Army Incoming: Defensive Tackles, pt 1

ArmySports.com turns to the new plebes on defense as it continues to review this year's incoming freshman class by position. The interior of the Black Knights defensive line has been a glaring weakness the last two years. All of Stan Brock's top defensive line recruits and Ellerson's best defensive line recruits from 2009-2010 left the prep program or West Point.

ArmySports.com turns to the new plebes on defense as it continues to review this year's incoming freshman class by position. The interior of the Black Knights defensive line has been a glaring weakness the last two years. All of Stan Brock's top defensive line recruits and Ellerson's best defensive line recruits from 2009-2010 left the prep program or West Point. The results have been predictable as last year the Black Knights defense over allowed 5.5 rushing yards per carry and 35 rushing touchdowns. This year the team should benefit from Ammon Tuimaunei, a potential impact player, arriving from the prep school. ArmySports.com will now look at the incoming defensive tackles.

Army has been able to successfully target some legitimate Division I talent that had fallen off other programs recruiting radar due to injuries over the last two seasons. One such player is Ammon Tuimaunei. He was a two-way lineman from Wilsonville high school in Oregon where he earned all-league honors. The powerfully built 6-2, 275 pound lineman was recruited by Utah, Arizona State and Fresno State until he broke his foot midway through his senior year. It opened the door for Army to land him.

Ammon Tuimaunei dominated at defensive tackle for the United States Military Academy Prep School last fall. In the opener he overpowered Kings College JV interior line as he recorded two sacks and helped the defense record a shutout. Against RPI JV he posted a sack and collapsed the pocket the entire game. In the game against traditional prep powerhouse Milford Academy he showed what he could do against better competition. Tuimaunei made five tackles, recorded a sack for an eight yard loss and had a quarterback pressure. In the game against Valley Forge he helped the defense shutdown their attack. Ammon was involved on four tackles and made a bone crushing sack. Tuimaunei's most impressive game was against the Naval Academy Prep School. He dominated as he made six tackles all at or behind the line of scrimmage. He had a sack and quarterback hurry despite the fact NAPS threw only nine passes all game. His four tackles behind the line of scrimmage combined for a loss of 26 yards.

Tuimaunei looks and plays like an FBS defensive tackle. He is an excellent athlete with natural strength. He is quick off the ball and possesses good up-field speed for a defensive tackle. He is powerful, plays with leverage and overpowered some of his opposition including the NAPS guard, Nate Hoff, who signed with Indiana after the season. Many of his sacks came off pure bull rush moves. He moves very well for a big man. Ammon was a terrific player against the run last year at USMAPS. At 275 pounds he can hold the point of attack and does a nice job of coming off blocks and finding the ball. He is intense, tough and can make plays. Tuimaunei is easily the best defensive lineman that Rich Ellerson has recruited at Army. If he stays healthy he should impact the two deep immediately and may end up a starter as a plebe. Army's defense really needs him to be an impact player early in his career.


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