Army Spring Football Report

Hope always springs eternal in the Spring. The drama of Army Football is about to unfold again as the fall approaches against the backdrop of a dismal 2002 season and a serious coaching controversy. Nevertheless, I can't wait for the UCONN game. The Black Knights will be out to prove something in 2003 and I'm wishing them luck and success.

A few thoughts as the spring campaign is now closed.

+ I feel pretty good about the first string defense Army will put on the field next year. We have a solid line-up of returning starters, many of whom have two letters under their belts. The challenge will be for this group to stay healthy and build depth behind the starting group.

+ Lucius Weaver will be an all-star like his brother Lyle, who just signed a free agent contract with the Jets. Lucius, perhaps more than anyone on the team, is a legitimate prospect capable of playing for any team in the country. He will be weaverizing opponents' receivers and backs. Mark my words--he will have a great campaign in 2003.

+ Army's WR corps will be rock solid. Jacob Murphy may be the newcomer who gets the most acclaim. He is extremely athletic with good size. He had 7 catches for 212 yards on Saturday. Look for him to team up with Alexander and White to form a potent group. Woody, Barton, Mason, Brown and several others make this a deep, talented group.

+ There appears to be no clear favorite at QB after the Spring campaign. All four candidates have shown flashes. Dahman has the edge in terms of experience, but Silva and and Bybee, and now even Crehan, all have a legitimate shot. I expect several guys to play QB during the course of 2003 due to both performance factors and potential injuries. I'm not sure I want to pick my favorite yet.

+ I'm a little worried about RB after Carlton Jones. LaBerrick Williams has been injury prone throughout his career and the losses of lettermen Young, Daniels and Chapman for various reasons has eroded depth. Jones and Williams will both need to be healthy in 2003, and at least one other candidate must emerge. Whoever that is will be garnering his first collegiate snaps.

+ The offensive line needs to continue to build itself up and solidify as a group. I'm glad Waudby and Wojcik have appeared to secure a spot with the lead group. Joel Glover will anchor this unit. He will be one of Army's Top 5 O-linemen of the past decade or so before he is through. The other incoming juniors will continue to gain strength as the team heads into the fall.

+ Tight ends will be a factor in the Army O in 2003. I like Horaist, and his classmates Mantagliani and Sherk. Army has good recruits coming in at this position, which allowed several current plebe candidates to switch to DE during the spring.

+ The starting D-line should be very solid. I'm glad that this group has stayed healthy through the spring. Several plebe candidates have added size during the off-season and should be able to provide adequate depth. The loss of lettermen Myron Toles has eroded depth somewhat. Army can ill-afford any injuries or other losses to the remaining returning lettermen in this group.

+ Linebacking should be solid. Army fans have waited 3 seasons for Brian Hill to get his chance after playing behind the likes of Jason Frazier. Greg Washington and Ryan Kent are potential All-league candidates. Curt Daniels appears to have secured the other OLB starting spot from former starter Mikel Resnick, who was moved to ILB.

+ Returning starters at cornerback in Lewis and Brewer will allow Army faithful to exude a bit of optimism about a position that has been traditionally a weakness. Both rising juniors have two letters and thier experience alone will ensure improved performance in 2003. Also noteworthy is that Army boasts lettermen back-ups at this postion and a couple of exceptionally gifted corners coming into the program this fall.

+ Army will also return both its punter and kicker, and should be overall improved in these areas in 2003.

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