Yelding takes West Point visit, commits

Army won a recruiting battle with Navy for Khalil Yelding, a 6-foot-1, 290-pound defensive tackle, who gave his verbal commitment to the Black Knight coaches while visiting campus this weekend with his family. Yelding, a three-year varsity starter at Daphne High School in Alabama's Mobile Bay area, discussed his decision a day after his commitment.

"We're still here," Yelding told ArmySports.com Sunday morning. "The game was great. I thought they played really well against Fordham. A big reason I committed was just the atmosphere I experienced on game day was exciting. It was senior day and I could feel that West Point appreciated the hard work those players put in the last four years. The feeling I got was the Academy is a very family oriented place and one I'd like to be a part of for the next four, possibly five, years of my life. I feel at home here.

"My parents and my siblings came up for the game yesterday on an unofficial visit. After talking with Coach Seward, Coach McCartney, Coach Bateman, and Coach Monken, I felt like I was ready to commit. They all seemed very excited when I did. I think a lot of the coaching staff. When I look at a guy like Ray McCartney, I see myself only getting better with his coaching expertise. I like them all a lot and think they'll be good coaches to play for.

"I'm waiting to see if I'll go in direct next year to USMAPS. My English scores are good enough to go in directly, but I'm doing some college prep work to get my math scores where they need to be. I'd like to go in direct, but we'll see. I'm just very relaxed right now about everything. I'm not worrying about my future as much as I was when I was uncommitted. It feels pretty good to have that decision out of the way and now where I'll be going to next summer."

Yelding chose Army over offers from Navy and Tuskegee. He began hearing from Army's Lamont Seward soon after receiving the Navy offer.

At Daphne, Yelding played for Glenn Vickery, who is in the Baldwin County Varsity Coaches Association Hall of Fame. During the 2011 season, Yelding, a then freshman, was promoted to the starting lineup in Trojans playoff run. He'd never relinquish the starting nose guard position for the next three seasons. Yelding's father played basketball at Alabama State and he is the also a cousin of former NFL star and Daphne product, Pat White. Yelding's spring plans are to play baseball where he'd developing a reputation as a long ball hitter.

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