Army’s rivalry with Air Force runs deeper than the annual matchup between the two service academies.
Army coach Jeff Monken was asked earlier this week about the recruiting between the two schools ahead of their Commander-in-Chief winner-take-all game Saturday at Michie Stadium.
Fact is the recruiting may more competitive than the action on the field.
Wednesday’s early Signing Day was an example as Army landed a new addition to its 2021 class.
North Forney (Texas) defensive lineman and former Air Force commit Roderick Brown announced on Twitter that he’s signed his certificate of commitment to the Black Knights.
Brown was one of more than 40 high school senior to take the next step toward joining Army by signing their non-binding certificates.
Suffern (N.Y.) linebacker Clev Lubin, who announced his commitment Tuesday, was among the signees. Lubin earned all-state honors in football and basketball his junior season.
Some commits may be waiting until the February signing period with the hopes of a ceremony including their peers at schools that are still conducting virtual learning.
Here’s a working list of 2021 commits, who have signed or will sign their certificates of commitments this week:
RB Noah Alexander, 5-10, 188, Eufaula (Okla.) HS: Other offers – Navy. Rushed for 1,448 yards and 16 touchdowns as junior.
LB Josiah Banks, 6-1, 190, Mount Tabor HS, Winston-Salem, N.C.: Other offers – Air Force
S Xzavier Barnes, 6-foot, 190, Life Christian Academy, South Chesterfield, Va.
OL Braden Bartosh, 6-3, 260, Park Hill South HS, Kansas City, Mo.: Other offers – Navy
DB Marcus Bass, 5-10, 171, Lincoln College Prep, St. Louis, Mo.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force
OL Tanner Bivins, 6-2, 300, Wesleyan School, Norcross, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Eastern Michigan. First-team all-state lineman, state wrestling finalist as junior.
TE Kenyatta Brannon, 6-4, 260, Chanhassen (Minn.) HS: Other offers – Air Force
DL Roderick Brown, 6-1, 265, North Forney HS, Forney, Texas: Former Air Force commit. Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Houston, Buffalo, Arkansas State
LB Steven Carter, 6-1, 220, Newnan (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Eastern Michigan, Coastal Carolina. Made 77 tackles as junior.
LB Brandon Castro, 6-foot, 190, Buford (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland, South Alabama
S Michael Cerniauskas, 5-11, 192, Catholic HS, Baton Rogue, La.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe. Father Chris is 1993 West Point graduate. Attended 2019 Army prospect camp.
LB Blane Cleaver, 6-3, 212, Berwick (Pa.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Central Michigan, Louisiana-Monroe
RB Greg Daniel, 5-11, 188, Calvary Day HS, Savannah, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force
DE Zac Daher, 6-4, 245, Northwest HS, Wichita, Kansas: Other offers – Air Force, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, New Mexico
LB Kalib Fortner, 6-1, 205, Knoxville (Tenn.) Central HS: 2019 stats – 119 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 10 sacks
WR Liam Fortner, 6-1, 185, Knoxville (Tenn.) Central HS: 2019 stats – 48 catches, 640 yards, 6 TDs
WR Javonte Graves-Billips, 5-11, 178, St. Paul’s Episcopal HS, Mobile, Ala.: Has led St. Paul’s in receiving the last two seasons.
K Trey Gronotte, 6-foot, 160, Covington Catholic HS, Park Hills, Ky.: Other offers – Air Force, Miami (Ohio). Made 9-of-12 field goals, 68 of 71 extra points and booted 43 touchbacks as a junior.
OL Turner Hillburn, 6-3, 270, Royse City (Texas) HS: Other offers – Navy, Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana-Monroe
LB Gregory Johnson, 5-11, 205, Northwestern HS, Rock Hill, S.C.: Johnson is the senior class president and maintains 4.3 grade-point average.
DB Casey Larkin, 6-foot, 180, Wall (N.J.) Township HS: Other offers – Navy
RB Daxon Lindholm, Centennial HS, Peoria, Ariz.: First offer – Arm
LB Clev Lubin, 6-3, 212, Suffern (N.Y.) HS: First offer – Army. Other offers – Buffalo, Kent State, UMass. All-state football and basketball player.
K-P Jake Marion, 5-11, 180, North Davidson HS, Lexington, N.C.: Had 52 touchbacks and long field goal of 49 yards as a junior.
DE Bailey Meek, 6-5, 255, Ridgefield (Wash.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, UNLV
LS Jaxon Miller, 6-2, 240, Triton Central HS, Fairland, Ind.: Other offers – Air Force
OL Collin Morrison, 6-7, 240, Bishop Kelly HS, Tulsa, Okla.: Other offers -Navy, Texas State, Arkansas State
QB Zach Mundell, 5-10, 170, Martin HS, Arlington, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Air Force
RB Emmanuel Nda, 5-9, 172, Pittsfield (Mass.) HS
FB Lincoln Parker, 5-11, 220, Marist School, Atlanta, Ga.
LB Tyler Rafferty, 6-3, 205, Newburgh (N.Y.) Free Academy HS: First offer – Army
TE Mitch Raifsnider, 6-8, 245, Margaretta HS, Castalia, Ohio: Other offers – Akron, Eastern Michigan, Liberty
LB LucRichard Rameau, 6-2, 230, Episcopal HS, Alexandria, Va.: First offer – Army
FB Hayden Reed, 6-2, 210, Plant HS, Tampa, Fla.: Other offers – Illinois, Colorado State
P Matthew Rhodes, 6-5, 195, Auburn (Ala.) HS: First offer – Navy. Second offer – Army. Rhodes has 29 punts inside the 10-yard line in his three-year career.
RB Hunter Rice, 6-foot, 220, Lord Botetourt HS, Daleville, Va.: Other offers – Navy, Liberty, Coastal Carolina
DL Charlie Rolenc, 6-1, 263, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, Fla.: Other offers – Navy
LB Ahmad Ross, 6-2, 223, St. Joseph’s Academy, Hammonton, N.J.: First offer – Navy. Second offer – Army.
DE Josh Schell, 6-4, 225, Mount Pleasant (Mich.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Akron, Buffalo, Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo
RB Zaire Scotland, 5-11, 215, Walhalla (S.C.) HS
RB Lucas Scott, 6-4, 240, Chenango Forks HS, Binghamton, N.Y.: 2019 New York state Class B player of year, 2020 state 285-pound champion. Other offers – Air Force, UMass
OL Jacob Smith, 6-3, 300, Buford (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Maryland, Akron, East Carolina, South Alabama, Charlotte
LB Emaud Triplett, 5-11, 205, Owasso (Okla.) HS: Other offers – North Texas, Eastern Michigan
DL Jacob Tuioti, 6-2, 250, Long Beach (Calif) Poly HS: Other offers – Colorado State, Nevada, UNLV. Recorded 61 tackles, 22 for a loss and 10 sacks as junior.
DB Jabril Williams, 5-11, 175, Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy: Former Indiana State commit
QB Darius Wilson, 6-2, 162, Saint Laurence HS, Burbank, Ill.: Runs triple option. Threw for 1,144 yards and 12 TD and rushed for 923 yards and 10 TD as junior.