Army Football Spring Update

It has been a most interesting off season for the Black Knights. In February, the coaching staff took their long awaited retreat to form their new offense. In March, they successfully recruited Paul Macintosh, a 3-star/Mr. Football/spread option quarterback from Indiana.

Later in March, the Superintendent told the alumni at the various Founders' Day Events that Army won 75% of the recruiting battles against Air Force and Navy. Stan Brock then paid a visit to Jim Young, the coach who brought the wishbone to West Point in 1984. In April spring practice was held in the Bill Foley Center, but closed to outsiders (including Ridge Nelson and the Dalai Lommer). At the end of spring practice there was a defensive scrimmage so as to not tip off the Temple Owls what they will see on August 30th. Finally, Caleb Campbell was drafted in the 7th round of the NFL draft. Owen Tolson (Punter) and Mike Viti (Fullback) were signed as free agents. A lot has been happening for a 3-9 football team.

Offense:

There has been a lot of speculation about the wishbone returning to West Point. We believe that what will emerge is the spread option – which is an updated wishbone that allows the quarterback to read the defense 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage rather than following the linebacker at the line of scrimmage. We think that this can allow teams, that can successfully run it, the ability to compete with larger BCS teams. This is the offense that Tim Walsh used at Portland State and what the prep school team ran the past year. It also is the offense that Paul Macintosh ran during his high school career.

Putting it all together – we do not feel that Army could get the new offense working against their own first string defense. That's why they didn't "unveil" it against their first string defense. These last two years, you'll recall that they played first string vs. first-string head to head, and it resulted in embarrassing one-sided fiascos in favor of the defense (which was never to be confused with the Steel Curtain!). Considering that the talent level on defense is actually pretty good, they obviously did not want a confidence killing repeat of the last two spring games.

Our best guess is that they know this new offense is not going to work until one or more of their new recruits hit campus. And that probably means they need Macintosh to arrive and take over as the QB, and at least one of the RB's to arrive. We don't think there's going to be any real "unveiling" until then, because the coaches don't want to be judged publicly, based on the offensive talent they currently have on their roster.

Recruiting

Army successfully recruited 2 three star and 47 two star recruits this winter. Of all the great athletes that came to Army in the 80s and 90s, none were ever of this rating. Additionally, Army reported that they won 25 of 35 recruiting battles against Air Force and Navy. This says a lot about Brock and his staff's ability to recruit scholar athletes. Neither Sutton, Barry nor Ross had that type of success against the academies. This success translates directly to the football field.

Army Football Factory

Army had three players sign professional contracts with NFL teams. Caleb Campbell was drafted in the 7th round, while Mike Viti and Owen Tolson were free agent pick-ups. This has certainly stirred a lot of controversy on ESPN and the rest of the sports channels. It seems that the commentators who would never talk about Army football, now have an opinion. The ESPN pole that we participated in showed that 52% felt than Caleb Campbell should serve his obligation rather than play in the NFL. We feel that this carrot needs to be extended to the recruits. If they are able to make an NFL team, we will root for them on Sundays – if not, they will join our brothers on the battlefield. Anyone who does not understand this does not appreciate the recruiting difficulties and modern football. The style of offense will not make nearly as much impact on the success of the program as the caliber of athlete. You can't teach size or speed and those are two fairly important attributes in college football.

Finally, the slate of bowl games has now reached 34. Some of the pre-Christmas match-ups will feature teams that you would not have bothered watching on the Thursday Night ESPN game. An Academy team with 6 wins should make one of these games. A new offense, new blue chip recruits, NFL signers and more bowl games – let's hope and pray for a great 2008. GO ARMY!


ArmySports.com Top Stories