Please explain the recruitment process with Navy and where things stand now.
Back in the start of June Navy offensive coordinator Grant Chestnut contacted me and wanted me to come visit the Naval Academy in Annapolis. My mother and I made the trip to Annapolis later that month on June 20th. Once we arrived on campus we toured the campus and watched the team practice. Once practice had ended the head coach, Brian Newberry offered me an opportunity to play at the Naval Academy. I have not committed to the Naval Academy at this time. I plan to attend a football game this fall. In January I will be going back to Annapolis on an official visit.
Why would Navy be a good fit for you as a student athlete?
Navy would be a good fit for me because of the tradition of academics and athletics. Midshipmen receive one of the best college educations in the country, while also competing at the Division 1 FBS level.
What position do they project you to play should you commit to Navy?
I am projected to play the tight end position at Navy.
What kind of differences would there be playing at Navy vs more traditional school like the University of Maine, which has also extended you an offer?
The lifestyle playing at Navy would be a lot different than the University of Maine. At Navy I would not just be playing football but would be living a military lifestyle. Also, at the Naval Academy I would be playing in a more competitive division.
Navy places a strong emphasis on leadership. Can you provide an example of a situation where you demonstrated leadership qualities on or off the field?
Now that I am one of the older guys on the team I have to lead by example on and off the field. During practice I am always trying to coach the younger players in my position group to be the best that they can be. In the classroom and in the hallways I try to be a positive role model.
How do you handle the demand of academics while dedicating time to sports? (i.e. Football and previously Basketball)? Can you share any strategies you have developed to handle your commitments?
Over the past three years I have developed time management skills that have allowed me to be successful in the classroom. I have realized that I have to be a good student before I can be a student athlete.
Talk a little about the coming season at Pickens. Where would you like to see Dragons grow the most as a team and program? Outside of standard goals related to wins/losses..etc, do the team leaders have goals that reach beyond the scoreboard or record?
I feel very good about this upcoming season. As seniors we are looking for some of our younger players to contribute to our success. It will take a total team effort this year to be successful. As a team we strive to handle success and disappointment with class. At the end of the season we do not want to look back and regret not working harder. Therefore, we are going to work as hard as we can in the offseason to be prepared for the fall.
Is there anything else about the current recruiting process you would like to share with the Pickens community?
I still have two camps left this summer. I will be attending Elon University and Kennesaw State later in the month. I want to visit as many schools as I can this fall and plan to make a decision towards the end of the year.