Army: What to watch during summer camp

It's finally here, Army football preseason camp opened this week, the season-opener against Akron is only a month away. Here's to a solid month of practice that prepares our Black Knights for their first 1-0 start since 1996. A lot of what happens in Cleveland on Sept. 2 will be determined during the next month of practice. Here are 10 things to watch during preseason camp.

1. The quarterback chase: Wouldn't it be nice if for one year Army had a clear-cut starter entering camp.

Competition is good and all, but you know the saying, if you have two, three, four quarterbacks, whatever, you really don't have any. Or something like that.

Senior David Pevoto and sophomore Carson Williams will battle for the job. Both had rough years in 2006.

Our pick is Pevoto by a hair. Good luck, David.

2. The running man: That would be freshman running back Pat Mealy, who tore it up at USMA Prep last year. He could end up breaking camp as the starter. His stiffest competition should come from Wesley McMahand.

Our pick is Pat Man. Good luck, kid.

3. Throw the book at them: Stan Brock revealed that he has changed the Army offensive play book. Good call. Although Army won't break it's A stuff for most of camp it will be interesting to see what kind of "wrinkles" offensive coordinator Tim Walsh busts out.

4. Going deep: So, besides Jeremy Trimble, who is Pevoto or Williams going to through the ball to?

That needs to be determined during camp. Leading candidates include Michael Wright and Corey Anderson, who, unfortunately, has been a disappointment during his three-year career. Another player to watch is sophomore speedster Damion Hunter, who could end up being a better version of Anderson.

5. Holding the line: Once again, there are questions on the offensive line. Army lost four starters from last year, but this group is sprinkled with talent, including junior left guard Brandon Cox, our pick to be the stand out up front for Army this season. Give Stan Brock credit for hiring two great offensive line coaches in John Tice, his former NFL teammate, and up-and-comer Saga Tuitele, who followed Walsh from Portland State.

6. Getting a kick: Owen Tolson, who has a 41.1 yard career average, is a great punter. In fact, if he has a great year, he may get an NFL look. But he may end up being the placekicker as well this season.

It probably isn't too much of a load for the tough Tolson, but we hope he can stick to punting. Let's hope Adam DeMarco or Andrew Rinehart can make Brock confident in them.

7. Super safeties: Everyone salivated about the prospect of watching strong safety Caleb Campbell and free safety Jordan Murray work in the secondary together last year.

Too bad they were both hurt and did most of their converging in the trainers' room. But both are back this season and it will be interesting to see how they click during camp.

8. Deep line: Can you see it now: Ted Bentler opens the Akron game with a sack and Victor Ugenyi tallies one on the next play. These two could end up being a dominating 1-2 combo on the defensive line. Throw oft-injured Brandon Thompson into the mix and we may have our own West Point Wrecking Crew. Hopefully, we can come up with a better nickname when the team starts racking up sacks this year.

9. Stan the man: Brock's taking his licks from fans, alumni, some on this board, but now he gets to really show us what he's got. Our old friend Barry GA and whoever else attends practices will be able to tell a lot about Brock from how he runs practices. He was an intense O-line coach and don't expect a difference when Brock's the head man. Brock should get this team going. So let's support him.

10. On the corner: Kevin Opoku is a walk-on and John Laird probably never expected to play much last year.

Not only did they play last year, they held their own, and both got better. They might not be the most highly-touted combo in the secondary, but they are tough and never back down. These two have another month to gain valuable chemistry. It will be interesting to see how they perform as starters, when more is expected of them. We happen to like them.


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