Trey Gronotte waited almost a year to visit West Point after his commitment in July 2020.
Gronotte had taken a virtual tour of the academy prior to his decision but nothing beat seeing the campus and facilities in person last week.
“It was simply amazing to get up there and be on campus,” said Gronotte, a freshman kicker from Covington Catholic (Ky.) High School. “The funny thing about the whole thing is that I told myself last year I wasn’t going to commit before getting on campus but because of COVID, visits kept getting pushed back and I realized I would be forced to make a decision before being in campus. Everyone I talked to had only positive things to say about the campus, however, so I wasn’t too extremely worried about that part of it.
“Also, the Army football coaches did a fantastic job with the virtual visit. It was the best one I did throughout my recruitment process. However, it still didn’t do the campus and the facilities justice. I was really at a loss of words when I first saw campus and first saw some of the great facilities.”
Gronotte is one of many Army football freshman that didn’t visit the academy before verbally committing and are now reporting for R-Day this weekend. The opportunities to meet Army’s staff last week reinforced Gronotte’s decision.
“The coaches weren’t any different in person,” Gronotte said. “The entire recruiting process, they were genuine and real. The players were great. They were all very welcoming as well. After the visit, I’m just that much more proud of my decision and even more excited to report this weekend.”
Gronotte and West Point’s freshman class will begin Beast Barracks, a military boot camp, upon their arrival. He is taking a positive approach to the weeks of military training ahead before preseason camp starts.
“You hear a lot of things about R-Day going in and most of which is with a negative connotation,” Gronotte said. “Honestly, I’m looking forward to it. Yeah, it might suck at times and there may be times where I wish I was back at home but I’ve always loved a challenge and I’ll always choose the harder path to better myself.
“I’ve told some of the other commits that we just have to embrace the suck and try to have some fun with it because in four weeks we will be having a lot of fun with the team getting ready for Georgia State.”
Here’s a partial list of Army football’s freshmen class that will be reporting to West Point this week (If you would like R-Day photos posted on our social media platforms or if we are missing anyone on this list, please DM on Twitter @BKKnightNation):
*OL Matthew Adoghe, 6-4, 315, Peachtree Ridge HS, Suwanee, Ga.
LB Josiah Banks, 6-1, 190, Mount Tabor HS, Winston-Salem, N.C.: Other offers – Air Force
*LB Malik Birchett, 6-2, 200, Mooresville (N.C.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Colorado State, Liberty
*CB Donovon Blow, 5-11, 175, Copperas Cove (Texas) HS
LB Shepherd Bowling, 6-1, 210, Katy (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Texas-San Antonio, Louisiana-Monroe
*RB Jeremiah “Lucky” Brooks, 5-11, 205, Acadiana HS, Lafayette, La.
*WR Logan Burks, 6-6, 195, Carmel (Ind.) HS: First offer – Army
DB Jordan Burrell, 6-foot, 190, Blythewood (S.C.) HS: Other offers – Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Appalachian State, Marshall, Georgia State, Temple, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte. Twin brother Josh signed with Florida State.
*S Adam Cash, 6-foot, 200, Mansfield Timberview HS, Arlington, Texas: Other offers – Navy, Air Force
LB Brandon Castro, 6-foot, 190, Buford (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland, South Alabama
S Michael Cerniauskas, 5-11, 205, Catholic HS, Baton Rogue, La.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe. Father Chris is 1993 West Point graduate.
LB Blane Cleaver, 6-3, 212, Berwick (Pa.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Central Michigan, Louisiana-Monroe
*DE David Crossan, 6-4, 235, Calvary Christian HS, Clearwater, Fla.
*LB Kalvyn Crummie, 6-2, 215, Hillcrest HS, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
*QB Bryson Daily, 6-1, 205, Abernathy (Texas) HS
*RB Jarel Dickson, 6-foot, 215, Peabody HS, Trenton, Tenn.: Other offers – Navy, Miami (Ohio), Western Kentucky
S Max DiDomenico, 5-11, 190, Clemens HS, Schertz, Texas: Three-year starting QB returns to defensive side. Rushed for 14 TDs and passed for 14 TDs as senior. Originally committed to Tyler Junior College.
QB Simeon Evans, 5–11, 175, Bishop Dunne HS, Dallas, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Louisiana-Monroe
*DL Gustavo Gallardo, 6-1, 295, Andress HS, El Paso, Texas
*WR Isaiah Gavin, 6-5, 175, Saint Thomas Aquinas HS, Overland Park, Kansas
*LB Brett Gerena, 6-1, 210, Jesuit HS, Tampa, Fla: First offer – Army. Other offers – Eastern Michigan. Gerena’s father, Joe, was Army quarterback from 1998-20.
K Trey Gronotte, 6-foot, 160, Covington Catholic HS, Park Hills, Ky.: Other offers – Air Force, Miami (Ohio)
*FB Kee Hawkins, 5-11, 215, Live Oak HS, Watson, La.: First offer – Army.
*OL Jono Horvath, Lyman HS, Maitland, Fla.: Horvath was freshman offensive lineman on Central Florida’s 13-0 2017 team. He opted to leave Central Florida in January 2018 to enlist in the United States Army and the 82nd Airborne Division. Horvath attended Army Prep in 2020-21.
*T David Hoyt, 6-6, 280, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic HS: Ranked 90th-best tackle of the 2020 class by 247 Sports. Other offers – Rutgers, Louisville, Illinois, Buffalo, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Tulane, Toledo, Ohio, Colorado State
*OL Chris Hunter, 6-2, 250, Oceanside (Calif.) HS: Brother of 2021 West Point graduate and former Army tackle JB Hunter
*DL Malik James, 6-2, 260, Benedictine Prep, Richmond, Va.: Other offers – Navy
DL Will Jeffcoat, 6-2, 265, Pelion (S.C.) HS: First offer – Air Force. Second offer – Army. 2020 South Carolina state wrestling champion
CB Kahleef Jimmison, 5-10, 170, Woodside HS, Newport News, Va.
*SB Bishop Johnson, 5-8, 170, Jefferson HS, Lafayette, Ind.
LB Gregory Johnson, 5-11, 205, Northwestern HS, Rock Hill, S.C.: Johnson is the senior class president and maintains 4.3 grade-point average. Made 75 tackles, 9 for a loss, with five pass breakups and two sacks in seven games as a senior.
K Tyler Johnson, 5-10, 180, Mount Juliet (Tenn.) HS
TE Danny Joiner, 6-3, 240, North Kansas City (Mo.) HS: Other offers – Bowling Green, Toledo
*DE Matthew Jordan, 6-3, 245, St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower, Calif.
CB Chance Keith, 6-foot, 180, Biloxi (Miss.) HS
*LB Kyle Lewis, 6-3, 220, Horizona HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
*DE Andre Miller, 6-3, 235, Savannah (Ga.) Country Day School: Army visit – June 14-16. Other offers – Navy, Colorado, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Akron, Appalachian State, Southern Mississippi, Liberty, Coastal Carolin
*DE Khalil Miller, 6-3, 235, Life Christian Academy, South Chesterfield, Va.
* QB Ahlon Mitchell, 5-11, 170, Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills, Mich.
*DL Etuate Moala, 6-3, 270, JSerra Catholic HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
TE-DE William Montesi, 6-3, 225, Greenwich (Conn.) HS: Football and lacrosse captain. Received a lacrosse offer from Air Force and football offer from Bowling Green
OL Collin Morrison, 6-7, 240, Bishop Kelly HS, Tulsa, Okla. Other offers – Navy, Texas State, Arkansas State
S Branson Owens, 6-foot, 200, Wilcox County HS, Rochelle, Ga.
*OL Raleigh Oxendine, 6-2, 272, Jesuit HS, Tampa, Fla.: Other offers – Air Force
FB Lincoln Parker, 5-11, 220, Marist School, Atlanta, Ga.
CB Cade Patton, 5-11, 165, Allen (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force
QB Gary Phillips, 6-1, 187, Van Buren (Ark.) HS: First offer – Navy. Second offer – Army
LB Tyler Rafferty, 6-3, 205, Newburgh (N.Y.) Free Academy HS: First offer – Army
LB LucRichard Rameau, 6-2, 230, Episcopal HS, Alexandria, Va.: First offer – Army
WR Casey Reynolds, 6-3, 200, Deerfield (Mass.) Academy: First offer – Army
OL Matthew Robbins, 6-5, 230, Oklahoma Christian School, Edmond, Okla.: Other offers – Air Force. Father, Trey, is 1996 West Point graduate
DL Charlie Rolenc, 6-1, 263, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, Fla.: Other offers – Navy
*QB RJ Rosales, 5-10, 178, Evangelical Christian HS, Fort Myers, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force.
RB T.J. Rotello, 5-11, 190, Archbishop Moeller HS, Cincinnati, Ohio
*WR Cam Schurr, 6-1. 175, South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.
RB Lucas Scott, 6-4, 240, Chenango Forks HS, Binghamton, N.Y.: 2019 New York state Class B player of year, 2020 state 285-pound champion. Other offers – Air Force, UMass
*OL Cooper Smith, 6-2, 280, Bowdon (Ga.) HS
* DE Trey Sofia, 6-5, 220, Lake Travis HS, Austin, Texas
*RB Miles Stewart, 5-11, 185, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, La.
*LB Harrison Thomas, 6-1, 223, Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS: Other offers – Southern Mississippi
*DB Laquan Veney, 5-11, 180, Highland Springs (Va.) HS
*LB Cam Vining, 6-1, 226, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal HS, Bradenton, Fla.
*DB Damon Washington, Blair Academy, Blairstown, N.J.
*RB A.J. Williams, 6-1, 210, Aquinas HS, Augusta, Ga.: Other offers – Navy.
*DB Spencer Williams, 6-foot, 180, Jesuit HS, Tampa, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Georgia State
*OL Davis Wulf, 6-3, 265, Clinton-Massie HS, Clarksville, Ohio
*S Tommy Zitiello, 6-2, 185, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Navy
* Played for Army Prep in 2020