Army spring review: 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 tackles.

TACKLE

Starter: Joe Drummond Sr.
Back up: Jordan Smith So.
Not Listed: Bobby Kough Sr.
Senior Joe Drummond (6-2, 235) impressed Jeff Monken and the new staff this spring with his athleticism. He played well and was in on three tackles during the Black & Gold game. This has been an annual event for Drummond, a former direct admit, to look good in the spring but not carry it over to the fall. Drummond (16 tackles, sack in 2013) saw his playing time decrease as last season played out. He has appeared in 20 games and started three during his career. Joe is very smart, athletic but has struggled to get off blocks, stay healthy and failed to react quickly to ball carriers. This is last chance to play up to his ability. He's looked good up front in the new 3-4 scheme despite not being very big.

Sophomore Jordan Smith (6-2, 235) made a late run up the depth chart this spring to earn the backup job. He made two tackles for losses for the Black team in the spring game. Smith appeared on the JV team last fall. I saw Jordan play both sides of the ball in 2012 at the United States Military Academy Prep School. He was the starting offensive left tackle and was rotated in on defense at defensive tackle. Smith is a very intense, fiery player who goes all out every play. He is the ultimate competitor who will battle every down. He's a solid player who moves well and plays hard. He's not a great natural athlete but he is a warrior. He isn't very big and can be overpowered if he fails to slip a block.

It was surprising that senior Bobby Kough (6-3, 239) wasn't listed on the post spring depth chart. He missed sometime this spring but was in on two tackles in the spring game. He was outplayed this spring and didn't adapt very well to the new 3-4 system. He has started 23 games in his career. Kough (33 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks) struggled with nagging injuries during much of last season and missed the Temple game. He had very rough games against Boston College and Ball State. In the finale he had his best game as he outplayed Navy tackle Joey Gaston. He was one of the few Army players to have a good game against Navy despite having a costly penalty. Bobby can help this team if he's healthy. His being dropped from the depth chart may be a motivational ploy by Monken to send a message or it may be that the new system is a bad fit for his game. We'll find out this summer.

The player to watch this fall will probably be the defensive tackle who competed last fall at the United States Military Academy Prep School. He is very talented and offers the athleticism the position needs plus size against the run. We'll discuss him and the entire class of incoming new recruits in the ArmySports.com scouting reports after R-day.

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