FORT WORTH, Texas (Dec. 20, 2017) – Did you know that all 130 NCAA FBS members have at least one player or coach who has called Texas home?
If so, then it should come as no surprise that both Army West Point and San Diego State have ample Texas high school football talent and hometown connections as they approach the historic 15th annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday.
Besides numerous coaches and administrators from both schools who have worked or coached on all levels in the Lone Star State, there are a plethora of Texas student-athletes on the two squads.
Army’s 2017 roster includes the likes of RB Jordan Soper-Johnson from Hooks (the high school where Oklahoma Heisman Trophy RB Billy Sims starred), DB Taylor Vessel of League City, DB Max Regan of Austin, DB Ke'Shaun Wells of Houston, DB Jalen Sharp of Garland, WR Kevin Waites of Manor, RB Fred Cooper Jr. of Houston and RB Dominic Distefano of Pflugerville.
Others with Texas backgrounds at the West Point Academy are long snapper Caleb McKee of Pantego, LB Jacob Covington of Liberty Hill, OL Jake Baumert of Lucas, DL Jon King returning to his hometown of Fort Worth, OL Joshua Boylan of Tyler, OL Jaxson Deaton of Frisco, OL Jack Sides of Dallas, OL Luke McCleery of Keller, WR Jeff Ejekam of Houston, LB Josh Thomas of Pearland, WR Camden Harrison of Allen, WR Tommy Upton of Houston, DL Luke Blanton of Dallas and DL Cordarrell Davis of Houston.
Not to be outdone, San Diego State boasts QB Cam Roane of Colleyville, CB Kameron Kelly of Murphy (pictured), QB Ryan Agnew of Southlake, RB Kaegun Williams of Cedar Hill, OL Douglas Tucker II of Dallas, LB Caden McDonald of Haslet, DL Mark Brown of Fort Worth and Arlington Heights HS, OL Nick Gerhard of Arlington, DL Sergio Phillips of DeSoto, DL Myles Cheatum of Cedar Park, OL Daishawn Dixon of San Antonio and WR Tim Wilson Jr. of Plano.
SDSU head coach Rocky Long once coached defensive backs at TCU, while several assistant coaches for both the Black Knights and Aztecs have strong Texas contacts.
Army West Point mentor Jeff Monken also helped the Black Knights win their most recent bowl visit to Texas 38-31 in overtime over North Texas at the 2016 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium.
Historically, Army West Point has scoured the Texas areas widely for dozens of recruits. 1945 Heisman Trophy recipient RB Glenn Davis, who was born in South Carolina, was stationed in Texas with the Air Force for several years, lived with his daughter and son-in-law in Bulverde, Texas, and is interred at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery in San Antonio.
And one of the great Army football alumni from the 1995-98 squads is none other than WR Emory (Trip) Bellard III, whose late grandfather Emory Bellard invented the Wishbone offense while he was an assistant coach at Texas. Emory Bellard later was head coach at Texas A&M and Mississippi State and eventually a 175-plus game winner in the Texas high school coaching ranks over four decades.
With all these Lone Star ties, expect many family members and area alumni and military from both schools to be on hand for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at beautiful Amon Carter Stadium.