Gesell announces for Navy

It's going to be the United State Naval Academy for Chris Gesell, who announced Wednesday his intentions of playing for the Midshipmen at St. Augustine High School in San Diego, Calif. Gesell, a 6-foot-4, 287-pound offensive lineman, chose Navy his other finalists; Air Force, Army, Nevada, and Yale.

Gesell spoke with Wednesday afternoon to shed some light on why he decided on calling Annapolis home for the next four years.

"It's an awesome feeling," Chris Gesell said. "I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It was the campus (at Navy), the buildings they have there, being on the water. Being on the water made it feel like home. The campus is right in the heart of Annapolis which will put me right in the middle of the community. I felt really comfortable on the campus.

"Coach Niumatalolo is a great guy. He came out to visit me in San Diego and had a lot of really good things to say about me. I was impressed by that. Coach (Ashley) Ingram, who I think is also a great coach, has told me that this is one of the best offensive line classes he's ever had at Navy and I wanted to be a part of that group. He wants to add some bulk to the inside of the line. They know I can snap and play center but they also said they picture me at guard. They like that I'm versatile.

"It's been a long recruiting process. I'm finally committed and ready to go do some work."

Gesell said he actually committed to his area recruiter, Steve Johns, during an in-home visit last week but requested he "keep it on the down low" until he announced publicly at his high school with friend and classmate, Frank Buncom IV, who chose Stanford. He said the Navy coaches and the players both played big factors in the decision-making process.

"Coach Johns was very excited when I told him," he said. "He called Coach Niumatalolo right away and we had a good conversation.

"When I was on my visit some of the players were telling me I should go there. Some of the other committed players were text messaging me telling me to join the class. I was listening to them. It's definitely a good feeling to be welcomed as part of the brotherhood. I'm looking forward to all of us working toward the same goal of winning games at Navy.

"I'll be going to the Academy direct. In the first year I just want to get accustomed to the lifestyle. It will take some adjusting to get used to how it's going to be, I'm sure. My goal is to be in the starting lineup as a true sophomore but to get a lot of playing time as a freshman and help Navy win a lot of football games in my four years."

A two-year starter at St. Augustine, Gesell was named first team All-CIF and All-League as a senior. He'll spend National Signing Day at the San Diego Hall of Champions with other area athletes signing letters of intent. Top Stories