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Freshman class: Jono Horvath’s college football, military path to West Point

Jono Horvath is not your typical Army freshman football player.

Horvath entered West Point last month with prior military and Division I-A college football experience.

The Maitland, Fla. native was a freshman reserve offensive lineman on Central Florida’s 2017 undefeated 13-0 season. Horvath chose to leave college football in January 2018 for another calling – the United States Army. He enlisted and served active duty as a combat medic specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division from March 2018 until July 2020 when Horvath reported to Army Prep.

“(Jono) brought a very mature, yet intense feeling with him everywhere,” Army Prep football coach Andy Wolfrum said. “Having the experience of playing college ball AND serving in the Army made him right at home when he arrived and the guys gravitated toward that. The energy he brought to the weight room was unmatched.”

Horvath walked on to the Army Prep team. Wolfrum had no idea who Horvath was during the walk-on tryouts.

“We saw him kick slide, and we (coaches) said, ‘Wait a minute, do that again,’” Wolfrum said. “It didn’t take long to realize he was talented and had some real experience. Couple that with his military background and his personality, and it made him a locker room leader immediately.”

Horvath is continuing the Long Gray Line in his family. Brother Jordan is a 2018 West Point graduate and was a Rabble Rouser for three years.

“The kid is a monster in the weight room and a natural leader,” said Jordan Horvath, who hosts the As For Football podcast. “I’m excited to see him play.”

You have to go back more than a decade to find the last Division I-A transfer to make an impact on the Army football program. Defensive lineman Ted Bentler (2007-08) started his college football career at Iowa and united with his brother Fritz, also a defensive lineman, at West Point.

Army has a second transfer among its freshman class. Karsonne Winters redshirted as a safety at Portland State in 2019. He opted out of Portland State’s 2021 spring season.

Cornerback Chris Joines and defensive lineman Trey Moore were listed among Army’s released freshman list. Both Joines and Moore announced on Twitter around R-Day that they would not be attending West Point.

Here’s Army official freshman roster as released Wednesday (Starting to add jersey numbers for players. Parents, DM us with numbers on Twitter @BKKnightNation):

*OL Matthew Adoghe, 6-4, 315, Peachtree Ridge HS, Suwanee, Ga.
LB Josiah Banks, 6-1, 190, Mount Tabor HS, Lewisville, N.C.: Other offers – Air Force
*LB Malik Birchett, 6-2, 200, Mooresville (N.C.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Colorado State, Liberty
LB Shepherd Bowling, 6-1, 210, Katy (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Texas-San Antonio, Louisiana-Monroe
*RB Jeremiah “Lucky” Brooks, 5-11, 205, Acadiana HS, Lafayette, La.
*WR Logan Burks, 6-6, 195, Carmel (Ind.) HS: First offer – Army
DB Jordan Burrell, 6-foot, 190, Blythewood (S.C.) HS: Other offers – Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Appalachian State, Marshall, Georgia State, Temple, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte. Twin brother Josh signed with Florida State.
LB Brian Burton, 5-10, 210, Midway HS (Waco, Texas), Philadelphia, Pa.
*S Adam Cash, 6-foot, 200, Mansfield Timberview HS, Arlington, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Air Force
LB Brandon Castro, 6-foot, 190, Buford HS, Loganville, Ga.: Other offers – Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland, South Alabama
S Michael Cerniauskas, 5-11, 205, Catholic HS, Baton Rogue, La.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe. Father Chris is 1993 West Point graduate.
LB Blane Cleaver, 6-3, 212, Berwick (Pa.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Central Michigan, Louisiana-Monroe
*85 DE David Crossan, 6-4, 235, Calvary Christian HS, Clearwater, Fla.
*LB Kalvyn Crummie, 6-2, 215, Hillcrest HS, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
*16 QB Bryson Daily, 6-1, 205, Abernathy (Texas) HS
*RB Jarel Dickson, 6-foot, 215, Peabody HS, Trenton, Tenn.: Other offers – Navy, Miami (Ohio), Western Kentucky
S Max DiDomenico, 5-11, 190, Clemens HS, Schertz, Texas:  Three-year starting QB returns to defensive side. Rushed for 14 TDs and passed for 14 TDs as senior. Originally committed to Tyler Junior College.
QB Simeon Evans, 5–11, 175, Bishop Dunne HS, Mansfield, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Louisiana-Monroe
*DL Gustavo Gallardo, 6-1, 295, Andress HS, El Paso, Texas
*WR Isaiah Gavin, 6-5, 175, Saint Thomas Aquinas HS, Overland Park, Kansas
* 42 LB Brett Gerena, 6-1, 210, Jesuit HS, Valrico, Fla:  First offer – Army. Other offers – Eastern Michigan. Gerena’s father, Joe, was Army quarterback from 1998-20.
95 K Trey Gronotte, 6-foot, 160, Covington Catholic HS, Crestview Hills, Ky.: Other offers – Air Force, Miami (Ohio)
* 62 OL Jono Horvath, Lyman HS, Maitland, Fla.: Horvath was freshman offensive lineman on Central Florida’s 13-0 2017 team. He opted to leave Central Florida in January 2018 to enlist in the United States Army and the 82nd Airborne Division. Horvath attended Army Prep in 2020-21.
*52 T David Hoyt, 6-6, 280, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic HS: Ranked 90th-best tackle of the 2020 class by 247 Sports. Other offers – Rutgers, Louisville, Illinois, Buffalo, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Tulane, Toledo, Ohio, Colorado State
*OL Chris Hunter, 6-2, 250, Oceanside (Calif.) HS: Brother of 2021 West Point graduate and former Army tackle JB Hunter
*RB Jordan Jackson, 6-foot, 190, Mainland HS, Daytona, Fla.
*DL Malik James, 6-2, 260, Benedictine Prep, Richmond, Va.: Other offers – Navy
DL Will Jeffcoat, 6-2, 265, Pelion (S.C.) HS: First offer – Air Force. Second offer – Army. 2020 South Carolina state wrestling champion
CB Kahleef Jimmison, 5-10, 170, Woodside HS, Newport News, Va.
*SB Bishop Johnson, 5-8, 170, Jefferson HS, Lafayette, Ind.
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. Made 75 tackles, 9 for a loss, with five pass breakups and two sacks in seven games as a senior.
*RB Markel Johnson, 5-9, 170, Liberty County HS, Allenhurst, Ga.
K Tyler Johnson, 5-10, 180, Mount Juliet (Tenn.) HS
TE Danny Joiner, 6-3, 240, North Kansas City HS, Raymore, Mo.: Other offers – Bowling Green, Toledo
*DE Matthew Jordan, 6-3, 245, St. John Bosco HS, Gardena, Calif.
C Bill Katsigiannis, 6-1, 260, Katy (Texas) HS
CB Chance Keith, 6-foot, 180, Biloxi (Miss.) HS
LB Bo Kite, 6-3, 220, Deep Run HS, Glen Allen, Va.: Two-time state wrestling champion. Other offers – Navy, Liberty, Temple, Ball State, UMass, Virginia (preferred walk on)
*LB Kyle Lewis, 6-3, 220, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
*OL Kaleb Luna, 6-3, 300, Ellison HS, Killeen, Texas
*DE Andre Miller, 6-3, 235, Savannah (Ga.) Country Day School: Army visit – June 14-16. Other offers – Navy, Colorado, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Akron, Appalachian State, Southern Mississippi, Liberty, Coastal Carolin
*DE Khalil Miller, 6-3, 235, Life Christian Academy, Virginia Beach, Va.
* QB Ahlon Mitchell, 5-11, 170, Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills, Mich.
TE-DE William Montesi, 6-3, 225, Greenwich (Conn.) HS: Football and lacrosse captain. Received a lacrosse offer from Air Force and football offer from Bowling Green
OL Collin Morrison, 6-7, 240, Bishop Kelly HS, Tulsa, Okla. Other offers – Navy, Texas State, Arkansas State
S Branson Owens, 6-foot, 200, Wilcox County HS, Rochelle, Ga.
* 67 OL Raleigh Oxendine, 6-2, 272, Jesuit HS, Tampa, Fla.: Other offers – Air Force
44 FB Lincoln Parker, 5-11, 220, Marist School, Atlanta, Ga.
CB Cade Patton, 5-11, 165, Allen (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force
QB Gary Phillips, 6-1, 187, Van Buren (Ark.) HS: First offer – Navy. Second offer – Army
LB Tyler Rafferty, 6-3, 205, Newburgh (N.Y.) Free Academy HS: First offer – Army
LB LucRichard Rameau, 6-2, 230, Episcopal HS, Alexandria, Va.: First offer – Army
WR Casey Reynolds, 6-3, 200, Deerfield (Mass.) Academy, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: First offer – Army
P Matthew Rhodes, 6-5, 195, Auburn (Ala.) HS: First offer – Navy. Second offer – Army
OL Matthew Robbins, 6-5, 230, Oklahoma Christian School, Edmond, Okla.: Other offers – Air Force. Father, Trey, is 1996 West Point graduate
DL Charlie Rolenc, 6-1, 263, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, Fla.: Other offers – Navy
*QB RJ Rosales, 5-10, 178, Evangelical Christian HS, Immokalee, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force.
RB T.J. Rotello, 5-11, 190, Archbishop Moeller HS, Lebanon, Ohio
*WR Cam Schurr, 6-1. 175, South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.
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 Cooper Smith, 6-2, 280, Bowdon (Ga.) HS
*67 DE Trey Sofia, 6-5, 220, Lake Travis HS, Austin, Texas
*RB Miles Stewart, 5-11, 185, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, La.
*DB Terrell Taylor, 6-foot, 190, Paramount HS, Compton, Calif.
*57 LB Jett Thomas, 6-1, 223, Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS: Other offers – Southern Mississippi
*DB Laquan Veney, 5-11, 180, Highland Springs (Va.) HS
*40 LB Cam Vining, 6-1, 226, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal HS, Bradenton, Fla.
*DB Damon Washington, Blair Academy, East Brunswick, N.J.
*RB A.J. Williams, 6-1, 210, Aquinas HS, Augusta, Ga.: Other offers – Navy.
*DB Spencer Williams, 6-foot, 180, Jesuit HS, Brandon, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Georgia State
S Karsonne Winters, 6-3, 195, Palo Verde HS, Las Vegas, Nev.: Portland State transfer
*OL Davis Wulf, 6-3, 265, Clinton-Massie HS, Wilmington, Ohio
*11 S Tommy Zitiello, 6-2, 185, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Navy

* Played for Army Prep in 2020

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