Army Spring Depth Chart Review: Quick End continues its review of Black Knights post spring depth chart. Today we turn our focus to the Cadet defense. The Army staff hopes to improve a unit that ranked near the bottom of the FBS in defense. Our first defensive segment will feature the quick end position which returns two veteran players. Look inside to find out the complete details.

The Army Black Knights concluded their spring football practice in March and took their annual spring game on the road to Fort Benning. The defense lost only one quality senior starter in rover Steven Erzinger. Despite the large number of returning starters and players who gained experience last fall, the defensive depth chart is unsettled. It's no secret that Army's defense struggled last year. The Black Knights finished last season ranked 100th in the nation in run defense and 98th in passing efficiency defense.

While the offense's depth chart seems more stable than the defensive two deep depth chart, at many positions it is very competitive. Expect the depth chart to be impacted by maybe five or six players from the United States Military Academy prep school and possibly a direct admit or two. The reality for the defense is at certain positions the team isn't as talented or as deep as it needs to be right now. The good news is the prep school defense last fall was very good. The USMAPS' s defensive front was bigger than the Army varsity defensive front last year. That defensive group helped USMAPS post a (7-2) record, post three shutouts and defeat the Naval Academy Prep team for the first time since 2008.

With spring practice concluded, will analyze the recently released post spring practice depth chart. We'll review the defensive starters, backups and players who might possibly contribute. While we know about certain prep players who we believe can impact the depth chart this fall, our policy at is not to discuss athletes currently attending USMAPS because they can still be recruited. We'll discuss these players by position, along with direct admits, after they take the oath on R-day.

Quick end
Starter: Zach Watts #40 Sr.
Back-up: Jarrett Mackey #34 Sr.
Player to Watch: Colin Linkul #55 So.
Quick end Zach Watts is the best returning starter on the defensive line from last year. After Jarrett Mackey's knee injury in the opener Zach Watts was moved from whip linebacker and started at quick end the rest of the season. He's one of the better defensive players on the team. Watts (26 tackles, 6 1/2 for a loss, 3 sacks) competes every down but he weighs just 203 pounds and at times can be engulfed attempting to stop the run. Watts made one of the biggest plays in recent Army football history during the victory at the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl sacking SMU quarterback Kyle Padron and forcing a fumble that Josh McNary scooped up on a bounce and ran 55 yards for a touchdown.

Senior legacy captain Jarrett Mackey started last season's opener at quick end but suffered a season ending knee injury as previously mentioned. Mackey played bandit tackle in 2010. He finished with 47 tackles, 6 1/2 for a loss, with 4 sacks and forced two fumbles. Before his injury Mackey was quick and rangy with good lateral mobility. Mackey (6-1, 235) will be used at quick end if his rehabilitation continues to progress and he's ready to play this fall. Mackey is expected to start at quick end if healthy. If Mackey starts at quick end expect to see Zach Watts remain on the field as a starter either at the bandit linebacker position or at the whip defensive end.

The player to watch is sophomore Colin Linkul. Linkul was hurt in the opener last fall and ended up playing in eight games last season as a direct admit. He returned against Tulane and posted two sacks. Linkul can really come off the edge and was used as a situational pass rusher. Linkul is only 6-0, 188 pounds and is far from physically imposing but he has a knack of pressuring the quarterback. Colin posted five tackles, 3 sacks and a quarterback hurry last year in limited playing time. Linkul has a lot of upside because he only started playing football a few years ago. Linkul was a star soccer player before his parents relented and allowed him to play football for the first time as a sophomore in high school. This is one area position on the defense were the Black Knights have depth but if Watts is moved a few players from USMAPS could impact the depth chart. Top Stories