June 18, 2012

Army visit exceeds 3-star lineman's expectations

The Black Knights welcomed one of their top 2013 prospects to the West Point campus on June 13th & 14th. Three-star offensive line prospect Patrick Joseph spent two days taking in an accelerated overview of Army football and the lifestyle of a West Point cadet.

At 6-foot-3, 278 pounds, Joseph is an ideal offensive lineman candidate for the option offense run by the nation's leading rushing attack and outlined to GBK, that the fit goes far beyond the gridiron.

Needless to say, the Army coaching staff could see the Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton High School lineman putting his impressive talents to work up front should he become a Black Knight.

After his visit, Joseph took a few days to digest his New York visit and recently had a chance to speak with and outline to GoBlackKnights that the fit goes far beyond the gridiron.

Day One

On his sojourn to West Point, Joseph was joined by his entire family, as they decided to stay in Jersey City (NJ) across the Hudson River from New York City. As such, the family had a chance to enjoy the scenic view of NYC as well as the picturesque drive up the Palisades Parkway passed Bear Mountain before reaching their destination onto the historical campus.

"Yes, we commuted up to West Point those two days and I arrived at 10:30am the first morning," says Joseph, who wasted little time describing day one at Army.

"It went really well. It was everything that I expected and more. The campus was beautiful, we had good weather, the football team looked fantastic, the program looks great and academically it is a really sound school."

The offensive line prospect was first met by Black Knights' running back coach and Recruiting Coordinator Tucker Waugh. "He kind of gave me a little tour of the athletic facilities and then gave me the itinerary for the next two days and we went from there," adds Joseph. "The athletic facilities - they were fantastic. It's a relatively new facility and only a couple of years old. The facilities are state of the art ... great weight room, multi-level facility and it's really nice. Plus they have a really nice indoor practice field."

After the mini tour with Waugh, Joseph had the opportunity to visit the USMAPS (prep school) and their head coach Tom Simi. "They gave me a tour there and it's like basically like a small junior college on the campus," said Joseph, as he described how day continued to unfold.

"Then we ate lunch at Grant Hall then we went to an academic overview. At that point, my entire family was saying how much they love the campus and I told my parents multiple times that this is a great place, they have great staff and great people surround that campus."

The busy day continued for Joseph and his family, as their next stop on the tour was the Center for Enhancement Performance (CEP room). "It's a little place for athletes and non-athletes to kind of dissect the mental aspect of whatever they do at the academy, so we got a tour of that facility," declares Joseph, who was anticipating the moment during his visit that he would eventually connect with some of the players, who could speak candidly about their West Point experience.

"I did get a chance to meet some of the players," he says. "I met one cadet, his name was Spencer., who was a running back and he went to the prep school, so I had a chance to talk to him about his experience. Very positive .... he said that West Point is tough, but he doesn't regret the decision at all and loves every minute of it."

As the day reached it's conclusion, the Joseph family was presented with an overview of the military component of West Point and it's mission. "They had a few graduates they currently work at West Point and in close relations to the football program," Joseph states. "On the drive back to New Jersey .... we talked about how unique West Point is, in that it's a career path and not just going to college and then graduate."

Day Two

Like day one, Joseph found himself on campus again at 10:30am and day two's initial connection was with Coach John Brock who provided a tour of the campus. "Wow, this was almost like a history lesson on why the academy was founded, who is was founded by, that type of thing," says Joseph, who obviously had absorbed his history lesson quite well.

"It's a 200 year old campus, the building are different than any other place, and the history behind it is incredible."

This was followed by an academic admission's briefing with Lt. Col. Gaylord Greene, who provided Joseph with the flow of the admission process and how that would get that started should he decide Army as his college destination. "He talked about all the requirements that I need to meet, both academically and physically," says Joseph.

Overview

"This trip changed my thinking in a way," says the very forthright Joseph. "I had a preconception about West Point that it was going to be tough, obviously. Very rigorous academically, I kind of had an idea what the cadets on campus were like. I thought they would be all steely and no emotions ... that kind of thing."

"But I saw the football players and how they interact with everybody and how all the cadets interact with their staff and superiors officers. They are just like regular people, in a different situation and it shattered my preconception about the place."

"I came back feeling very sure about that place (West Point). I'm not ready to commit yet, but it's such a great place and great people there ... I can't say enough about them."

"You know what really caught my attention as well is the success of the cadets after graduation. I had an idea that most of them were generally successful, but I really had no idea the connections that they have upon exiting West Point. I mean, they had an immediate job, they get paid while attending the academy .... which is fantastic. They are successful because they work their tails off for the four years that they are there and people all around the world notice that. A West Point graduate is well respected in military aspect of life and the civilian aspect of life."

In addition to the recruiting , Joseph has not lost sight of his upcoming senior season and even beyond. "I'm in the weight room Monday through Friday every morning and just getting ready for this next season, but also getting geared up for college football," says the talented lineman, who still holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Air Force, as well as Army


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