New York lineman talks commit to Army

Prior to his visit to West Point this weekend, Joe Tustin from Long Island, N.Y., gave his verbal pledge to the Black Knights staff. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound offensive lineman from St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington arrived on campus last days after making his commitment to Bill Tripp, his recruiter and offensive line coach. ArmySports.com spoke with Tustin on his decision.

"Army officially offered me around Christmastime," said Joe Tustin. "Coach Tripp told me to think about it a little while, but I've been wanting to commit ever since I got the offer. When we spoke last Monday, he asked me if I wanted to commit if I wanted to commit right now and I told him that I did. Since I was 11 years old I wanted to go to West Point. I knew the academics there are the equivalent of an Ivy League education. You also get to be a leader and better yourself as a person."

Tustin, who was on campus last fall for the Ball State game, took both of his parents with him this time as well as teammate, and Army recruit, Dan Carlone, on the official visit.

"It's was great getting to interact with all of the players," he said. "You could feel that there is a real brotherhood among the guys there. My player-host was Tyler McLees who played at my high school. I hung around Joe Drummond, another player from New York. They showed me around campus. The facilities are the best I've ever seen, just immaculate. The entire campus is unbelievable.

"It was great to sit down with Coach Tripp. He's been in touch with me ever since my junior year of high school. He told me all about the offense. It's great because they run the same offense as my high school so I feel comfortable with how I'm going to into my role with the team. They like me in the interior at guard or center, but primarily guard."

Tustin chose Army over offers from Bentley, Stonehill, Bryant, and C.W. Post.

"My dad has been on board a long time with me wanting to go to Army," Tustin said. "My mom it took a little longer, but she loved interacting with all of the coaches. She just fell in love with the place over the weekend and I think loves it just as much as I do now.

"What I was most impressed with on the visit was how much help the team gets with the tutors. You have to almost try to fail not to do well there. They have a path to follow to be successful in place and that's one of the best aspects about the program."

A two year starter at right guard at St. Anthony's, Tustin helped the Friars to an 8-3 record in the CHSFL AAA and a spot in the championship game.

"We lost a tough one by a point on a blocked field goal in the final seconds," explained Tustin. "I was a team captain. This year I improved my speed, quickness off the ball, and how I pull. On first year on the offensive line was a little shaky at times, but this year I had a lot better stamina. By the end of the season I was clicking on all cylinders."

Tustin was named first team All-Long Island and first team All-Metro. This June, he'll play in the Boomer Bowl, a game to raise money for Boomer Esiason Foundation's fight against cystic fibrosis. The game pits high school all-stars from New York City against all-stars from Long Island. Afterward, Tustin plans to enroll at the Army prep school for one year.


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