DJ Hill-Smith was open to the possibilities when he started his official visit to Army over the weekend.
Hill-Smith left West Point with his verbal commitment and what he sees as a second family.
The Little Rock (Ark.) Central cornerback said he committed “on the spot” after the Black Knights’ 52-21 win over UConn.
“What really sealed my decision was the atmosphere, the many benefits that come with being in the military and also the family or the brotherhood, I should say all the players have,” said Hill-Smith, who is 6-foot-2 and 177 pounds. “The players were very transparent on the pros and cons but they said it’s all worth for the end goal that you’re trying to reach.”
Hill-Smith was among a group of players who announced their commitment to Black Knights over the weekend. He described the Michie Stadium atmosphere as “amazing” while watching his first game at West Point.
“That was only the game against UConn,” Hill-Smith said. “I can only imagine a game against Wake Forest and especially Navy how rowdy the crowd will get.”
Army started recruiting Hill-Smith heavier after a camp at Vanderbilt in June. Hill-Smith had received an offer from Army in May. He was considering Army and Tennessee State. Arkansas State also offered Hill-Smith.
“I plan on bringing energy, physicality, and swagger to Army’s defense,” Hill-Smith said. “I’m not cocky or nothing, I just kind of talk that talk, walk the walk, Jalen Ramsey is my favorite player so that’s where I get that from.”
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