Jacob Cotterill was Army strong before the Black Knights started recruiting him.
Cotterill played his entire junior season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament at Summerville (S.C.) High.
This season, Cotterill is expected to play both defensive line and right tackle.
Cotterill believes his grittiness and versatility will be a good fit on Army’s defensive line.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound senior committed to the Black Knights Friday one day after his Summerville teammate Ryland Mitchell joined Army’s 2024 recruiting class.
It wasn’t the teammates’ plan to join forces in college. The scenario just happened to play out that way.
“Rylo and I never really had the dreams to play together in college or anything like that,” Cotterill said. “But when the opportunity came up, we talked about it more and after he committed, he texted me and told me, ‘C’mon, you’re next.’ The opportunity to play college ball with one of your high school teammates is definitely enticing.”
Army defensive coordinator Nate Woody visited Summerville High and spoke with Cotterill and Mitchell. Cotterill spoke with Army safeties coach Danny Verpaele about setting up a visit. He toured West Point and the football facilities last week.
“From the moment I stepped on campus, everything felt surreal,” Cotterill said. “The scenery wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen down here in South Carolina. After visiting all of the facilities and other spots on campus, I got to watch the team work out and got a briefing on how West Point works.
“After having everything explained to me and experiencing the brotherhood first hand, I already kinda had my mind made up but then I spoke with the coaches and it sealed the deal for me.”
Cotterill said another reason he chose West Point was because of the academy’s history.
“I enjoy writing and learning about history,” Cotterill said.
Cotterill has looked up to NFL defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Reggie White but he’s been trying to “mimic” Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons’ mentality and versatility lately.
Cotterill will continue military service within his family. His grandfather fought in the Vietnam War and his father served in the Navy
“You can imagine the look on his (father’s) face when I told him Army was recruiting me,” Cotterill said. “Navy actually contacted me before Army ever showed any interest but it never went anywhere.”