Army's Gann Battles for Starting Position

Football games are won and lost in the trenches and Army head coach Rich Ellerson, who invented the very successful Desert Swarm defense, knows the importance of good defensive linemen. One Army player whose name you might be hearing more in the fall is senior defensive tackle Mike Gann.

Things were finally coming together for Mike Gann, after playing sparingly as a sophomore, he had moved into the starting lineup going into the 2008 season. Football was going well; in the first three games of the season he tallied 1.5 tackles for losses, including a quarterback sack against New Hampshire. However, football is a viscous sport and during the Akron game the Roswell, Ga. native suffered a season ending knee injury.

Gann, who doesn't know the meaning of the word quit, worked hard to make a comeback. However, it can be hard coming back from an injury. Players typically fall behind in their fitness and conditioning when injured. Gann took it personally when new Army head coach Rich Ellerson mentioned that Gann had just performed "okay" during his teams off-season workout program. Gann took notice of the coach's comments and made a concerted effort to work his way back into the starting lineup.

By the end of the spring there he was, listed as a co-number right defensive tackle on the post spring depth chart along with sophomore Chris Swain. Ellerson was impressed by Gann's drive and determination and commented that, "He went out and did something about it and went from zero to 60. As he got comfortable, a little more confident where his legs were and with his health, and bought into what we were trying to do up front, he really asserted himself."

Gann, one of the many pieces to Army's puzzle of success, will provide capable talent on the Black Knight's defensive line. Along with fellow linemen Victor Ugenyi, Broghan Carnes, Fritz Bentler, Kyle Bates and Swain, look for Army to be solid up front defensively.

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