Connor Clinton knew he was going to commit to Army Friday night but seeing his future team play live as part of an official visit affirmed the Casteel (Ariz.) safety’s decision Saturday.
Clinton watched Army’s defense shut down UConn in the first half while continuing to build bonds with future teammates.
After Army’s 52-21 win, Clinton met with Jeff Monken and gave his verbal commitment in the coach’s office.
“It (the visit) was unmatched,” Clinton said. “The atmosphere was amazing! The opportunities are endless and the all of the bonds I have with the players already along with the amazing coaching staff!”
Clinton’s decision was part of a big recruiting weekend for Army. The Black Knights also received commitments from Little Rock (Ark.) Central cornerback DJ Hill-Smith, Catholic (La.) running back Corey Singleton and Park City (Utah) offensive lineman Luke McCurdy.
Army was the first to offer Clinton. Monken, recruiting coach Saga Tuitele and position coach Shiel Wood were consistent in their interest from the start. Clinton was also considering Arizona and Fordham. Navy and Arizona State also offered Clinton.
“They have always recruited me heavily,” Clinton said. “Coach Tuitele, Monken and Wood reach out to me weekly and put a lot of time into me. Army (was my top school) since they believed in me and pulled the trigger first.”
Clinton believes his physical play and leadership will be great additions to Army’s fast-paced defense under coordinator Nate Woody. A three-sport athlete in football, lacrosse and track, Clinton also carries a 4.1 grade-point average.
This weekend’s visit provided Clinton with the opportunity to catch up with current players including safety and captain Cedrick Cunningham as well as current recruits. The message was the same.
“We just talked about carrying out their legacy,” Clinton said.
Clinton is already thinking about the future.
2022 Army football commits (53)
DE Amir Ali, 6-2, 235, Holy Cross HS, San Antonio, Texas: First offer – Army
OL Henry Appleton, 6-3, 275, Denton Ryan HS, Denton, Texas: Other offers – Air Force. Helped Denton Ryan to Texas 5A state title as junior.
RB Donovan Baker, 5-10, 190, Woodberry Forest (Va.) HS: Other offers – Navy.
OL Ned Brady, 6-4, 245, New Canaan (Conn.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Boston College, Rutgers, Syracuse, Buffalo
K Anderson Britton, 5-10, 155, Heritage HS, Ringgold, Ga.
OL CJ Brooks, 6-1, 277, Warner Robins (Ga.) HS: First offer – Army.
S Caden Brungard, 6-1, 190, Western Wayne HS, Lake Ariel, Pa.: Other offers – Air Force
RB David Clerk, 5-9, 160, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas
S Connor Clinton, 6-1, 190, Casteel HS, Queen Creek, Ariz.: Other offers – Navy, Arizona, Arizona State
DL Mason Davis, 6-2, 260, Denton Ryan HS, Denton, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Hawaii, North Texas. Helped Denton Ryan to Texas state 5A championship
WR Michael Davis, 6-1, 205, Denton Ryan HS, Denton, Texas: First offer – Army. Caught touchdown pass in Denton Ryan’s Texas 5A championship win.
OL Sam Dec, 6-4, 250, Nease HS, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Marshall, Appalachian State, Florida International, Georgia Southern, UConn, Western Kentucky, Georgia State, Colorado State, Troy, UMass.
DE-TE David Dunston, 6-3, 230, William Penn HS, New Castle, Del.
RB Omari Embree, 5-8, 170, Warren Woods Tower HS, Detroit, Mich.: Other offers – Central Michigan. Ranked 58th best player in Michigan by 247 Sports
DE Chase Fambro, 6-3, 240, Spalding HS, Griffin, Ga.: Other offers – Coastal Carolina, Hawaii
OL Paolo Gennarelli, 6-3, 280, St. Charles North (Ill.) HS: Other offers – Wyoming
QB Sylas Gomez, 6-2, 185, Central Catholic HS, San Antonio, Texas: First offer – Army.
DE Caden Harman, 6-3, 240, Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif.
DL Kody Harris, 6-2, 295, Middletown (Del.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force. Visited Army, Navy and Air Force.
QB Cale Hellums, 5-11, 185, Tomball (Texas) HS: First offer – Army. Rushed for 1,796 yards junior year.
DL Marc Hernandez, 6-4, 315, Bell HS, Hurst, Texas: Other offers – Air Force
CB DJ Hill-Smith, 6-2, 177, Little Rock (Ark.) Central HS: Other offers – Arkansas State
DE-TE Nate Holt, 6-6, 240, Unionville (Pa.) HS
OL Kendrick Kirby, 6-3, 270, Calhoun (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Memphis, Arkansas State, Marshall.
DT Bridger Knee, 6-2, 250, Baylor School, Chattanooga, Tenn.: Other offers – Ball State, Utah State
DE Joey Knight, 6-3, 230, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Conn.: Played 2021 spring season at Wellesley (Mass.) before transferring to Choate Rosemary Hall
OL Tyler Lee, 6-2, 285, Tomball (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Tulsa, Marshall, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State
OL Luke McCurdy, 6-3, 267, Park City (Utah) HS: Other offers – Navy, Nevada
WR Elo Modozie, 6-3, 195, Bartram Trail HS, Jacksonville, Fla.
DB Ryan Nolan, 5-10, 170, Gainesville (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Navy
OL Lane Parks, 6-5, 275, Yukon (Okla.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, New Mexico, Texas State. Ranked No. 29 in The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for 2022 season.
FB BJ Phillips, 5-11, 215, Guyer HS, Denton, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Air Force.
LS Jack Pirinelli, 6-1, 240, Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.: First offer – Army
DE-LB Donovan Poe, 6-2, 230, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly HS
LB Steven Powers, 6-foot, 200, Franklin HS, El Paso, Texas: First offer – Army. Second offer – Navy.
S Jamir Reyes, 6-1, 180, Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia, Pa.
QB Glenn Rice, 5-11, 180, Lancaster (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force.
QB Larry Robinson, 6-foot, 175, Saline (Mich.) HS: Ranked the 81st best quarterback in 2022 class and top QB in Michigan by 247 Sports. Other offers – Navy, Central Michigan.
FB Hunter Roddy, 6-foot, 220, Chaparral HS, Murrieta, Calif.: Other offers – Navy
LB Holden Sapp, 6-2, 215, Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Ga.: Other offers – Middle Tennessee State. 2020 Region III Class AAAA defensive player of year with 102 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.
OL Ryan Scott, 6-3, 250, Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.: First offer – Army
DT Brady Small, 6-3, 285, St. Augustine Prep, Richland, N.J.: Other offers – Navy, Kent State
RB Corey Singleton, 5-11, 205, Catholic HS, Baton Rogue, La.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Air Force
DE-LB Dillon Stowers, 6-4, 235, Liberty Christian Academy, Lynchburg, Va.: Other offers – Navy
LB Andon Thomas, 6-1, 200, Liberty Hill (Texas) HS: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force.
TE Toby Thompson, 6-4, 240, Cherokee HS, Canton, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force
K David Vaughn, 5-11, 160, Coffee HS, Douglas, Ga.:
WR Neo Vossschulte, 6-4, 190, Episcopal Academy, Newtown Square, Pa.
WR Tyler Vroman, 6-3, 180, Lowell (Mich.) HS: First offer – Army
RB Dakoda Wagner, 6-1, 210, Flagler Palm Coast (Fla.) HS
RB Isaiah West, 6-1, 204, Georgetown Prep, North Bethesda, Md.: Other offers – Navy
CB Curtis Whiting, 5-11, 181, Hackensack (N.J.) HS
TE Cooper Wilkinson, 6-3, 235, New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) HS: Committed during visit on June 6.
LB Christian Yousefzadeh, 6-4, 225, Creekside HS, St. John’s, Fla.: Other offers – Georgia Tech
Commits by state: Texas (13), Georgia (9), Florida (5), Pennsylvania (4), California (3), Michigan (3), Delaware (2), New Jersey (2), Virginia (2), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (1), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (1), Oklahoma (1), Tennessee (1), Utah (1)
Commits offered by Navy: 14
Commits offered by Air Force: 13