West Noble’s Brandon Pruitt sees future with Navy long after football

Brandon Pruitt felt like he knew what he wanted in a college when he committed to Western Illinois on July 14.

Turns out, he didn’t have to wait long for a better opportunity.

The excitement of announcing to the Leathernecks of the FCS had scarcely died down before the Naval Academy came calling. The West Noble senior had had some communication with the Midshipmen, but an offer had not materialized.

Apparently, Navy was set to offer imminently.

After officially receiving the scholarship opportunity, a conversation with parents (and a bit of convincing of mom) led to Pruitt switching his verbal to the Midshipmen earlier this week.

“They only had one more spot, so I had to make my decision really quick,” said Pruitt. “My mom wasn’t always on board, but after talking to the coach a little bit, she understands it is such a great opportunity.”

Pruitt is being brought in as an inside linebacker, but noted that he was on the Navy recruiting board at running back as well.

Last year, Pruitt rushed for 1,555 yards and 17 touchdowns as the Chargers won eight games, their most victories in a season since 2005. He also added 79 tackles, 13 sacks and 23 TFL on defense.

“Going to Navy gives me a great opportunity to play at the level of football I believe I can play at,” Pruitt said. “Afterwards, the difference between them and Western Illinois is after football I have a chance to go in as an officer in the Navy.

“That’s huge.”

This weekend, Pruitt and his parents will make their first trip to Annapolis to see the Naval Academy in person. He hopes to go into a field that centers around two of his interests – science and math.

He also isn’t worried about being less than impressed.

“I am really excited,” Pruitt said. “I am sure the campus will be great.”

West Noble opens its season at Central Noble on Aug. 23.

West Noble’s Brandon Pruitt prepares to block South Adams’ Nick Miller during an 11-on-11 scrimmage on July 25 at South Adams.

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