Army Football Notebook

The year 2012 is a long way off, but Army's latest recruiting class already believes that they are going out winners. They believe they can play a big part in turning the Black Knights around. Here's hoping they pull it off. A total of 61 players, 30 from high school and 31 others that attended USMA Prep, are now on campus at West Point.

Army coach Stan Brock has put together a class that could pay dividends. He just has to make sure he sticks around to see the finished product. Leading the way is quarterback Paul McIntosh of Evansville, Ind., the state's Mr. Football.

"I really do think the football program is on the rise," McIntosh told during the offseason. " I just love coach Brock and his staff's mentality. They have a winning mentality and know they will prepare. They have put together a great recruiting class, they have some great players already, they have great facilities. I have no doubt the program will be fine."

"A lot of people have heard about Paul McIntosh," Brock said. "He has a great upside at the quarterback position, and we are expecting great things from him."

But Brock didn't signal McIntosh as one of the freshmen who could immediately help the Black Knights. He did say linebackers Cory Laufasa (Seattle, Washington), Steve Erzinger (Houston, Texas) and Brogan Carnes (St. Petersburg, Fla.), defensive back Andre Shinda (Fontana, Calif.) and defensive ends Jason Rothamel (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Derek Eling (Seminole, Fla.) could. "I believe the strength of this class is in its overall depth," Brock said "We are bringing in a lot of quality individuals at almost every position and that will help fortify our football team across the board. We're very excited about the young men joining our program."

Being that Brock took over for Bobby Ross in January of 2007, this is his first recruiting class. Brock may have some doubters, but there is no doubt, this class has potential. It seems better than any of Ross's classes. Let's hope this serves as a turning point for Brock and the Army program.

Ross, 71, now retired, still makes speaking engagements. He had some interesting things to say about one of his old teams at the recent Beyond the Scoreboard Champions of Character Awards Dinner in Petoskey (Mich.). It wasn't Army, it was the Detroit Lions, but they are still worth noting.

Ross said of former star Detroit running back Barry Sanders, whom he reportedly feuded with: "I don't know if Barry really loved the game, but he worked hard at it. He did what he was supposed to do. I always wanted him to be a leader, but he didn't really want that role. "He was the only player I ever coached that whenever he touched the ball, you thought he would run for a touchdown."

His tenure at West Point wasn't as successful as we all hoped, but give coach Ross this, he always spoke his mind.

Let's give the girls a hand. Six Army women's basketball players have been named to the 2008 Patriot League Women's Basketball Academic Honor Roll, senior Anna Wilson (3.64, Human Geography), freshman Erin Anthony (3.59-Undeclared), junior Megan Ennenga (3.54-Engineering Management), sophomore Nargis Kabiri (3.49-Arabic), junior Alex McGuire (3.42-American Legal System) and sophomore Tiffany Taylor (3.21-Electrical Engineering).

With six players awarded, Army tied with Lafayette and Lehigh for the third-best showing in the conference. Bucknell led the way with nine players, while American totaled seven. Five Colgate players were honored, while Holy Cross and Navy each claimed three.

On the court, Army is expected to be a Patriot League player again next year. Top Stories