BROOMFIELD -- Of all of Broomfield's athletes Wednesday, Andrew McLean's college commitment was the most anticlimactic. But that is because the lineman had made up his mind about his college football career months ago.
Once the United State Military Academy offered the Eagles' super-sized two-way starter a crack at being a Black Knight in July, the senior knew where he was heading. Not that there weren't other programs that came knocking trying to lure the projected pass-rush specialist away. But any attempt to dissuade McLean from heading to West Point, N.Y., was met the same way each time -- "No thank you, sir."
"I never gave any other schools a thought," he said. "A few called and said they were still open if I was interested. But I was never interested."
McLean had many reasons in dedicating himself to the Army from the moment he gave his verbal commitment. The most obvious for Broomfield's defensive end/offensive tackle was the crack to play NCAA Division-I football -- where he was recruited to play defensive end. But there were off-the-field factors that also motivated Broomfield's three-year starter to prove he is Army strong.
"My older brother is an officer, so I wanted to follow in his footsteps," McLean said.
The signing ceremony was a peak for McLean's last year of prep football; he had to trudge through some valleys his senior season. The lowest point came in the Standley Lake game, when he tore his ACL. The knee injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year. And from Gary Davies' perspective, it cost the Eagles more than just explosive strength off the line in the final four games.
"There was a sense of invincibility with him on the field," Davies said. "There was a whole shift in mentality on the football team after he was injured."
Broomfield's football team had the largest presence at the signing event, with the program signing off four players. Also making commitments for the Eagles were Tyler Stuemky (Eastern New Mexico University), Andrew Davies (Colorado State-Pueblo) and Dan Perse (Colorado Mesa). While the players held down a slew of responsibilities for the Eagles, and some are moving to new positions in college, they represent the core of the team's defensive front. The longtime teammates were pleased to put the finishing touches on their high school careers together.
"We've been playing together since we were 6 or 7 (years old)," Davies said. "So getting to share this moment with these guys was pretty special."
Davies might have enjoyed the moment, but it was a somewhat difficult one for his father. As the youngest of Gary Davies' three children, the football coach definitely felt an era had ended in his life with his son moving on to college.
"It was a little bittersweet," the football coach said. "The older ones were easier, because we had someone else to look forward to down the line. With Drew, there is more finality."
In addition to football, the Eagles had three other sports send athletes off to college from the ceremony. Baseball player Ben Martinez committed to Otero Junior College. Softball player Katie Knudsen committed to Santa Barbara Community College. And girls soccer player Courtney Miknis committed to Adams State University.
"This is kind of relief," Miknis said. "It's nice to know where you're going and have your future planned out."
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.