— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) May 1, 2019
The West Point linebacker will have a chance to showcase his talents on an NFL level as he partakes in Cleveland’s rookie minicamp.
Army Black Knights football will have an NFL representative this spring. The team announced on Wednesday that linebacker James Nachtigal had been invited to the Cleveland Browns’ rookie minicamp.
Nachtigal won’t be able to sign with the squad, as he is set to fulfill a two-year service commitment after his upcoming graduation. That likely won’t stop him from preparing to make an impact in front of NFL eyes this week.
“Any kid that plays football would be lying if they said it wasn’t (their dream to play in the NFL),” Nachtigal said, according to Justin Fedich of the Times Herald-Record. During his Army Pro Day in March, he remarked “It’s just (a) get your foot-in-the-door type of thing because. obviously, they know we have our commitment. At the end of the day, it’s just have fun. Do your best.”
Nachitgal ended his West Point football career on one of the highest notes possible. In Army’s recent 11-2 campaign, he would go on to earn 97 tackles, including 8.5 sacks, and five forced fumbles. He departs West Point as a member of its winningest senior class at 31 victories. That includes three consecutive wins in both postseason play and against rival Navy.
His tenure came to a perfect end in December’s Armed Forces Bowl against Houston. Doing his part in a 70-14 victory over Houston, Nachtigal had a game-high 16 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He also forced a trio of fumbles, one of which was taken back for a touchdown. Another one of his other finest performances came at an NFL stadium.
In October, the Black Knights took on San Jose State at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers. Nachtigal had eight tackles, including three sacks, and took a fumble back 52 yards for a score. Army won the game 52-3. Nachtigal also has a sack of Heisman Trophy winner and top overall NFL Draft pick Kyler Murray on his resume, earning it in the Black Knights’ September visit to Oklahoma.
Nachtigal is the latest Army alum to get the minicamp call. Other recent invitees include running back Raymond Maples in 2015 (Green Bay) and linebacker Andrew King two years later (San Francisco).