North Murray's Tidwell commits to play football at Army

Daniel Mayes/Daily Citizen-News

North Murray High School's D'Ante Tidwell runs past a Rockmart defender in a game last season.

North Murray High School football's do-it-all senior D'Ante Tidwell is heading to West Point.

On Sunday, Tidwell announced on Twitter he has committed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Army). He can make the signing official on Wednesday, when athletes can sign with NCAA Division I and II schools.

"I want to start by thanking God for blessing me for this opportunity," Tidwell posted in his announcement. "I want to thank my parents for supporting me every step of the way. I also want to thank the North Murray coaching staff for being like a second family to me and making me into the player that I am today."

Tidwell played all over the field during his career at North Murray: running back, wide receiver, defensive back and on special teams. He expects to play defensive back in college, but North Murray head football coach Preston Poag said he wouldn't be surprised to see Tidwell succeed wherever he lines up in his collegiate career.

"He can do so many different things all across the field on offense, defense and special teams," Poag said. "Those are the guys you want when you're a college coach."

In 2020, he had 119 carries for 877 yards and 16 touchdowns; 32 catches for 546 yards for six touchdowns; two special teams touchdowns; and five interceptions. He was the Region 6-3A offensive player of the year, made the 6-3A second team defense and made the Daily Citizen-News 2020 All-Area Football Team as an athlete.

The Mountaineers last season finished 6-4 and lost in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs. Tidwell was instrumental in the 2019 North Murray team that went 11-2, won Region 6-3A and reached the playoff quarterfinals.

"He was a great player for us, and I'll miss him on the field, but he was just a great person, too," Poag said.

Army finished the 2020 season at 9-3. Tidwell also had offers from Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Navy and Shorter.

"Army and Navy were both on him the earliest," Poag said. "From what D'Ante said he wanted, I always thought he might end up at Army. It's tough at West Point, but if you can get through it, they take care of you."

Tidwell is the second Mountaineer in two years to commit to a service academy, as 2020 graduate Chaisen Buckner is currently at the U.S. Naval Academy as a linebacker. Now, the two former teammates could square off in the annual Army/Navy game.

"I've always wanted to go to one of those games, but maybe I'll have to soon with those two guys there," Poag said.

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