April 6, 2012
RB, Andrew King ready to start his Black Knight career
Army Class of 2012 running back commit Andrew King was an 8-year-old kid more interested in video games than sports when life came upon an unexpected fork in the road.
On that fateful day a decade ago, King and his mother, Claudia Casseus, were returning home by car when he looked out the window and saw kids practicing football for what he learned later was a Pop Warner team.
As King quietly sits there, he and his mother continue home and he plops down on a couch to play more video games. But he was intrigued by what he saw and he spoke up. He pointed out the scene to his mom, she pulled over to park the car and they walked over to watch.
"They hitting and doing the Oklahoma drill," says King now. "I told my mom, 'I want to do that.' "
Within a week King joined the team, transforming his games from video to reality. Many kids new to organized football are shy about the contact when they start out, but King dived in.
"I guess it was just something deep inside me," he said. "I liked it right away and I've loved football ever since then."
The Pop Warner coaches were quick to identify King's talent as a running back, too. Before long the future Army Black Knight and West Point cadet was not only breaking off long runs for his Pop Warner team, he had company along the sideline.
"If I was running down the field for a touchdown, my mom was running down the sideline with me yelling, 'Go Andrew! Go Andrew!' " King said.
But his mother took her seat in the stands once King arrived at Queens (NY) Flushing High School and he scored touchdowns at the next level.
And King promises his mother will remain in her seat and won't try to run the sidelines at Michie Stadium for any touchdowns he might break off during an Army football career that begins this fall at the USMAPS (prep school).
"We don't want that," King says with a laugh.
But an interesting question to ponder is, what if his mother was in a hurry to get home that fateful day and she didn't pull over to watch practice?
"I don't know what I'd be doing now," King said. "I could be doing a lot of things, but not anything like this (going to West Point). I'm glad God gave me football as a path and I've taken that path."
Since King committed to the Black Knights last winter, he has finished up his high school wrestling season and started the workout program Army sent its class of incoming freshmen.
King got down to 195 pounds for wrestling season, but he plans to report to fall camp at 205 to 210. He played his senior football season at 200 pounds.
"I'm starting to get my muscle mass back up," he said.
Football has become his passion since that fateful day as an 8-year-old, and his talent level is such that he hasn't forced him out of the game yet. He has enough ability to earn a shot at the next level.
"Since I got into to football, it's been my dream to score touchdowns or make tackles on TV," King said. "I'm glad I'm getting that chance."
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