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Recruiting: California TE James Rothstein picks Army

James Rothstein first called coach Jeff Monken with his decision to play Army football.

When Monken didn’t answer, Rothstein reached out to Sean Cronin, his recruiting coach with his commitment. The Amador Valley (Calif.) tight end then let Matt Drinkall, his position coach, know.

The weekend before Wednesday’s Signing Day, Rothstein was a member of Army’s 2023 recruiting class. He didn’t announce the commitment until Signing Day. Rothstein wanted to tell the other programs that offered him, including Air Force, San Diego State and San Jose State that he picked the Black Knights rather than the coaches seeing a post.

“I chose West Point because of its staff, the caliber of people I will be around and how this is an opportunity only so many will ever get,” said Rothstein, who is 6-foot-6, 235 pounds. “I’ve also wanted to serve my country.”

Army was the first school to offer Rothstein before his senior season. Air Force was next to offer followed by in-state San Diego State and San Jose State, who both wanted him to play defensive end. Rothstein had put in the offseason work to excel on both side of the ball his senior year.

Rothstein said he was going to commit to San Diego State but, “it just didn’t feel right for me.”

Rothstein’s decision became clearer watching Army defeat Navy in double overtime in person earlier this month with fellow commit Mack O’Halloran.

“Being in that environment and being a part of something bigger than me is what sold it,” Rothstein said. “Such prestige and honor in that game and I’m blessed that I have been given this opportunity.”

Rothstein said he’s coming into West Point as an athlete, “they (the coaches) will see where I will have the highest ceiling.” He will the first in his family to attend West Point. Rothstein has family members, including his grandparents, who have served in the Air Force, Navy and Marines.

“The Army staff has been nothing short of family to me,” Rothstein said. “Coach Cronin is an outstanding coach and I am blessed to have developed a relationship. Coach Drinkall is an outstanding coach and great man. I can’t wait to be in his tight ends room. Coach Monken has been amazing, (he’s) always made an effort to see how I was doing.”

Rothstein was one of at least four Army recruits to reveal their commitment on Signing Day, including Taft (Texas) running back TJ Andrews, Charlotte (Fla.) defensive end Cael Newton and Evergreen (Colo.) defensive end Russ Woodward.

Army had a handful of 2023 recruits decommit over the last week.

2023 commits (58)

DB Phineas Allen, 5-10, 180, Rockledge (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Florida Atlantic, Central Michigan, UMass
K Carlos Alvarado, 5-9, 155, Tomball (Texas) HS: First offer – Army
DB Brady Anderson, 6-2, 200, Edina (Minn.) HS: Other offers – Arkansas State, Georgia State. Army visit – Dec. 2
QB Kendell Anderson, 6-3, 181, Montgomery Blair HS, Silver Spring, Md.: Other offers – Navy. Threw for 2,277 yards and 21 touchdowns as junior. Army game visit – Sept. 17 (Villanova)
WR-CB Malcolm Anderson, 5-10, 185, Andress HS, El Paso, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Texas State, New Mexico State
RB TJ Andrews, 6-2, 200, Taft HS, San Antonio, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Texas-San Antonio, Rice
RB Myles Arterberry, 5-9, 185, Klein (Texas) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Texas State. Army visit – April 16. Army game visit – Sept. 17 (Villanova)
T Jacob Benjamin, 6-5, 265, Cherokee Bluff HS, Flowery Branch, Ga.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force
CB Isaiah Birl, 6-1, 185, Walnut Hills HS, Cincinnati, Ohio: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Akron, Miami (Ohio), Toledo
TE-DE Brayden Bockler, 6-4, 249, San Juan Hills HS, Ladera Ranch, Calif.: Other offers – San Jose State
WR-DB Jackson Burnett, 5-11, 180, Bishop Kenny HS, Jacksonville, Fla.: First offer – Navy. Army visit – April 12
TE Aidan Casuccio, 6-4, 225, The Hun School, Princeton, N.J.
RB Travion Dickens, 5-10, 180, Prescott (Ark.) HS: First offer – Army. Defensive MVP at Army All-Academic camp in June.
DE Sean Donovan, 6-2, 230, Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Conn.: First offer – Army
TE Brian Dyer, 6-5, 210, Plano (Texas) East HS: Other offers – Arkansas State
WR Brody Eaton, 6-5, 225, Conestoga HS, Berwyn, Pa.: Five of Eaton’s 18 receptions were for touchdowns in his senior season.
OL Cole Evans, 6-2, 300, Archbishop Wood HS, Warminster, Pa.: Other offers – Temple. Army visit – April 22.
RB Brennan Fisher, 5-11, 190, Pennridge HS, Perkasie, Pa.: Army visit – April 9. Army game visit – Sept. 17 (Villanova)
DL Eric Gardner, 6-2, 240, Archbishop Wood HS, Warminster, Pa.: Other offers – Penn State, Texas A&M, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Boston College, West Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, Temple, Liberty, Bowling Green, Charlotte, UMass. Army visit – April 22.
S Kenyon Goodin, 6-3, 190, Collins HS, Shelbyville, Ky.
DL Caleb Graham, 6-2, 255, Maryville (Tenn.) HS: First offer – Army. Other offers –Navy.
DB Justin Green, 6-1, 175, Lakota East HS, Liberty Township, Ohio: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force, Bowling Green. Army visit – April 15.
S Carlos Griffin, 5-11, 180, Saguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.: Other offers – Syracuse
CB LJ Hall, 5-10, 170, Ware County HS, Waycross, Ga.
CB Jaxon Hammond, 5-11, 160, Christian Brothers HS, Memphis, Tenn.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Memphis, Marshall, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Arkansas State, UConn. Army visit – April 14
OL Andrew Hardwick, 6-3, 260, Boyle County HS, Danville, Ky.: Other offers – Navy. Army visit – April 2
K Jake Hulstein, 6-2, 207, Cedar Falls (Iowa) HS
OT Joseph Johnson, 6-5, 231, Glacier Peak HS, Snohomish, Wash.: First FBS offer – Army
DB Matt Joines, 6-2, 170, East Forsyth, Kernersville, N.C.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force
DE Aiden Jones, 6-3, 225, Covington Catholic HS, Park Hills, Ky.: Army visit – March 26
FB Greigh Joseph, 6-1, 200, Starr’s Mill HS, Fayetteville, Ga.: First offer – Army  
DL Patrick Kendall, 6-5, 270, Cathedral HS, Indianapolis, Ind.: Other offers – Navy. Army game visit – Sept. 17 (Villanova)
OT Tyler Klambara, 6-4, 300, Springfield (Pa.) HS: Also offered by Army track. Other offers – Navy. Preferred walk-on – Temple
WR Job Kralik, 6-foot, 165, Eatonville (Wash.) HS
DE-LB Peyton Ledford, 6-3, 240, Franklin County HS, Frankfort (Ky.): First offer – Army. Army visit – April 16, Oct. 1 (Georgia State game)
S Jake Lindsey, 5-11, 190, Camden County HS, Kingsland, Ga.: First offer – Army. Second offer – Air Force. Third offer – Navy
DB Logan Mackey, 6-foot, 198, C.E. King HS, Houston, Texas
LB Ben Morrow, 6-2, 225, Satellite HS, Satellite Beach, Fla.: Army visit – April 9
DE-TE Cael Newton, 6-6, 215, Charlotte HS, Punta Gorda, Fla.: First offer – Army
DL Mack O’Halloran, 6-4, 235, Downers Grove (Ill.) South HS: Other offers – UAB, Central Michigan. Preferred walk on – Wisconsin
LB Sam Oppenheimer, 6-1, 215, Johns Creek (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Eastern Michigan
QB Hayden Oviatt, 6-1, 200, Wamego (Kansas) HS: Other offers – Kansas, Colorado State, New Mexico State
FB Jordan Owens, East Coast Prep, Great Barrington, Mass.: Scored 10 touchdowns in two and half games his senior season at Maine-Endwell (N.Y.) before season-ending injury.
S Anton Pierce, 6-3, 202, Mills University HS, Little Rock, Ark.: Army visit – April 16
TE Parker Poloskey, 6-4, 225, Olympic Heights HS, Boca Raton, Fla.: Army visit – July 29
DE-LB Zane Poulter, 6-3, 215, Chico Hills (Calif.) HS: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force
LS Drew Prieto, 6-foot, 210, Marist School, Atlanta, Ga.: Army visit – April 22
TE James Rothstein, 6-6, 235, Amador Valley HS, Pleasanton, Calif.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Air Force, San Diego State, San Jose State
QB Will Smiley, 6-foot, 167, Bay HS, Panama City, Fla.
RB Carson Smith, 6-1, 220, Middletown (Md.) HS
OL Broden Sobolewski, 6-2, 260, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Army visit – April 22.
TE Nollenn Tabaska, 6-7, 230, Brookfield (Wisc.) East HS: Other offers – Central Michigan
CB Ish Taylor, 5-10, 175, Frisco (Texas) HS
LB Khaled Waliagha, 5-11, 205, Franklinton (La.) HS: 2021 stats – 123 tackles
QB Ethan Washington, 6-3, 190, North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, Ga.: Other offers – Air Force, Georgia State, Miami (Ohio), Charlotte, UMass. Threw for 1,573 yards and 12 TDs, rushed for four TDs as junior. Has missed senior year with knee injury.
DE Russ Woodward, 6-6, 245, Evergreen (Colo.) HS: Preferred walk-on offer – Colorado
RB Bill Young, 5-10, 180, St. Andrew’s School, Boca Raton, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Central Michigan, UMass. Army visit – April 22
LB Sam Zagame, 6-2, 220, Foundation Academy, Winter Garden, Fla.


LB-S Ali Abdul-Hakeem, 6-foot, 205, Riverdale (Ga.) HS: First offer – Army
RB Chad Alexander, 5-10, 170, Archer HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Rice, Western Kentucky. Attended Army-Navy game.
LB Ray Coney, 6-3, 210, Fairfield (Ohio) HS] Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Bowling Green (SIGNED with East Tennessee State)
OL Christopher Luna, 6-3, 275, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic HS: First offer – Army. Army visit – April 22. (SIGNED with Furman)
LB Javeon Miller, 6-1, 215, Creekside HS, Fairburn, Ga.: Other offers – Marshall, Toledo, Arkansas State, Charlotte, Middle Tennessee State
LB-S Kharles Ngansi, 6-3, 200, Oakland Mills HS, Columbia, Md.: Other offers – Akron. Army game visit – Sept. 17 (Villanova)
RB Kyon Simonson, 6-1, 200, Hillside (N.J.) HS: Other offers – UMass. Army visit – April 9

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