the 110m and 55m hurdles respectively. Randall also participates in the 300m hurdles, long jump, high jump and shot put.

When you consider players like Marques Avery who will be making his way up from the prep school this summer and his track attributes, you continue to see Ellerson's imprint on the type of program that is being built at Army.

In 2009, Avery ran a 10.7 100M in the while in high school. His teammate at the prep school, Marcus Jackson won the 400M State title, in the Georgia 2A category, which he won as a junior and senior. The Lindale (GA) Pepperell High School product's fastest time was 48.493 in his senior season.

This does not cover the entire group of skilled players that make up the 2011 class, but it does leave an impression on the level of talent coming into the program.

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