December 7, 2011

Official visit puts Army on top for OL

As the Black Knights launched their official visit weekends - December 2nd, offensive lineman Brandon Dewitt out Lawton (OK) Lawton High School, who was already high on Army, saw his absorption towards the program pump up the "interest meter".

So much that even his parents picked up on the notable difference in his disposition when he returned home from the East Coast.

"They (parents) like West Point a lot," says Dewitt on Tuesday. "They could tell the difference versus when I visited a couple of other schools. They said they noticed a difference in the way I was speaking about West Point and the thought of playing for Army. My mom said that she could tell that I really liked it because I sounded way different."

For the 6-foot-2, 275 pound offensive line prospect, that Army visit jump started on Friday as Dewitt, who was joined by his dad made their way to the Thayer Hotel on the West Point campus prior to connecting with the coaching staff.

Upon his arrival, DeWitt along with three other prospects on hand which included Black Knights' commit Sean McBryde eventually joined the coaching staff, lead by Head Coach Rich Ellerson as well as their respective hosts for dinner.

Afterwards, Dewitt, who is being recruited at Army by defensive line coach John Mumford and hosted by sophomore lineman Charles (CJ) Tobin, joined fellow recruits as they connected with their hosts ... which allowed for time away from the staff and parents.
"It went really well," adds Dewitt when speaking of his time bonding with some of the Black Knights' players. "We went to the player's lounge and we were playing PS3, playing Call Of Duty and playing NCAA football."

So, did Dewitt feel comfortable his host and the other players?

"It was awesome .... we really hit it off with each other," he exclaimed. "Even with the other recruits, we were all just having fun, playing the games but being competitive about too."

Needless to say and according to the talented recruit, Saturday would offer more insight into program, connection to the staff, players and even the recruits who were on the visit. As the prospects got up and went to breakfast with all of the coaches and the other recruits, they were about to learn more about the historical college.

"They took us on a tour of the campus and showing us the facilities, the dinning facilities and some of the historical sites, adds Dewitt, who had already taken an unofficial earlier in the summer, albeit more abbreviated. "I visited once in July and didn't see very much of it ... just the weight room and the stadium."

"We saw just about everything you could see. I think it's amazing, beyond anything I have every seen and the athletic facilities are the best in the country that I have seen period. The only one that really competes with it is OSU, but I still think Army has them beat."

Sunday with Head Coach Rich Ellerson

For every recruit that visits officially, there is that pinnacle moment on the trip where that player sits down with Ellerson to chat about the culmination of the weekend visit. However, the irony or should one say the uniqueness of that "sit-down" in the Army head coach's office compared to most of the other programs across the nation is that it comes minus grasping for the prospect to commit on the spot.

Such a dissimilarity is also tied to West Point being unique and the staff realizing that such a place truly requires for the player and even the parent(s) to take a moment away from the venue and reflect, which is what Dewitt experienced.

"When I spoke with Coach Ellerson, we did a one on one with my dad there," acknowledges Dewitt. "For the main part, he wanted to know what my opinion was with everything I had gone through over the weekend. He wanted to know did it meet expectation or did it exceed them and how was what I experienced different than my expectations."

And so, what was Dewitt's response? "For the main part, it was the people, like the players and everything because usually when you think about a high level education college, you really don't expect the people to have that coolness about them," he adds. "You kind of expect an awkwardness, but the West Point students and all the athletes are well rounded, where they are smart, but still solid athletes, which is cool."

Decision Time?

"Definitely after going through the visit my interest went up a lot," declares Dewitt. "When I was talking to Coach Ellerson, he said that they don't really talk about commitment on the trip. He said they wait for the player to go home and unwind - and if they want to make their decision then, that's fine."

And now that the Dewitt is back home, with two days of reflection ... is it Army?

"It's a pretty strong possibility, but I still want to go on my other visit to Sam Houston to see how that goes," says Dewitt, who indicated that the visit is scheduled for the beginning of January.

However, Dewitt did indicate that don't be overly surprised if he cancels his visit to Sam Houston and becomes a Black Knight ... something that would surely put a smile on the faces of the Army coaching staff.

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