Starter: Waverly Washington #21 Sr.
Back up: Tyler Dickson #17 Jr.
Player to Watch: Justin Allen #28 Sr.
Senior Waverly Washington (5-10, 186) took the lead for the starting boundary cornerback job late during spring practice. It's still a wide open competition to see who will emerge as the starter on opening day in the fall. Washington is a bit of an enigma. Waverly has above average speed and quickness. During his high school years he was a member of a two-time state championship winning 4x100 relay team in Virginia. He has some ability but to be honest he's been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type player who practices much better than he plays on Saturday. He earned the coaches confidence during the week but on game day last year it was a different story.
Washington started the opener in 2011 and looked over-matched in the blowout loss to Northern Illinois. He lost his starting cornerback job and a month later when he replaced a struggling Lamar Johnson-Harris against Ball State. He gave up a quick touchdown and was benched again. Washington played in all 12 games but his struggles in man coverage are a concern. During games he's shown below average change of direction and doesn't track the ball well in the air. This is the last chance for Washington. If he experiences a meltdown like last year I believe the staff will just move on and play some of the talented plebes joining the program from the United States Military Academy Prep School.
Tyler Dickson is currently running neck and neck with Washington to be the new starter at boundary cornerback. Physically Dickson is an upgrade over last year's starter Johnson-Harris and Washington. Tyler is 5-feet-11 inches tall, weighs 195 pounds and has 4.6 speed. Dickson is a converted high school wide receiver who was the prep school's defensive MVP in 2009 at free safety. He played in every game last year. Dickson started five games at free safety and two more at Mike linebacker after Justin Trimble was injured.
Dickson, a junior, can handle the run support responsibilities of a boundary cornerback in this defense. Last year he made 60 tackles, defensed two passes and had one interception. At free safety Dickson was an active hitter but at times didn't diagnose plays quickly enough. He often arrived a step too late to make a play. He also missed a few open field tackles. At cornerback he is a work in progress and is still learning to play the position. It's still unclear if Tyler has the ability to turn his hips and if his feet are quick enough to handle man-on-man coverage against top notch receivers.
The player to watch is senior Justin Allen (5-10, 179). Allen has been moved back and forth from offense to defense. He has never really found a home since his career began at West Point. He played in every game on special teams last season. He is best remembered for fumbling the pitch on the special team fake punt against Air Force during the Black Knights second half meltdown. Allen offers some speed and is physical. He has a chance to emerge as the back-up or nickel back if he has a strong summer camp. The prep school should offer at least one cornerback who might impact the depth chart this year. USMAPS recently lost Cortland Fort, a talented corner with 4.49 speed, who left and signed with Wyoming. The good news is that the best cornerback prospect from the prep school will attend West Point.
Army Spring Depth Chart Review: Boundary CB
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