CHATSWORTH — North Murray High School's D'Ante Tidwell is ready to get started for the basic training required of all cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Army), even if he'll be without the comfort of his cellphone for a few weeks.
"They told me I'd have to be without my phone for a while, I'll be cut off from all social media," Tidwell said with a laugh Wednesday at a ceremony where he signed to play football at West Point. "I'm ready for it, I'm not really on my phone that much anyway."
Tidwell signed at a ceremony at North Murray High School along with teammate Cade Petty, who's headed for Berry College, an NCAA Division III program outside Rome.
Tidwell had committed Sunday. He also had offers from Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Richmond, Navy and Shorter.
"Army just has a lot of benefits after school, being in the Army and serving your country," Tidwell said. "All the offers that came were from great schools, but none of them offered what Army offered."
Tidwell played all over the field for North Murray in 2020, at wide receiver, running back, kick returner and defensive back.
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.
Tidwell said Army's coaches aren't yet sure where he'll play, adding that they might ask him to play both ways like he did as a Mountaineers.
"That triple option is a running back's dream, so I want to be a part of that too," Tidwell said.
"I couldn't be more proud of these two guys today," Preston Poag, the North Murray head coach, said Wednesday.
Petty, who spent one season at North Murray after transferring from Murray County, said Berry's coaches recruited him as a nickel defensive back, but that could change once he gets on campus.
Petty, like Tidwell, moved around the Mountaineer lineup last year, spending time at wide receiver and linebacker.
"I'm very excited to see where the next level can take me," Petty said.
Petty also held an offer from Hanover College in Indiana, but said that Berry's location closer to his home played a factor in his decision.
"One thing that's cool about him being so close to home, we can all go watch him," Poag said.