Dillon Stowers wanted Jeff Monken to be the first to find out about his college football decision.
Stowers called Army’s coach Sunday to let him know that the Liberty Christian Academy (Va.) defensive end/linebacker was joining the Black Knights’ 2022 recruiting class.
“I told him I wanted to Beat Navy next year,” Stowers said.
Soon after, Stowers received a call from Keith Gaither, his Army recruiting coach, and texts from other members of the staff congratulating him on his commitment.
“I just felt like a weight was lifted off me and now I’m excited,” said the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Stowers, who plays linebacker and tight end for Liberty Christian.
Gaither started recruiting Stowers in the spring while he was playing baseball. Stowers was extended an invitation to attend Army’s Knight on the Hudson recruiting event earlier this summer.
“Everything was awesome,” said Stowers, a third baseman and pitcher who also received Division I baseball offers. “It was like a family that came together. We had a cookout on the field and it was just more than football.”
Stowers visited Navy the next day. Army was first to contact Stowers before Navy. Stowers’ decision came down to Army and Navy, he said. Stowers was recruited by most Ivy League schools and also received an offer from Division I-AA Bryant and Campbell.
“Army stood out because they brought back some alumni to talk to us about how great it was and really showed that you’re family for life,” Stowers said.
John Patterson, another West Point alumni and Stowers’ high school principal, also guided him through the college process before and after Army’s offer.
“He was the one who really talked to me and assured me that it’s a great place,” Stowers said. “He’s been encouraging the whole time and reminding me to beat Navy.
Stowers will remember those two words forever from that call with Monken and now his football and college future.
2022 Army football commits (47)
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 (11), Georgia (9), Florida (5), Pennsylvania (4), California (3), Michigan (3), Delaware (2), New Jersey (2), Virginia (2), Connecticut (1), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (1), Oklahoma (1), Tennessee (1)
Commits offered by Navy: 10
Commits offered by Air Force: 10