Fullback- B back
Starter: Jared Hassin #7 Jr.
Back up: Dan McGue #43 Jr.
Player to Watch: CeDarius Williams #4 Sr.
Jared Hassin was Army's offensive MVP last year. Hassin carried the ball 191 times for 1,013 yards, averaged 5.3 yards a carry, and scored nine touchdowns. Hassin's season was so impressive that former fullback Collin Mooney, who had an outstanding Pro day workout last month in Oklahoma, stated Hassin was a better player than he was.
Dan McGue won the backup job with his physical play this spring. McGue showed his leg strength in scoring on two short runs during the Black & Gold game. McGue looks to be at least the equal of last year's back up "B" back Jacob Bohn. Ian Shields felt McGue was the most improved player this spring.
With none of the other underclassmen at fullback stepping up, by default, we'll mention senior CeDarius Williams who had a nice spring. The forgotten Williams was named the starting fullback as a sophomore in Rich Ellerson's inaugural 2009 campaign. He ran effectively rushing for 43 yards on ten carries in the opener before suffering a leg injury that ended his season. Last year he didn't appear fully healthy and never carried the ball. This spring Williams showed the burst that originally won him the starting job. CeDarius has dropped on depth chart but in the Black & Gold game he once again displayed the ability to contribute if called on but the player to watch at fullback currently resides at the prep school.
Starter: Raymond Maples #1 So.
Back ups: Jonathan Crucitti #36 So.
Player to Watch: Kelechi Odocha #22 Jr.
Raymond Maples looked terrific at "A" back this spring. Maples twisted his ankle on the first carry of his college career against Hawaii and then broke a bone in his hand which limited him at times during his freshman year. Maples played hurt and despite the injuries averaged 4.5 yards a carry. Maples looked like he's been locked in strength coach's Brett Gerch's weight room so far this off season. Raymond looked to be bigger and faster than the player we saw just a few months ago.
Maples has a chance to be a very productive back in the Carlton Jones mold. He impressed me at the prep school in 2009. Maples is not a true burner but has a quick burst, vision, excellent feet and the ability to run to daylight. Maples is very physical and finishes his runs. Ask Notre Dame's star middle linebacker Manti T'eo who filled a hole to tackle him and Raymond hammered into him breaking T'eo's nose. Maples also has good hands, can catch and block. With his run skills he should emerge as an upgrade over Pat Mealy if he can remain healthy.
Backup sophomore Jonathan Crucitti blocked extremely well when he played last year as a direct admit freshman. Crucitti is a dual sport recruit who missed spring practice as he played baseball this spring. Crucitti is a good athlete who could also play a number of positions if needed. Ian Shields praised Crucitti's play in the North Texas game. Junior Kelechi Odocha saw a lot of playing time at "A" back this spring and played well. His position on the depth chart will be challenged this fall by faster and more talented incoming prep and direct players. Still give Odocha credit for being a workhorse this spring. Odocha is small but solidly built and has decent quickness
In our next edition we'll look at Army's C backs and wide receivers.