Army spring review: Nose Tackle

Army recently completed its first spring practice under new head coach Jeff Monken. ArmySports.com will now review every position, listing the starter, backup and third string player. In this edition we look at the nose tackles.

NOSE TACKLE

Starter: Richard Glover Sr.
Back up: T.J. Atimalala Jr.
Third String: Ammon Tuimaunei So.
Senior nose guard Richard Glover impressed the new staff this spring. Glover (34 tackles, 5 TFL Sack, QBH, FR) did a better job last season splitting blockers to make more plays. In 2013 he played in twelve games at defensive tackle and started ten games. Richard has some quickness, good leg drive off the snap and can at times get under and into an offensive lineman quickly. The problem for Glover was that he is barely six feet tall and weighs just 247 pounds. He often has trouble getting off blocks if he can't beat the opposing offensive lineman off the snap of the ball. Glover's size, along with his lack of height and shorter arms, put him at a disadvantage if bigger opposing offensive linemen can get their hands on him and extend their arms. Glover struggles to hold the point against these bigger offensive linemen.

Junior Tala "T.J." Atimalala (5-11, 259) remains as the backup nose guard. Last fall Atimalala started the opener but lost his job. He had a very disappointing season posting just four tackles during his sophomore season despite receiving regular reps. Atimalala played in every game but didn't record a tackle in the last five contests. He didn't improve at all over his plebe year. Atimalala has a pretty good first step and is strong but is short and needs to use his quickness to avoid being neutralized by taller and heavier opposing offensive linemen. T.J. needs to play better when called upon than he did last year. He made three tackles, including one for a loss, for the Black team in the Black & Gold Spring game.

The third string nose tackle is promising sophomore Ammon Tuimaunei. He was dominating at times as a defensive tackle at United States Military Academy Prep School in 2012. Tuimaunei struggled physically after Beast Barack last fall and appeared in only one varsity game. He has a nice upside to his game. At 6-0, 278 pounds Tuimaunei looks more like an FBS defensive tackle than those ahead of him. He is a good athlete with natural strength. He is still very raw with most of his sacks at NAPS coming off pure bull rush moves. He moves well for a big man and I thought he'd make an impact as a plebe. He didn't but I do believe he has the talent and size to eventually develop into a quality starter. Tuimaunei was recruited by Utah, Arizona State and Fresno State until he broke his foot midway through his high school senior year. It opened the door for Army to land him.

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