Running back Dylan Chynoweth had quite the senior season for the Park City (Utah) Miners. Not only did he lead the state of Utah in rushing, but the shifty back also led the state in scoring while carrying his team deep into the playoffs. With the season behind him, the highly touted prep star recently informed GoMids.com of his collegiate decision.
That's right; it'll be "Anchors Away" for Chynoweth, who passed on scholarship offers from Air Force and Army to play for Navy. Chynoweth confirmed his commitment to GoMids on Thursday, bringing the official count of known Navy commitments to four players.
"It was kind of getting down to the wire, and I felt like Navy was the place I had always wanted to go," said Chynoweth. "Army did a really good job recruiting me as well, and it just came down to making a decision between the two. I think that Navy is the right place for me and gives me the chance to be most successful and help the team the most. So I chose Navy."
Chynoweth has been courted by the Midshipmen since the summer, when he impressed the Navy coaching staff at the team's annual summer camp. The Midshipmen were the first FBS program to offer the 5-foot-10, 205-pound all purpose back, although Army and Air Force both followed suit during the fall. Chynoweth also had heavy interest from several FCS programs before narrowing his list to the three service academies.
"A bunch of I-AA programs showed interest, but I knew I wanted to play Division I-A football and not I-AA," he said.
Chynoweth led the state of Utah in rushing during the 2009 prep season, amassing 2,258 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns on just 185 carries. Playing primarily from the ‘B'-back position in Park City's potent triple option attack, Chynoweth garnered Class 3A MVP honors from the Desert News en route to leading the Miners to the state semifinals in the playoffs. Considering that former Park City running back Jared Tew has since gone on to star at the fullback position for the Air Force Academy, some thought Chynoweth was destined to follow in Tew's footsteps. But Chynoweth had other plans, and said that Navy's coaching staff did a great job at making him feel at home in Annapolis.
"Navy did a really good job. Coach DuPaix recruited me real well and he's a really cool guy…I just felt like that was where I was suppose to be."
Aside from his comfort with the coaching staff, Chynoweth also said that Navy's on-field performance, especially in relation to its sister service academies, played a key role in his decision.
"Everybody wants to win games," explained Chynoweth. "Navy is what, seven years straight and they haven't lost to either of the other academies? So obviously they are -- in my opinion -- the best football power of the academies. Being successful was a big factor in my decision and I wanted to go somewhere where I knew I was going to win games and go out there and compete."
Chynoweth was especially impressed with the Midshipmen's recent 35-13 win over Missouri in the Texas Bowl.
"They were really impressive in the bowl game," said the Park City fullback. "That was the best they've played all year and I think any of their coaches would tell you that too. They ran the ball well and ran the triple option real well, and after watching that game I really thought ‘yea, I can play in this system' and be successful in it."
Rated the 155th best running back in the country by SuperPrep.com, Chynoweth displays tremendous speed and quickness in the open field. He has explosive lower body strength and is also deceptively strong for his size, and is shifty enough to navigate through the first level of defenses. These assets make him a highly versatile runner who can contribute at both the ‘A' and ‘B' back positions in Navy's own triple option offense. As for which position he'll start out at with Navy, he's is currently unsure.
"I think right now it is just up to how I develop," said Chynoweth. "I've played both [positions] before, although I think originally I was recruited as an ‘A'-back. But sending in my film with all my ‘B'-back stuff I think they've caught interest in me playing that position as well. Wherever I can get on the field the earliest is where I'll want to play."
Chynoweth reported that he will be a direct entry recruit to the Academy. Aside from his own commitment, he also informed GoMids.com that Park City quarterback Erik Walker, who currently holds offers from Army, Navy, Air Force and Dartmouth, is still in the process of making his own college decision.
"He is still being pursued by [the service academies] and he hasn't made a decision quite yet," reported Chynoweth in regards to his teammate. "Hopefully he comes with me to be a Mid. I'm hoping that's what happens, but that's his decision to make, and he'll go with the situation which best fits him."
Chynoweth will visit Annapolis on January 29th. Be sure to stay tuned to GoMids.com this offseason for all the latest on service academy football recruiting!