Mike Viti's role to be expanded

Whatever it takes. Bruising fullback Mike Viti will do whatever it takes to help the Army football team. We know that from watching this hard-charger the last few years. Viti's sacrificed his body, made dozens of punishing blocks and this season is expected to be even a bigger part of the offense.

Let's get something straight. Viti and his bloody knuckles approach is the heart and soul of his offense. This year, he's just expected to get the ball more in offensive coordinator Tim Walsh's new offense.

Expect him to get a few more carries and ram it down the opponents' throat.

Expect him to get a few more screen passes and ram it down the opponents' throat.

Army fans caught a glimpse of what Viti can do with the ball last season. Games that come to mind are Texas A&M and Navy. In the Navy game, Viti helped the Black Knights gain the early momentum, and it seemed that the Midshipmen were caught off guard.

Viti, playing on two surgically repaired knees, finished with 57 hard-fought yards on 15 carries in a 26-14 loss. Having him in the fold should help Army's running game, especially since the Black Knights could start a freshman, Pat Mealy, at tailback. As we all know, whoever gets the nod at quarterback, Carson Williams or David Pevoto, will benefit from a strong running game. Viti is of the most respected players in the Army program. How could you not respect a guy who, pretty much, plays in pain every game. Despite playing with chronically aching knees and other injuries, Viti started all 12 games for Army last year.

He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery 10 days prior to the season opener against Arkansas State, but still played in the game.

Viti was recently named Third Regimental Commander within the U.S. Corps of Cadets, one of the highest leadership positions in the cadet chain of command. He was named a team captain before this season and, last year, was awarded the prestigious Black Lion Award.

The Black Lion Award is presented in memory of former Army football great Don Holleder, who was killed in combat in Vietnam on Oct. 17, 1967, and the soldiers of the 28th Infantry Regiment, who also perished that day. Holleder was an All-American end as a junior at West Point in 1954 and appeared headed for an even more successful senior season.

But legendary Army coach Red Blaik asked Holleder to play quarterback as a senior, a new position. Holleder led Army to a 14-6 upset win over Navy that season.

Viti hopes to lead Army to a win over Navy this season and if anyone can lead the way it's him.

Extra points: Akron, Army's season-opening opponent, began preseason camp on Aug. 6. Said Akron coach J.D. Brookhart after the workout: "It was exciting and fun to get out there. It was also good to see the new kids out there playing. The first unit on defense moved around well and showed their experience. The inexperience showed at quarterback and along the offensive line. However, there was good enthusiasm. The kids were really into it." The Black Knights play Akron on Sept. 2 in Cleveland. Here are some more details about Viti being named Third Regimental Commander: Under the supervision of the regimental tactical officer (RTO) and brigade commander, the regimental commander directs the regiment. The regimental commander supervises the regimental executive officer and command sergeant major (CSM). He or she is responsible to the RTO and the brigade commander for the overall performance of the regiment. The regimental commander exercises this responsibility through subordinate commanders, and other members of the cadet chain of command and staff members to include cadet noncommissioned officers. As one of four regimental commanders, Viti will supervise two battalions and eight companies of cadets. Some of his duties will be to provide the principal formal and informal, two-way communications link between the RTO and the cadets assigned to the regiment; he will also be responsible for providing clarification of the RTO's and brigade commander's policies, providing guidance for their implementation as appropriate, and monitoring the performance of subordinate units; as well as establishing specific goals and objectives for the academic year to give direction to the regiment, while providing resources necessary to meet the established goals and objectives; he will inspect as required to determine the state of appearance, discipline, morale, maintenance, training, and administrative and logistical support of the regiment and provide feedback to the RTO and the cadet chain of command, as required; and provide guidance for the supervision and coordination of the regimental staff, while monitoring staff performance through the regimental executive officer.


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