Check it out: Spring camp tour

Army's spring practices are underway and the Black Knights are making some big time progress. We've had our eyes on the Black Knights, but now it's time to take a look at what's going on in the spring camps of some of their 2009 opponents. More to come on other teams soon. Go Army!

Duke: About this time of the year, most people in Durham are thinking about hoops. But there is reason to get excited about the improving football team.

The Blue Devils opened practice on March 17. Head coach David Cutcliffe, who mentored Eli and Peyton Manning, has made some position changes. Senior Zack Asack moves from quarterback to safety, Brandon Harper goes from defensive tackle to offensive guard, and Jeremy Ringfield shifts from receiver to defensive end. Asack once held the starting role at quarterback for the Blue Devils.

Duke had four wins last year after winning four total games the previous four years.

Temple: There is a familar and talented face in camp for Temple. Running back Daryl Robinson, a threat as a runner and receiver, returns to Philadelphia after a stint at West Hills Community College in Northern California.

A solid recruit, Robinson saw playing time as a freshman for the Owls. But he reportedly didn't get along with Temple coach Al Golden. Looks like the fence has been mended.

Vanderbilt: This is a big spring for the Commodores. The big question at Vandy: Can the Commodores build off of last year's historic season?

2008 served as Vandy's first winning season in 26 years and first bowl win in 53 seasons. The Commodores begin spring practice with 19 of 24 starters returning from the 2008 squad that capped a 7-6 campaign with a 16-14 win over Boston College in the Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve.

Ball State: Opens spring practice on Friday. The Cardinals put up a perfect 12-0 regular season a year ago, won the Mid-American Conference West Division Championship and went to a second straight bowl game.

One of Ball State first-year head coach Stan Parrish's biggest tasks is replacing star quarterback Nate Davis, now in the NFL.

Said Parrish of the quarterback situation: "We have to get that position taken care of right away. We will have an open competition at that spot, as we will in a lot of spots this spring. Kelly Page will have the chance to win the quarterback starting position. He has earned that right with how he handled himself in his redshirt season in 2008. Tanner Justice has been a part of our program for a while now, and he has got to be a coach on the field and in the film room. He knows the system better than the other guys and he will need to teach them by example. Aaron Mershman is a student-athlete who began at Ball State in January and is here and ready to go. This will be an important spring for him. We have to find out what they can do, and what we have in our system that works for them. Our system has a lot of choices in it, and like every year, we will had some new wrinkles. We have two quarterbacks who are very young in the system and one who has been around a little while. None of them have very much game experience, but I fully expect these guys to be ready by opening night."

Navy: Junior Ricky Dobbs, who was impressive last year, is the projected starter at quarterback for the Midshipmen. Of course, the quarterback is the poster boy for Navy's vaunted triple option attack.

"It's Ricky's job to lose, because we've seen what Ricky can do and he's been in real games," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "He's performed well under pressure. I really like what I've seen from our young quarterbacks. Kriss Proctor, Mike Stukel, Kameron Smith and Brian Blick have all worked really hard in the offseason and they know the back-up job is up for grabs and I'm sure some of them are thinking they can compete against Ricky. I have been very excited to see how they've competed in the off-season."


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