Greeneville senior quarterback and 2017 Class 4A Mr. Football winner Cade Ballard announced his commitment Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.
Ballard, who throughout the recruiting process declared his appreciation for the service academies and who has already started taking flying lessons, verbally committed to Army. He actually alerted the Army coaching staff on Monday and the other schools which sought his services before announcing his decision Tuesday.
“A big part of it, not the biggest part, but a big part was the coaching staff. Coach (Jeff) Monken has been over there the last 3-4 years. I love where the program is at right now. They’re getting after it in the weight room. They doing it on the field and it’s showing on Saturdays,” said Ballard. “Another big part was the history of it, the name of West Point and what a degree from there means.
“And the last part of it was the military stuff. I feel like I want to serve my country, and I felt like West Point has everything I wanted and more.”
Committed !! pic.twitter.com/LhzngbuUZX
— Cade Ballard (@cade_ballard2) July 17, 2018
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders, personally,” Ballard said of his commitment. “It’s been a fun journey. When I walked on (the campus) at West Point and knew that was the school for me, I felt a big relief. And then today, putting that out (on social media) and getting that over with, it’s been a big relief for me, for sure.”
Ballard completed 82.2 percent of his passes as a junior, throwing for 3,148 yards, 38 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 944 yards and 20 touchdowns on 164 carries last season.
He’s the fourth Greeneville player this year to commit to a Division I program, the others being wide receiver Dorien Goddard (Virginia), tight end/athlete Cameron Hite (Wake Forest) and long snapper Will Albright (Tennessee).
“We’re trying to be better than before. We’re trying to be the best team that’s ever come through Greeneville High School,” Ballard said. “There’s been some great teams that have come through there. Our football team right now is working very, very hard. We’re trying to stay hungry.
“We were in everybody else’s shoes last year. We were chasing it. And to have it now, we want to attack that. We don’t want to defend our crown. We want to attack it. We know that if we’re not 10 times hungrier than last year, we’re going to get beat. There’s a lot of teams aiming for us. Nothing is going to come easy for us. It’s always harder the second time. We’re ready to embrace that and get after it and hopefully have a great year.”