C-USA Army Football Preview: Secondary

With the exception of the offensive line, Army's defensive secondary rates as the squad's most game-tested unit. Two of the most experienced members of that group—senior cornerbacks Jonathan Lewis and Delente Brewer—return for their final go-around. Both have held significant roles within Army's defensive package since their freshman seasons and both will be counted on heavily to buoy the Black Knights' back line this fall.

While Lewis played cornerback in high school, Brewer arrived at the Academy as a quarterback before quickly converting to defense. The duo has combined for 43 game starts, with Brewer carrying a 17-game starting string into his final campaign.

A dependable "play-maker," Brewer listed eighth among team leaders in tackles last fall (58) and registered five pass breakups and two interceptions. Lewis struggled through an inconsistent junior season after he appeared on the verge of stardom the previous year. Both seem poised for standout senior showings.

Waiting in the wings should either falter is speedy junior Ray Stith, who supplanted Lewis in the lead cast early last season. Stith is a tough competitor who craves contact. He boasts excellent field sense and tremendous situational awareness. He should receive a lion's share of snaps in either a starting or reserve capacity.

"Brewer, Lewis and Stith all had good springs," Ross mentions. "I think they can be very strong if they play with discipline."

Twin brothers Chris and Sean Grevious will continue to gain valuable seasoning behind the lead trio. Both sophomores are blessed with great natural ability and are primed for future starting roles.

"Both of the Grevious brothers are developing well," Ross says. "In time, they will be solid players. They could see spot duty on defense and fill special teams roles this season."

Army will feature a four-deep look within Ross' new defensive scheme, with a strong safety melded into the Black Knights' mix.

Hard-nosed senior Curt Daniels enters preseason camp as the top choice at the position after starting all 13 games at an outside linebacker spot last fall. A fiery competitor with a propensity to deliver the big hit, Daniels ranked seventh among team tackle leaders last fall with 67 stops and has transitioned nicely to his new surroundings at strong safety. He is a steady performer that will be counted on to provide veteran leadership. Junior Chuck Wilke and sophomore Luke Pell fill slots behind Daniels on the depth chart.

Junior Dhyan Tarver returns to his starting role at free safety following an impressive spring showing. Tarver boasts an exciting blend of speed and toughness and emerged as an impact player last fall when he listed fourth on the squad with 97 tackles. He will be supported by junior Rob Davis and fast-rising sophomore Bryan Vavruska. Davis split time this spring with Army's baseball team, but remains a proven hitter who pursues the ball with a passion. Vavruska brings excellent size to Army's back line and could emerge as a useful component in the Black Knights' revamped stop scheme.

"I like the talent we have at the safety positions," Ross says. "Curt Daniels is a solid player at free safety and Dhyan Tarver is excellent at free. I think we have some flexibility with Rob Davis, who can handle a couple of different positions. Bryan Vavruska put forth a strong spring and could factor in before long."


ArmySports.com Top Stories