Stom will do the "Knight thing" and go Army

Derrick Stom

The slogan at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, Calif. is "Do the Knight Thing." That's exactly what Derrick Stom, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound offensive lineman, did when his gave his verbal pledge to the Black Knights coaching staff on Sunday. Stom spoke with ArmySports.com the night after his decision on why he decided on West Point.

The slogan at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, Calif. is "Do the Knight Thing." That's exactly what Derrick Stom, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound offensive lineman, did when his gave his verbal pledge to the Black Knights coaching staff on Sunday. Stom spoke with ArmySports.com the night after his decision on why he decided on West Point.

"When I got to campus on my official visit," said Derrick Stom, "there was no better feeling than being there. West Point offers the total package from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint. The highlight of my trip was talking to the panel. They answered all of my questions I had about the Academy thoroughly. The other highlight I had was taking a tour of campus with Coach Thompson. We had a lot of fun. James Kelly, a sophomore from Colorado, was my host. He showed me around too. It was a great time."

Stom, who plays in the Bay Area near Oakland, was on the campus of St. Mary's College of California in Moraga when he first was discovered by the Black Knights coaching staff.

"After they saw me play at St. Mary's," he said, "I received an offer from Ian Shields, who was my recruiter. The date was actually July the 1st. He said he liked my explosiveness off the ball and my nastiness. Coach Shields is who I called yesterday to make my commitment.

"I was a little nervous at first about the military. I haven't had any experience in that. Once I talked with the panel and some of the other players about it, it's definitely something I think is cool. It's what I want to do. My father came with me on the visit [to West Point] and he's real pumped up about my decision. The success rate of West Point graduates is awesome. It's just a great feeling to know I have this opportunity ahead of me."

As a senior, Stom was named All-Diablo Foothill League (for both offensive and defensive line) and a California State All-Star. He said Army likes him with Coach McKeehan playing either the guard or center position. After high school, Stom will be attending USMAPS. On National Signing Day, Stom will have a ceremony at his school where he'll sign his letter of intent. After Stom chose to play at Army, his teammate, Mitchell Howard, a placekicker/punter, decided to join him at West Point.

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