St. Edward senior lineman Evan Finnane had been sitting on offers to play football at West Point and the Air Force Academy since August, but only he knew Thursday was decision day.
Finnane, a two-time Daily Herald All-Area two-way lineman, called the coaches at Army Thursday night to let them know he intends to join older brother Shane as a defensive lineman on the Black Knights roster.
The younger Finnane played his final decision close to the vest. Following home visits last week from coaches from both Air Force and Army, Evan Finnane said he had made up his mind to accept the appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. The only question was when to make it official.
"I held it in," Evan said. "No one had any idea, not even my dad."
"I swear, until he told (assistant) coach (Joe) Ross he was committing to Army I had no idea," proud father Jim Finnane confirmed Thursday night. "I thought he'd go the other way with Air Force."
Evan Finnane is a 6-foot-2, 260-pound Elgin resident who can bench 365 pounds and squat 465 pounds. A four-year starter on two St. Edward playoff teams, he finished his senior season with 56 tackles and 4 sacks. He forced a fumble and recovered another for a team that went 5-4. He also played offensive line full time.
Finnane maintains a 3.6 grade-point average at the Elgin private school. He intends to study management engineering, but the possibility of becoming a paratrooper helped sway his decision to attend West Point.
"I just looked at everything and what I wanted to do in the military itself," Finnane explained. "The first thing I want to do is to be a paratrooper, which is more of a specialized thing within the Air Force. It's not guaranteed, but I'll have a better chance at becoming a paratrooper with Army. It's something I want to do."
The idea of reuniting with older brother Shane was also a draw. So was the idea of playing with Elgin High School graduate Dan Munger, who will also join the West Point Class of 2017 after spending a year at the prep school. Munger and Finnane played youth football together in Elgin for the Crusaders.
"Three Elgin boys on the same defense? That should be pretty cool," Finnane said.