On the offensive line it looks like freshmen tackle Justin Gilbert and guard Matt Hugenberg have bypassed some of the most experienced backups. They were running ahead of Dan Whitaker and John Szott who ended last season on the two-deep depth chart. We already discussed Gilbert's ability. Matt is a 6-5, 285 pound player who is much bigger than the traditional Army option guard. He is very strong physically, has good feet and can move. He is more of a big, traditional style lineman who tries to maul people inside. He had to adapt to playing lower and faster in the Black Knights system at the prep school in 2011. He's slimmed down and has lost over twenty pounds since last year. He looks a lot quicker in getting to the second level this spring.
The defense saw a lot of shuffling with Shaquille Tolbert, Addison Holstein and converted running back Luke Prioux seeing time at safety. Shaquille Tolbert had an excellent week of practice. Tolbert practiced at cornerback last year. He had been a SAM safety, Rover and played some boundary cornerback the previous season at the United States Military Academy Prep School. I always felt
Tolbert would be a better safety at the FBS level. He can cover but as a cornerback I didn't think he always gets out of his backpedal very smoothly in man coverage. Tolbert's hitting ability and instincts are better served closer to the line of scrimmage at SAM safety or Rover with the play in front of him. Addison Holstein finally made it on the field this spring after missing the last two with injuries. He showed some rust but is a good athlete if healthy. Luke Prioux is a strong player with decent speed who was behind a number of more experienced running backs and moved to safety. He is still a work in progress.
The defense's play has been uneven. The defensive line has been inconsistent against the run and the defensive backs have struggled at times in pass coverage against Army's rather pedestrian receivers. The offense scored on all four of its red-zone possessions against the defense in the Black and Gold game. The Mike linebacker spot is still wide open with Colby Miller, Gino DeBartolo and Tyler McLees in the running. Miller, who has yet to play a varsity down, has had a great spring. If Bacon stays at safety, I believe either Alex Meier or Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires will likely emerge at Mike linebacker. Fusilier-Jeffires, who is focusing on academics, and Meier, who is recovering from a knee injury, are both better athletes than those who are currently competing at Mike linebacker.
ArmySports.com will review the spring training depth chart once the official version is released.
Army Spring Practice-Black & Gold Scrimmage 2
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