Army's Rockwood to lead linebackers

He's always been a good player, but Charlie Rockwood is the man at linebacker for Army now. The graduation of Cason Shrode and Barrett Scruggs leaves Rockwood, a senior, as Army's only returning starter. This fall is Rockwood's time to shine and Army fans can expect him to do just that.

This from a guy who wasn't even recruited by Army as a senior at Fredricksburg (Texas) High. Army coaches spotted Rockwood in 2003 on a highlight tape. But here's the thing: The video sent to West Point was of another player from Fredricksburg High.

Army liked Rockwood, so Fredricksburg coach Dean Herbort sent the staff a Rockwood tape without him knowing. Rockwood later visited the Academy and verbally committed before he returned home. He never even expected to play college football, let alone for the Black Knights on the Division I-A level. Rockwood, who played safety in high school, entered spring drills second on the depth chart behind Luke Pell in 2005, but won the job.

Rockwood was off to a great start in 2005. However, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first quarter against Iowa State. There was no contact on the play – Rockwood injured himself planting his leg on the Michie Stadium turf.

It was a tough blow.

Rockwood came back last year, but didn't hit full stride until late in the year when he really came on. He finished the year with 43 tackles and two sacks. Rockwood, who is 6-foot-4 221 pounds, is expected to be one of the leading men on Army's defense this season.

There are other studs: Strong safety Caleb Campbell, free safety Jordan Murray and defensive end Victor Ugenyi. But Rockwood, a strong-side linebacker, will be the leader at linebacker as the two other positions are open. Sophomore Arlance Jenkins and junior Brian Chmura are expected to battle for Shrode's spot at middle linebacker. Sophomores Frank Scappaticci and John Plumstead will square off for Scrugss' spot at weakside linebacker.

All four are talented players amd should be all right, as long as they follow Rockwood's lead.


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