Park City Stars High on Navy

The United States Naval Academy held its annual high school football camp this past weekend, with dozens of highly touted high school prospects vying for the chance to impress the Navy coaching staff and earn scholarship offers to the prestigious school.

Two of those prospects were Park City (UT) running back Dylan Chynoweth and cornerback Erik Walker, who came into the weekend without a single FCS or FBS scholarship offer between them. That all changed after two and a half days of seven-on-sevens, as Park City's team took home the title in the yearly tournament, with Chynoweth and Walker leading the way for the Miners.

No only did the two players from Park City help lead the Miners to victory against teams from across the country, but both Chynoweth and Walker earned their long awaited first scholarship offer when Navy assistant Joe DuPaix called them into his office on Sunday.

"Dylan and I were offered by Navy," said Walker, who was still grinning from ear-to-ear the day after the camp ended. "I like it out here," he continued. "It is a great place and a great opportunity, and it's a place I've got to consider."

Chynoweth (photo at right) was similarly ecstatic over the offer, and echoed his teammate's thoughts when he said that the scholarship offer represents a "great opportunity" both on and off the field. Chynoweth, who at 5-foot-10, 195-pounds runs a 4.5 second 40-yard dash, said that he and Walker first became interested in Navy when their high school coach introduced them to a version of the triple option offense which Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo runs at the Academy.

"Our coach got us interested," Chynoweth said. "Erik and I never even really knew what the triple option was until high school. Our coach got us to watching teams like Navy and Air Force running the triple option and stuff, so we've had an opportunity to learn from them. Finally we got the opportunity to come out here to Annapolis and we just fell in love with the place."

Both players report that Navy is currently their number one school, with Walker saying that he favors the Midshipmen over strong interest from Oregon State, Army, and Air Force, and Utah. Chynoweth, who is also being recruited by Air Force, Army, Utah, and Utah State, said that Navy's offer puts the Midshipmen ahead of all other schools that have recruited him up to this point.

"I'd say Navy is my number one. They were the first to offer me, so it shows their true interest. I like Air Force too though. We went out there a few weeks ago and they have great coaches as well."

Both recruits said that the relationships they've developed with the Navy coaching staff have played a key role their attraction to the Naval Academy.

"I feel like this is a place that makes you feel at home," Chynoweth said in regards to Navy. "They have the best coaching staff in the nation, and they really care about you and it's not like at some other schools where [the coaches there] see you as just an athlete. Here they see you as a person."

Chynoweth currently plays the "B," or fullback position for Park City, but said that he is being recruited by Navy assistant Joe DuPaix as a slotback. Walker, who is among the fastest prep prospects in Utah, said that although he plays quarterback for Park City, Navy is currently recruiting him as a wide receiver and defensive back.

"Right now I am being recruited as a safety and as a wide receiver," reported Walker. "I was able to work with [Navy assistant] coach Jasper at the camp. Coach Jasper likes my feet, but I need to learn how to throw better for him to look at me as a quarterback."

Walker, who ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.3 second range during the 2008 All-Poly camp in Utah, said that the post-graduate military commitment of a school like Navy would not deter him from choosing the Midshipmen. Like Chynoweth, Walker sees the commitment as a positive life experience.

"It is a great opportunity. You come out school with a job and you're getting paid while you're going to school. It is five years of your life but it is an experience that would be great."

Added Chynoweth: "Some people make it sound like those five years are a bad thing, but all it is is a guaranteed job coming out of college. The way the economy is right now that is a pretty special thing, in my opinion. "

While both Park City players said that Navy is their current favorite, neither has ruled out the possibility of exploring one of Navy's sister academies further. Both Walker and Chynoweth camped at Air Force earlier this summer, and both said that they have received interest from Army over the past several months.

"We are both talking to Army," reported Walker. "Army and Air Force are both really interested."

Walker and Chynoweth said that they do not currently have plans to camp at West Point, but said a visit to the banks of the Hudson may be in order for sometime later this year. They plan to attend a one day camp at Colorado State in July before heading back to Park City to begin preparing for the 2009 season.

Stay tuned to all summer for further updates on the recruitment of Park City (UT) players Dylan Chynoweth and Erik Walker!

Erik Walker (L) and Dylan Chynoweth (R) (GM/Adam Nettina) Top Stories