Onstott takes it all in at Navy

After taking an official visit to Navy last weekend, Jack Onstott of Cathedral Catholic in San Diego, Calif. says they're his new leader. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound inside linebacker received his Navy offer over the summer from Steve Johns, but wanted to see the U.S. Naval Academy in person before giving a verbal commitment.

"Usually Navy does their official visits in January," Onstott said, "so this was something new for them. My father came with me. We actually flew into the Baltimore airport and went directly to campus. I rode with the team to the game. It was great to watch them play against Notre Dame. They were winning in the third quarter. Just a few plays decided the outcome of the game, so it was a tough loss but I thought that came up huge with how well they played. They walked out of the stadium with their heads high.

"Definitely going into the Navy locker room right after the game was a high point of the trip. I spoke with Daniel Gonzales, a linebacker, about going to NAPS. It was great to see the players coming up and talking to the recruits even right after a loss. It shows that it all about the team at Navy.

"The next day was more relaxed. I got to know more about the great tradition of the 160 years of the U.S. Naval Academy. It has a distinguished feel to it. It's definitely a place that I want to be a part of. When I was talking with Coach Niumatalolo I told him that I loved it but I wanted to go home and think about it to be 100-percent sure when I made my decision. He thought that was a good thing to do. He's just a great guy, a first-class coach, and it was a privilege to meet him. He's someone who I could definitely play for the next four years. Without a doubt. I like my position coach a lot too. Coach Johns is from San Diego as well. I think we'd blend well in working with one another and he'd be able to make me into an even better player.

"At Navy, it's all about this thing called the brotherhood. It's kind of like a continuation of people who have played Navy football through the years being on one team. I already know some people there. Nick Sloan, the kicker out of Scripps Ranch, is a friend of a good friend of mine. Justin Adams, who plays on the lacrosse team, is a very close friend of mine from San Diego. Also, going into the military is something I've thought about doing since I was a little kid. I've always been fascinated with the Navy SEALs and that's one possibly route I could go. I'm learning about it all at a rapid rate, but I think that it would put me on the right path for a great career. It was my first time I'd ever been on the East Coast in my whole life. It was cold, but I think I could get used to it."

In the San Diego area, Onstott became a starter last season at Cathedral Catholic. It was in his junior year that Onstott made the play he's best known for. He picked off a pass at the two yard line and returned it 98 yards for the game winning score in triple overtime to secure a victory in the Division I state championship game played San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. Not long after making that dramatic play, Onstott heard from Navy's Steve Johns.

"When Coach Johns first started recruiting me he told me that I wasn't just a good football player, but had good character and that's what he was looking for in finding a good fit for Navy," he said. "I think that he's selective in the players he recruits because he knows that his school isn't for everyone. He said he saw that in me and I'm honored and hope that I live up to those expectations."

The Cathedral Catholic Dons are 9-1 and ready to begin another playoff run on Friday, November 21, against Torrey Pines. They saw three of their senior players commit to Fresno State in February. This year's senior group features Ray Smith, who committed to Boston College in June, Casey Toohill, who committed to Stanford in August, Daniel Plum, and Onstott.

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