As the Army coaching staff continues to add talent to this year's recruiting class, there is appears to be a common theme amongst the pledgees .... especially the interior linemen on both sides of the ball.
Yes, it's size. You heard correctly ... size under head coach, Rich Ellerson. But make no mistake about it, there is already size/talent in the pipeline like USMAPS defensive tackle, Ammon Tuimaunei, who will most likely enter summer practice between 280-285.
And when you move to the current group of commits and more so, on the offensive side of the line, the 2013 class has Patrick Joseph and Joseph Tustin, who measure in at 6'3", 285 and 6'2", 295 respectively.
The Black Knights' staff is hoping that defensive tackle Wolfgang Zacherl will be the next prospect to say yes to Army.
The 6-foot-5, 285 pounder out of Raleigh (NC) by the way of Broughton High School had a couple of days to digest his visit to West Point from the weekend of January 11th, and to his own admission, he was both surprised and impressed.
"I was a lot less interested until I got up there," said the very candid Zacherl, who was hosted by defensive end Derek Sanchez. "It wasn't what I thought it would be and it was really cool to see the cadets, talk to the coaches, how they all think and Army football overall. My interest in Army is high."
Zacherl has been recruited by Tony Coaxum, but the staff made sure that the prospect had an opportunity to interact with coaches on both side of the line. "When I was up there, I met with the offense and defensive line coaches as well," confirms Zacherl. "I play left tackle, but once out left guard got hurt, so I moved over to guard and bounced around between tackle and guard the entire season. But my primary position is defensive tackle."
"Army said they are recruiting me because of my versatility and I'm guessing they are planning to figure out which position works best when I get there and honestly I just want to see playing time," says Zacherl, as he chuckles as he response to the question of which side of the ball he prefers. "I talked to their strength and conditioning coach, I would like to play defense a lot more."
The big lineman made the journey northward with his folks, who appear to have given their parental blessings, should West Point be the route their son decides to take. "My parents enjoyed the visit, honestly, but they were a little bit sad about how far away it is," he adds. "But they feel very happy and confident that I'm going to be in a safe place and learning as much as I can, along with developing my skills as a football player."
Although he failed to make any of Army's games in 2012, the opportunity to see the football side of the program, was also an eye opener. "I didn't go to any of their games this year, but I wish I had," declared Zacherl.
"With this being his first time on the West Point campus, what did the North Carolina native think of the Black Knights' football facilities?
"Yes sir, I saw them and they were top of the line," he goes onto explain. "I was very impressed. Probably the biggest weight room that I've seen throughout all the colleges and I got to walk around State's (NC State) Murphy Center ... it was huge. I also went to the prep school and I'm pretty sure it looked about 50 yards, indoor facility at the prep school. Then they have a full 100 yard indoor facility at West Point, the academy."
With all that Zacherl took in on the week, in-conjunction with his overall recruiting, where down the lineman stand with the Black Knights? "They stand on what I would say is a different level than the other two schools that offered me," he shared. "What I'm eager to see ... I have a visit to UNC Charlotte and William & Mary. I want to figure out which I want more. I'll say that when I went up there (Army) I was surprised at how much I found myself liking the school, liking how it sounded and liking how it was run. It's just a matter of seeing one and seeing the others and deciding which I want more."
Although Zacherl played his senior season at 280 pounds, he has the look of a prospect carrying 260 pounds ... lean and athletic. However, with his 6-foot-5 frame, there is still growth potential with the versatile lineman.
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