Brian Ray was initially drawn to Army by the academy’s “rich history, culture and world class education” in a conversation with defensive line coach and California recruiter Sean Cronin.
Ray’s Knight on the Hudson visit took that interest to the next level last weekend.
So much that when the Folsom (Calif.) wide receiver left post he couldn’t envision himself at another college.
Ray made his decision official Friday with his commitment to the Black Knights.
“After that trip (visit) with my dad, they won me over,” Ray said. “The campus is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I could feel the rich history and culture with every step I took. The coaching staff treated me like family as I walked in the door. I knew once I left that I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else. Nowhere else in the country has the true brotherhood and family atmosphere as West Point does.”
Ray’s excitement to play wide receiver in Army’s new shotgun offense increased when chatting with offensive coordinator Drew Thatcher. Ray’s junior season included a 12-catch, 200-receiving yard game.
“Coach Thatcher told me that I would be a big body receiver that is physical at the point of the catch and clean in and out of breaks in my routes,” said the 6-foot, 200-pound Ray.
Ray is the first California commit in Army’s 2024 class. Ray’s commitment was followed by Bishop Moore (Fla.) wide receiver Nolan Munroe joining the Black Knights’ 2024 class.
“I’m very excited and honored to not only be the first California recruit but the first wide receiver to commit in the class of 2024,’ said Ray, who was offered by FCS schools Sacramento State, Portland State and Idaho. “It’s something truly special and I couldn’t have asked for it any other way.”
Ray added, “The feeling (of committing to Army) was very relieving. I felt at peace with my decision knowing I picked not just the right school for football but the right school for my future. Now, I can just play ball and focus on having a big senior season.”
Ray is driven by more than football
“As a student athlete with me, you’re not only getting a high character individual but someone that is going to push himself and passes limits even when it’s uncomfortable. In life, you have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. From here on out every day is Go Army. Beat Navy.”