Thursday brought some troubling news for fans of the Black Knights. Aaron Kemper, the leading rushing for Army last fall, will not be returning to the team in 2016.
The news was first reported by the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record and read as follows:
Fullback Aaron Kemper, Army’s top rusher in 2015, has been removed from the team due to an academic honor code violation, according to sources.
Army athletic communications confirmed Kemper is no longer on the team but declined comment on the senior’s dismissal.
Kemper led Army with 544 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns, the most by an Army running back, in 2015. The 5-foot-6, 210-pound Cincinnati native recorded two 100-yard games against Eastern Michigan and Rice in a three-game stretch.
This is an interesting loss for the Black Knights and one the coaching staff cannot be happy about. Kemper is a player the team looked set to be leaning heavily on, especially after he ran for 56-yards and a touchdown during the spring game. Post-spring practice though he was passed by sophomores Andy Davidson and Cole Macek on the depth chart, despite the fact both are linebackers converting to the fullback position. With that in mind, it is probably safe to say that the administration had an inkling that this news was going to be coming.
Still, it is always a problem when you lose a senior that has been productive. The key to this triple-option attack is the fullback position and with Davidson and Macek the Black Knights are opting for bigger bodies to pound the ball inside with. Even if Kemper was not figuring much in the rotation, his experience and ability to help the two players converting to his position would have been beneficial. His blocking presence would also have been huge for Army on obvious passing downs.
As it is the Black Knights will find themselves with an incredibly young quarterback/fullback combination when the season opens at Temple on September 2.