GoBlackKnights.com continues with Part II of our Pre R-Day Cook quotes from various players who now make up the Black Knights' 2012 Recruiting Class.
On Sunday new cadets and new Black Knights gathered at the home of Army Head Coach, Rich Ellerson.
Unlike the USMAPS players such as Atimalala, Ellerson, Grochowski and White, where Sunday served as a chance to reconnect with former teammates, direct admits Cedrik Bell, Khodadod Kia and Jack Hanley viewed Sunday's gathering as their first opportunity to truly connect with future teammates, get familiar with their new surroundings, along with jell with the coaching staff.
Here is Part II of the Pre R-Day Cookout quotes.
Cedrik Bell, DB
"I had a chance to talk to my new teammates, listened to coach (Ellerson) talk, I met some of the foreign students ... just hanging out really. Coach Ellerson told us to get ready for Beast, to get ready for our whole life to change, but really, he was talking to our parents."
"I've been talking to a lot of the direct guys. But also talked to Greg Bender, Chris Carnegie, I was talking to DeAndre Bell ... I knew him from my visit and Jonas (Niusulu) is like my big brother at the school now. He has to help me with the military because I'm new. Coach told me that he's my big brother from now on."
The bonding and joking was very apparent throughout the day as Kia continuously called Bell 'Superman'.
Khodadod Kia, DT
"It's all good. I'm waiting in line (haircut), but I cool with it.
"Overall, it's been a lot of fun ... just hanging out with everybody and having a good time."
Jack Hanley, DL
Hanley, who traveled East with his family had this to say. "We (family) are all excited, but my mom is a little nervous."
The 6-foot-2, 265 pound direct admit traveled up to West Point this weekend with his parents and one of his sister. His dad, John offered this parental perspective during Sunday's pre- RDay cookout.
"Great idea (cookout) and there's a lot of good information. The boys all got to meet each other before going off to R-Day. We are proud of him obviously. It's going to be a lot work and he's not afraid of it ..... so I am very proud of him."
TJ Atimalala, DT
New cadet, Atimalala took a more 'seasoned' approach to the day's events.
"I'm outside right now and everyone else is inside getting their hair, but I got my cut already. I'm excited man ... start this all over again."
Another dad who was on was hand was Atimalala's father, Talaleleimoni.
"We arrived yesterday afternoon. This is like starting all over, like when he started at the prep. He's excited and he said he wasn't as nervous as he was last year and he's looking forward to doing his thing. Me, I'm not nervous at all. But what caught my attention and I'm surprised how changed as a person he is. When he came back home, he was telling me and my wife ... you know dad, everything has changed. I said son, everything's the same, you have changed."
Andrew Ellerson, WR
When you are the son of the head coach, there are the obvious eyes that will be on you. But for Ellerson, he has blended in from the time he made his way to the prep school. "It's going good and just getting ready. It (Beast) shouldn't be that bad, having gone through prep school. I'm excited though .... today was great to see all the guys and to get together with the whole team will be good."
Although optional for the cookout, most players elected to get their haircuts while at the Ellerson home. Unlike his teammates, the incoming USMAPS product wasn't pressed for time when it came to getting his cut for obvious reasons as he explains. "Nahhh, I'm going to wait until everyone else gets theirs because I'm going to be here all day .... I'm going let everyone else go first."
With the graduation of Austin Barr and Davyd Brooks, there is plenty of opportunity for even some of the frosh receivers like Ellerson to try and make some noise this summer.
"Yes, I'm excited to get some chances this summer."
Kelvin White, QB
The common them for the former prepsters has been, the abbreviated time at home was great, but not it time to reconnect with the brotherhood and make some things happen .... and White was no different.
"I'm glad to be back .... great relief."
The 6-foot-4, 215 pounder is being slotted at quarterback by the staff and it will be interested to see his maturation this summer.
"I'm really excited to get started and I kind of knew that coming in there was real competition," says White in making reference to the return of four year started Trent Steelman, along with back-up Angel Santiago and fellow USMAPS product, AJ Schurr. "Playing time as a freshman wasn't a really big deal. Trent's been starting since a freshman and there's a lot of stuff I can learn from him. "
By the distinguished honor of being the first to battle Mr. Clippers, or in this case, Ms. Clippers, was White himself. "I was the first one to get the haircut ... they said that Susan was in the kitchen for those who want to get their haircut, so I jumped right in there."
Daniel Grochowski, K
If White's size is impressive at quarterback, then the 6-foot-2, 215 pound Grochowski's physical stature would surely have the makings for a nice size linebacker in the Black Knights' defensive schemes. But it really is his strong leg that have the coaching staff smiling on the potential of the USMAPS product.
"I'm ready to start football," said the strong leg kicker who went 8/10 in field goal attempts and made all of his extra points, where he 2011 season long field goal was 49 yards.
"The coaches told me that it's not my spot, but that I could go in there and earn the spot ... that's what I'm going to do."
"I went to coach Gary Zauner' special's camp and I kicked there during the spring. Other than that, I kicked here and there to keep my leg in shape, but I didn't kick too much, I wanted to rest as much as possible."
** Stay tuned for our upcoming post R-Day interview with Army Head Coach, Rich Ellerson, as he talks about the 2012 Recruiting Class, upcoming summer/fall practice and much more. To chat with other Army fans about this article and more, please visit The 12th Knight message board ... come on fans, make some noise in 2012**
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