Army lost more than a football game last Saturday.

Nah, we're only kidding because Mike Huf likely would have made an oral commitment to Navy even if the Midshipmen had suffered a five-touchdown defeat. But the 17-3 victory didn't hurt, in part because it was part of such an overwhelming experience.

Huf, a 6-3, 235-pound inside linebacker (and tight end) at Cardinal O'Hara High, sat in row No. 12 behind the end zone with a bunch of Navy fans. For company he had his brothers - Myles, a former player at Monsignor Bonner now a senior at Scranton, and Matt, a junior football player at O'Hara - and O'Hara assistant Mike Marotta.

"It was such a great atmosphere," Huf said. "All the Navy people on one side. The Army people on the other. You could just feel how much that game means to everybody. You see that and it's impossible not to have crazy respect for the military. Which I do, anyway."

Huf had mostly been considering Navy and Akron. Villanova, Colgate and William & Mary also had been involved.

The Navy offer goes back to Oct. 28. Just 2 nights ago, assistant Dale Pehrson came to talk turkey and eat ham (plus mac and cheese) with the entire Huf family. Mom is Christine. Dad is Peter.

"I almost felt like committing right during dinner," Huf said. "My mom said she almost expected me to, and that it would have given her a heart attack. The good kind. She was so excited. She was ready for me to do this. But we decided to talk about everything and I called Navy to tell them [late yesterday afternoon].

"It's an honor to even be considered someone worthy of Navy. The football's great, of course, and when you come out you're assured of a job. That's a real plus."