National Letter of Intent Day is that annual holiday on which college football programs across the country get to gloat about how many potential stars they’ve collected. So what about Army? No can do.
Due to the U.S. Military Academy appointment process, names of recruited cadet-athletes are not available until they arrive for Reception Day in the summer. Therefore, the Academy is not permitted to release the name of its recruits.
While the signing day does not hold the same level of interest at West Point due to the fact that the service academies cannot release the names of their recruits, today still holds a great deal of importance to those choosing to enter the Academy, according to head coach Rich Ellerson, who will begin his fifth season at Army next season.
"It's probably not quite as dramatic as it is some places because we're on signatories to the National Letter, but an awful lot of guys have that date as `zero hour,’ ” he said. "They're going to sign something, even if it's just a certificate from us stating that they're going to attend West Point and we're glad to have them; but we can't release that. They can certainly release it. The young men can talk to the media and talk about their intentions. We're just not allowed to comment on it. But because the rest of the college football world is centering around that date, our guys do as well. Most of those decisions have been made well ahead of time, but there's still a sense of ceremony, still a sense of celebration at that moment."
Army will begin spring practice Feb. 12 with the spring game scheduled for March 8 at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
The Black Knights will open their 2013 season Aug. 31 when they host Morgan State.
Army freshman point guard Kelsey Minato was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the seventh time – and for the fourth consecutive week – after helping the second-place Black Knights to a 1-1 league record last week. Minato averaged 11 points, 2.5 rebounds and two steals per game in a loss to Holy Cross and a rare win at Lehigh to give the Black Knights their highest win total since 2008-09. Army’s overall record is 16-6.
The seven Rookie of the Week honors ties the Army record set by Cara Enright (2004-05) and Lisa Russell (1991-92), and is one shy of the Patriot League record of eight set by Bucknell’s Lindsey Hollobaugh in 2003-04. Minato’s four consecutive honors are the most in the conference since Enright collected five straight in 2005, establishing a Patriot League record.
Minato had back-to-back 11-point games against Holy Cross Jan. 30 and Lehigh Feb. 2 to enter the conference’s bye week on an eight-game double-digit scoring streak. She’s the leading scorer in Patriot League games, averaging 16 points per game.