Florida quarterback RJ Rosales said it felt like, “a weight was released from my shoulders,” when he revealed his commitment to Army Thursday through a video.
Rosales, who threw for 4,950 yards and 59 touchdowns in three seasons for Immokalee High School, verbally committed to the Black Knights last Monday but had been holding off an announcement until the video was complete.
Telling Nora Aviles, his mother, that he was continuing his football career and education at West Point brought tears of joy.
“She broke down crying because she knows she’s going to be taken care of and that’s all I can really ask for,” said Rosales Thursday night. “It feels great being a part of a bond that is going to last a lifetime and just to have everybody’s 100-percent support.”
Rosales, who is 5-foot-10 and 178, was offered by all three FBS services academies but said, “the biggest thing that made me lean toward Army was every call – and I talked to every coach at every position from the head coach, quarterback coach, offensive coordinator, special teams coach, defensive coordinator – every time we were on the phone very seldomly did we talk about football.”
“It was always life lessons and ‘how’s the family, how are you doing in school, what can you improve on, what is integrity’ and that’s huge for me,” Rosales added. “Not only do they see me for my potential but they care about my well-being. I take a lot of pride in that and I can’t thank them enough for it.”
Rosales will take his first trip to West Point next Friday July 26 and may participate in Army’s prospect camp the following day. He cancelled a visit to Air Force in order to make the West Point trip.
“The Air Force Academy was kind of depressed because I plan to go up on the 26th to Army,” Rosales said. “I was scheduled to go to Air Force. I put the news out (on his commitment). No hard feelings. I feel like I’m at home.”
Rosales threw for 4,975 yards and 59 touchdowns in a spread offense the past three seasons for Immokalee (Fla.) High School. He passed for 3,300 yards and 40 touchdowns his sophomore season. Rosales plans on transferring to Evangelical Christian High School in Fort Myers, Fla. this season.
“I feel like I can do the same thing (as his sophomore year) if not more with a more productive team,” Rosales said. “I think the school I’m going to, the receivers are at a different level than I used to have. It will be a work-in progress with chemistry but I feel like I can make it happen.”
Rosales is expecting a smooth transition to Army’s triple-option style when he arrives at West Point.
“I don’t think it will be too hard to get into with me being an athlete,” Rosales said. “Everyone overlooks that about me. I can make every throw from the pocket. I can make plays.”
Rosales believes he was overlooked during the recruiting process because of his size.
“But, I can’t sit here and play devil’s advocate with recruiters,”Rosales said. “I’m going to roll with the guys that took a shot at me. They are the people who actually see the good in me.”
Rosales said his talks with Army’s coaching staff helped him grow as a person.
“It’s nothing too deep,” Rosales said. “But to me, I’m an introvert. I really don’t like talking to others if I feel it’s not beneficial or to grow mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually. Every time we talked, we were able to crack a good conversation.
“Just talking about family and life, that helped me see things from a different perspective and that I might have overlooked if it was put right in front of me. That helped me talk life to a completely different standard. It made me a better person.
“I feel I owe it to them and I owe it to my family to be great and take care of them. I’m just going to do that to the best of my ability.”