Scouting Report: Army's David Pevoto

WEST POINT- Quarterback David Pevoto could be the most important player on the field for Army this fall. Check that. Pevoto will be the most important player. The Black Knights' success hinges on his right arm. If Pevoto's good, Army makes a run at .500. If not, coach Bobby Ross' rebuilding process could take a step back.

David Pevoto, a junior, impressed Ross with his development during spring practices. But the real test comes on Sept. 2 when the Black Knights open the 2006 season at Arkansas State. What should Army fans expect from the inexperienced Pevoto? Here is a scouting report:

Arm strength/accuracy: One of the keys to Pevoto's success this spring was his improved accuracy. Wide receivers became confident that he would hit them when open. Chalk that up to the fact that Pevoto threw passes every day during the offseason. Arm strength has never been an issue with him and he figures to get even stronger.

Experience: This is the big question mark surrounding Pevoto. He played in just one game last year, during the fourth quarter of a 47-13 loss to Connecticut. Pevoto completed 6-of-12 passes for 68 yards, with an interception that Anthony Rouzier returned 51 yards for a touchdown. Don't be surprised if Pevoto takes a few games to settle in. There is no shame in that. But the question remains: Can Pevoto's teammates pick him up if necessary?

Pocket presence: One of the knocks on Pevoto's predecessor, Zac Dahman, was that he was too short (6-foot) to see down the field. That shouldn't be the case with the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Pevoto. His broad chest, big shoulders and chiseled biceps make him a dead-ringer for a player top 25 schools would recruit. Pevoto's decision making has improved. Let's hope he keeps it together when Arkansas State unleashes its first rush.

Running ability: Pevoto's legs won't make anyone at West Point forget about Ronnie McAda. However, Pevoto is athletic and pretty mobile. Expect him not to hesitate to make a dash for a first down. Pevoto is somewhat evasive. He has run the option in practices and that seems like a work in progress.

Toughness: Check back when Pevoto takes his first hit. But seriously, you would think with his frame, he could take a good hit. There is another toughness relevant here: Mental toughness. Ross has gone out of his way to try to rattle Pevoto by getting in his face and yelling at him during drills the past two years. The kid hasn't flinched yet. Let's hope he is just as cool in South Bend against Notre Dame.

Analysis: Pevoto is confident, focused and doesn't make excuses. His teammates believe in him. He will only get better. Still, the prediction here is that he gets off to a slow start in 2006. Not a terrible one. Not one that puts Army in too deep a hole to win games early.

The future: Ross is Pevoto's guy. But Army fans, and even Ross, are excited about incoming freshman quarterback Carson Williams of Cullman (Ala.). Williams is 6-5 and turned down full scholarship offers from N.C. State, Vanderbilt and Arkansas to attend the Academy. It's unlikely a freshman, let alone one at West Point, could make a run at the starting job. But maybe Ross throws him into the mix to compete next year. A lot will depend on Pevoto's play.


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