Rothstein; Others Hope to Build a Winner

Trevor Rothstein is excited about coming to Army for several reasons.On top of Rothstein's list is the Black Knights' new head coach, Rich Ellerson."I like that he wins," said Rothstein, a 6-foot, 260-pound center from Lemont Township (Ill.) High School. "(Ellerson) knows how to get it done. Army seems like a good place to be."

Ellerson sure knew how to win at Cal Poly, which is a Football Subdivision School. He went 56-34 at Cal Poly, but takes over a rebuilding project at West Point.

Rothstein and other Army recruits think Ellerson can get it done on the banks of the Hudson, too. The firing of Stan Brock could have been a blow to the Black Knights' recruiting efforts, but that hasn't been the case.

Rothstein, who helped Lemont Township to two straight state championship game appearances, actually visited West Point while Brock's former job was vacant. He also had Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan and rival Navy on his list. But Rothstein hung with Army and will attend USMA Prep in the fall.

Like many other recruits, Rothstein was re-evaluated by Ellerson and his staff. Rothstein was happy that the new coach accepted him.

"I was nervous, but it was all cleared up." Rothstein said. I was re-evaluated, but I'm ready to go."Lemont Township has a history of producing solid lineman. Graham Pocic went to Illinois and Dave Molk is at Michigan. Rothstein is undersized, but tough as nails. His demeanor and technique are similar to what made Molk successful despite lacking prototypical size.

Rothstein should get to know Kyle Gillam at West Point. He is another center who will attend USMA Prep and, then, Army. Gillam of Lumberton (Texas) High School said he knew he wanted to attend Army when he got his first West Point letter as a junior.

"I wanted to go into the military and, if you want to do that, Army is the best place to go," Gillam said. "I just really like West Point. It's really prestigious."

Gillam, who is 6-foot-2, 260, received attention from schools like SMU, Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe. He said Brock's firing had no impact on his decision to West Point. He even admitted that he fell down the list on recruits when Ellerson took over.

"You don't pick a school because of a coach," Gillam said. "Coaches come and go all the time in college football. I like West Point. I just want to come in, work hard, and help the team win."Army doesn't release its football recruiting class until Reception Day — freshmen cadets' first day on campus. But the Black Knights, 3-9 last season, do have some strong players coming in. The list includes wide receiver Scotty Williams (5-10, 178) of Lutheran (Calif.) High, running back Jeremiah McKibbins (5-8, 175) of Carmelite (Calif.) High and defensive end Juilus Warmsley (6-3, 225).

This class hopes to turn Army around and lead the Black Knights to its first winning season since 1996. With Ellerson in the fold, it seems possible.

"That is our goal, to turn things around," Rothstein said. "To have a winning season, beat Navy, all that stuff. I think we can do it."

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