Starter: Geoffrey Bacon #6 Jr.
Back up: Stephen Ricciardi #22 Jr.
Third String: Reggie Nesbit #25 Sr.
The most interesting development on defense this spring was junior Geoffrey Bacon moving from Mike linebacker to free safety. It was an interesting move and Bacon played well this spring at free safety. He has the speed and range to excel at the position. Last year Bacon (136 tackles, 1 interception, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble) had impressive statistics but was inconsistent. He struggled at times with his tackling, angles and finishing plays at linebacker. If Bacon's tackling was more consistent he could have led the nation in tackles. Moving him in space allows him to see the field better and make more plays. Bacon is an impact player even with his occasionally uneven play. Bacon hustles, chases and will make plays. Geoff is the Black Knights most athletic defender regardless of position. He made a number of impressive plays this spring. In one scrimmage he demonstrated his speed by breaking up a deep pass attempt from A.J. Schurr to Chevaughn Lawrence. Bacon nailed Lawrence just as the ball arrived and sent him flying to break up the pass. He was a wide receiver in high school and he has good hands.
Junior Stephen Ricciardi is a former direct admit who earned the backup free safety spot this spring. Ricciardi played well before he was hurt late during spring practice. The injury caused him to miss the Black and Gold spring game. Stephen is a 6-0, 196 pound local product from nearby Harrison, N.Y. He appeared in eight games on special teams last season and recorded a tackle. Riccardi has some ability and runs fairly well. He's a better athlete than I originally thought and is a physical player. Ricciardi will hustle and hits anything that moves. He wants to be in the middle of the action and plays like it.
Reggie Nesbit (6-2, 213) is another former Mike linebacker castoff that has found a role at free safety. Nesbit played in eleven games last year on special teams. He is a senior who was originally tried at Mike linebacker in 2011. Co-defensive coordinator Chris Smeland moved him to safety because he felt Reggie was a better player in space than playing in the box. He serves currently as a utility player who knows his role and understands what's expected of him if called upon. He is a good athlete who never developed despite having above average physical tools.
Alex Waugh (6-0,180) is a direct admit sophomore those father, Bill, attended West Point. Waugh played safety in high school and on the JV team last year. Waugh is a big effort player who is a willing hitter. He's a limited athlete who lacks the ideal speed and range for a free safety in the double eagle flex. Last year's starter Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires was listed on the depth chart under free safety. If Brandon can get back on track academically he'll probably play Mike Linebacker as we discussed in a previous segment.
Army Spring Depth Chart Review: Free Safety
ArmySports.com Top Stories
Head to Head: Army at BuffaloAfter a long trip southwest to take on UTEP, this road game is a much easier travel destination for a Black Knights team looking to continue it's unexpectedly perfect start to the…
ArmySports.comFriday at 10:29 AM
Three Keys: Army at BuffaloIt has been a stunning start to the season for Army who, after just three games, have already surpassed their win total for the entire 2015 season. This Buffalo game is another one…
ArmySports.comThursday at 1:07 PM
Buffalo: First LookMoving to 4-0 for the first time since 1996 will not be easy, but if the Black Knights can get the option rolling in the same way that allowed them to score 66 points at UTEP then…
ArmySports.comWednesday at 3:01 PM
Army Report Card: UTEPIt was the most dominant performance we have seen from the Black Knights in many years and the excitement and buzz around this team is palpable at this point. Here is a look at how…
ArmySports.comTuesday at 2:43 PM
Highlights: Army 66, UTEP 14The Army Black Knights are off to their hottest start in years. On Saturday West Point blasted UTEP 66-14. Look inside for video highlights of the game.