Stoddard talks Army commitment

Rod Stoddard, who recently led Hillcrest (Simpsonville, S.C.) High School to their first-ever state title on Saturday, December 6th at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia gave his commitment to Army coaches this week. The 6-foot, 240-pound defensive lineman said the fervent atmosphere of attending the Army-Navy game in Baltimore was a factor, but not the only one.

"I let Coach [Brent] Davis know last night I wanted to commit," Stoddard told ArmySports.com. "He was excited when I told him. Said how glad he was to have me. When I was there for the Army-Navy game the people were going crazy. It was amazing. I was just standing there loving the atmosphere. I haven't been to West Point yet from my official but looking at everything, I just felt like that it is going to be the best place for me to be for years to come.

"This process began in May when Army stopped by the high school and then when I was offered at the beginning of August. I've watched the team a lot this season and then at the game last Saturdays and think they have a lot of hard-working players who go out and compete on every play. That's what I do. From the standpoint from the academic side of things, it's just an great place to get a degree. I know coming out of West Point I'll be able to get a decent job."

Stoddard selected Army over an offer from Union (Ky.). He'll begin next year at USMAPS, but he's not taking any time off to rest on his laurels of a recent commitment and state championship.

"I'm going to be training hard this off-season," he said. "Even though I'm starting at Prep, I believe that I can keep doing things to get better. I'm glad the decision has been made. I was actually very calm in making the decision I'm just glad that it's behind me and I can focus on preparing myself to go in as a better overall football player.

"Army likes me on the defensive line. What stood out to them on film was my first step off the line and how well I pursed the football. This year I felt like I did a better job using my hands to get off blockers and really, after a 15-games season, my overall knowledge of the game. Those were some of the things I wanted to keep focusing and improving on as a senior. It was amazing feeling to win state with the guys I've played with since middle school. It felt great and I want to keep winning when I'm at West Point."

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