Army and Navy both after Tennessee linebacker

In recent weeks Jacob Strickler of Sullivan South (Kingsport, Tenn.) High School has started hearing from coaches at both Army and Navy. It was Army that offered first. Strickler, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound outside linebacker, had received two previous offers from Austin Peay State and Kentucky Christian, but now things seem to be heating up.

ArmySports.com caught up with Strickler for his take on the recent offer.
"It probably near the start of the season when I first started talking with Coach Saturnio of Army," Strickler said. "When we first started talking he told me how they were very impressed with my leadership qualities. He saw that I'm someone who's not afraid to tell another player what they need to do. He told me Army's looking for leaders like me. One thing he mentioned he liked about me is my close relationship with God. I really appreciated him talking with me about that aspect of my life.

"I believe that it's really a honor to be offered by a prestigious military academy. It's like a dream come true. I've thought a lot about going and serving my country. I've research the information that's out there on going to the academy. I believe that it's a good option for me. I'll be setting up an official visit soon.

"In three weeks I'll be going to a game at Navy. What they told me is that they're very interested, but would like to meet me in person to close the deal on an offer."

Strickler reports SEC schools like Ole Miss are expressing interest after seeing his senior film. In eight games at Sullivan South, he's made 87 tackles and 17 tackles for loss.

"I'm kind of wanting to keep my options open for now and see what happens," he said. "I'm already starting to weed some out though. There's a lot more to into making a decision on college than just football. I'm looking at joining a good football team, but also receiving a great education. Education is something that's important to me and my family. I took the ACT and made a 26, I have a 3.4 GPA, and made straight A's last semester. I've heard a lot from Yale, Brown, Penn, Dartmouth, Furman, Appalachian State, and Ole Miss. I want to take my time and see which opportunities are out there and be able to evaluate each one before I reach a decision."

Kingsport is located in the Tri-Cities region of northeastern Tennessee. Strickler became a starter at outside linebacker in his sophomore season at Sullivan South. He moved to inside linebacker as a senior but is expected to play outside linebacker in college.

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