San Diego lineman likes Navy

Chris Gesell tells he has Navy in his top three. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive lineman out of St. Augustine High School in San Diego, Calif. has been offered by nine D-1 programs. Navy began their recruitment of Gesell, who will likely play center at the D-1 level, in June with an in-school visit from Steve Johns.

Chris Gesell Bio

"At the end of June is when I got the [Navy] offer from Coach Johns," Gesell said. "During their evaluation period, the navy coaches came out to the school on two separate occasions. They liked my size and length to play center. They mentioned my quickness off the ball and my leadership ability. He said I knew how to control the game upfront and that's what they're looking for in a center.

"I think the offer is great. My dad served 20-plus years in the Navy. I've seen them play on Saturdays. They have some terrific athletic programs as well as strong academics. I understand the opportunities a degree from the Naval Academy will provide me will go well beyond my four years of college. It will last a lifetime. I'm planning on taking my official visit in December.

"Right now my top three are Nevada, Air Force, and Navy. The other schools I'm still thinking about. I haven't eliminated anyone."

Gesell has also been offered by Idaho, Yale, and hometown University of San Diego. This summer he attended camps at Air Force, Washington State, and a Nike Football Training Camp.

"Location isn't a big deal to me because I feel like I can adapt," Gesell explained. "I want to go to a college with strong academics and strong athletics, but not one that's drowned in one of them. I guess I'm looking for the perfect blend. I have friends at both Navy and Air Force. Going to [a military academy] had crossed my mind prior to being offered. There are a lot of good reasons to go to one, one of the top reasons being the benefits. It's not easy. If I go through it, I expect it to be a challenge."

Gesell said his first year of ever playing organized football was as a freshman but then he was injured as a sophomore missing most of the season. He admits there being a bit of a learning curve as a junior but settled in as a starter for the whole season.

"This year I'm definitely more technically sound," he said. "I'm improving on taking better angles and being able to climb out to the linebackers. We run a pro-style offense but we're run-first and up-tempo. I definitely think I would excel in the style of offense a Navy or Air Force runs. I'd enjoy playing in it."

St. Augustine, an All-boys Catholic prep school on Nutmeg Street in the heart of San Diego, finished 11-2 last season but was not selected for a CIF bowl game. Top Stories