1st-year Army coach Jeff Monken welcomes 60 in freshman class


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WEST POINT, New York — First-year Army coach Jeff Monken has welcomed the freshman class to the West Point campus.

Hired in December to replace the fired Rich Ellerson, Monken greeted 60 newcomers from 21 states, including 44 on offense, 11 on defense and five special teams players. They began summer military training on Wednesday.

Monken guided Army through spring drills and will have the entire team together in early August to continue preparations for the season.

Monken says service-academy recruiting is tough because coaches are scrambling and hoping their evaluations are right.

Army, Navy and Air Force tend to take chances on players they hope to develop, and all three schools have strict academic requirements, height and weight limitations, and mandatory military service.

Ellerson went 20-41 in five seasons at Army and never beat archrival Navy.

Army opens the season on Sept. 6 at Michie Stadium against Buffalo.

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