Cromartie decides for Army

After a month deliberation between the merits of Army, Navy, and Air Force, Nizaire Cromartie, a 6-foot-2, 228-pound defensive end/outside linebacker from Dudley High School in Greeensboro, N.C. gave his verbal commitment on Thursday, January 8th, to Ray McCartney.

Cromartie told ArmySports.com on why he felt West Point was best suited for him.

"My head coach, Steven Davis, called me into his office last week," Nizaire Cromartie said. "He explained to me the conversation he had with Coach Mac. I had been told, previously, that the Army offer was unofficial offer until I retake the ACT. I scored a 24 on the test the first time, but a 22 on the math and a 21 on the reading. They said I needed to bring both of those up to 24 as well to receive the official offer to go in direct. Basically, Coach Mac explained to us that West Point wanted to offer anyway. He said that if I didn't get the score then I could still go to the prep school. Either way, I still had a scholarship offer from them.

"I went ahead and verbally committed that day to Coach Mac. He said that the staff had spots that needed to be filled by Signing Day and he didn't want me to miss out on the opportunity. I agreed. The chance that West Point is giving me, to play football at one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country is the type of thing that's hard to turn down. Coach Mac has been straight-forward with me throughout the entire process. Whereas some coaches would say different things every time we'd talk, Coach Mac always stayed true to his word. Playing strongside defensive end in a 4-3 front is perfect for me. I don't have to worry too about playing the other techniques and just stay at end or, possibly, at outside linebacker."

Cromartie's commitment hasn't stopped Navy or Air Force from trying to get him on campus before National Signing Day. A day after his commitment to West Point, Cromartie said he starting hearing from defensive line coach, Tim Cross. Navy is contacting him on Thursday to try and set up an official visit.

"To be honest, it feels great to have made my decision," said Cromartie. "I like having the option available to go to prep school next year and have the extra year to build up and develop more to compete against other D-1 players. If I do go in direct, though, that would be okay too. Coach Mac will be coming down to eat with my parents and I and answer all of our questions about that and everything else. I wanted s school where I could further my playing career and to have the opportunity to do that, especially at the D-1 level, feels really good."

In his second year as a starter on varsity at Dudley, Cromartie made 89 tackles and recorded 18 sacks to lead Dudley to an undefeated regular season. He was named All-Conference, All-Area, and All-Metro in North Carolina 4A.

"I definitely feel like I was faster," Cromartie said on his senior season. "I was at a Nike Combine in Charlotte last summer and had a 5.1 (40-yard dash time) and now I'm in the low 4.8's. I'm stronger too. The thing is I really tried so hard this year. I went into the season and nothing was coming through the line in the way of offers, so I knew I had to do something big in my last year."

He did. Now he'll be attending West Point.

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