January 22, 2013

3-star DE says it's down to Army and Navy

The Army staff is on a recruiting roll, as they continue to pull in quality defensive talent for the 2013 Recruiting Class.

Starting with 3-star defensive end commits Andrew McLean, as well as the likes of under-recruited, but highly talented Jason Nix. On the inside at tackle, the recent verbal pledge from Tiano Pupungatoa must surely have the Black Knights' staff smiling as well.

However, even with some of their recruiting successes, the staff remains committed to upgrade defensively and Navy commit and defensive end Austin Kurke epitomizes the staff's benchmark towards talent.

The two-way player who hails out of El Segundo (Calif.), where defensive end also has turned heads from his tight end position, took time to discuss his trip to the Northeast to a place called West Point.

"It really went well ... I enjoyed it," says Kurke the 6-foot-5, 223 pounder, who was hosted by sophomore defensive end, Derek Sanchez. "We arrived on Friday and once we settled into the hotel, we had dinner with the other recruits and the coaching staff. It was a lot of information and it was cool because we got to meet all of the players. I think it was about 10 or 12 recruits there, along with each host who met up with us."

Beyond his time of fellowship with coaches and players, Kurke, along with the other recruits on hand were able to take in an Army hockey game later that evening. "That was great and we then hung out at a place called the "A" building and that was a lot of fun," he added.

Kurke's recruiting has been handled by Army's co-defensive coordinator, Payam Saadat and the 3-star prospect is presently holding up to nine offers, which include all three academies.

There was little rest for the weary, as Kurke was quick to point. On Saturday we were up early about 8am and had breakfast," he explained. "After that we toured the whole school and pretty much saw everything. And to be honest, that was really cool, because you could kind of sense being in the same place some of older generals."

"But to be honest, I was blow away by their facilities. I wasn't expecting it to be that nice. I say it's equivalent to UC-Berkley's weight room, the new one. Indoor field was beautiful and it looked brand new and top of the line."


After taking in Friday and Saturday's events, Sunday offered an opportunity to for Kurke to have a one on one breakfast/session with Army head coach, Rich Ellerson, as the two were able to chat in a more casual setting the Kurke's visit. "Yes, I had time to meet with him (Ellerson) and had breakfast with him Sunday morning," confirms the DE/TE prospect. "We talked about future stuff."

Although Kurke has multiple offers, he made it clear that it is now down to Army vs. Navy. "It (Army visit) did give me something to really think about," he said. "Right now it's up in the air and I will be meeting with my family about everything. I will be making my decision in the next week or so. I don't have a set day though."

Although Kurke said he had certain expectations prior to visiting West Point, but there were two things that caught his attention ... one was a surprise and the other was a confirmation. "I went into it to expect the history and buildings to blow me away, but the facilities were great," declared Kurke, who paid respect to the consistent recruiting he has received from Saadat. "But about this time since last year, I have had a strong connection with Coach Saadat and that has played a factor in where I am right now."

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