Army quarterback Trent Steelman was destined to be a star. His dad knew it nearly two decades ago.
A week after Trent started playing flag football, his coach took Bob Steelman aside at practice and made a heartfelt plea.
''He said, `I'm not going to say anything negative about your son, but you need to put him up with the older kids in tackle football because he's going to kill somebody out here,''' Bob Steelman recalled. ''So they threw him out of touch and put him in tackle as a 6-year-old.''
And so began a love affair with a game that means the world at West Point. Now a senior and facing the final game of his tenure - beating Navy on Saturday, something the Black Knights haven't done in a decade.
The two academies meet on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
''It'd be the perfect ending,'' Steelman said, ''to a season where we've seen so many ups and downs.''