OGALLALA — For Ogallala’s Harry Caskey, the decision to play college football at the Air Force Academy was a simple one. He gets to play football at the next level, and he gets to serve his country when he’s done.

“They provide the best opportunity for me,” Caskey said. “I love my country. I love playing college football. That’s two things that mesh great together. It was close to home. They wanted me the most, so that’s why I chose Air Force.”

Caskey signed his letter of intent on Wednesday in front of friends, coaches, teachers and family as he finally put pen to paper for the first school to offer him a chance to play football.

Caskey said the Air Force constantly checked in on him, even as Caskey was receiving offers from other schools like Brown, Dartmouth, South Dakota, Northwest Missouri State and Army.

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Caskey, though, knew he wanted to attend the Air Force for a few reasons. It was close to home, being in Colorado Springs. It also gave him the opportunity to serve his country and have a promising career. Plus, the Air Force wanted him, and Caskey found that he wanted to be there too.

Caskey will play outside linebacker once he’s there.

“They have a great defense, and I’m super excited to be a part of it too,” he said. “They wanted me bad too, and I wanted them.”

Caskey said you’re supposed to play football for four years then serve for at least five years. He mentioned there were other outlets to serving, with situations like becoming a graduate assistant, becoming a graduate transfer or attending graduate school. Either way, all graduates from the Air Force Academy must serve five years active duty.

The road for Caskey, though, begins with healing his wrist. He recently had surgery on it that prevented him from playing basketball this season.

Once he gets cleared, Caskey will be ready for basic training in June, which is typically around six weeks. After that, he will get a bit of a break before heading back to Colorado to start preparing for the football season.

“It’s all laid out right in front of me, and it’s for the taking, so I’m going to take it,” Caskey said.

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