Army Football: 2003 Defensive backfield preview

Here's an early look at the Army defensive backfield position in 2003. With Army using a 4-4 defense, this post will address only the two CB positions and the free safety position. I will address the OLBs, who are cut in the mold of quasi-strong safeties in a future post.

Key Losses:

FS Mario Smith, who had 15 career starts at either CB or FS. Mario played FS in 2002, finishing with 57 tackles and 1 INT.

CB Mike Sezhue, who had 8 career starts as a CB and had 31 tackles in 2002. Mike was a back-up at CB in 2002 and had two starts.

Projected Starters:

FS Lucius Weaver, 6-3, 225, JR. Lucius is a hard hitter and potentially an NFL prospect, cut in the same mold as Tennessee Titans FS rookie, Tank Williams. Lucius had 6 starts in 2003, 3 at FS and 3 at OLB. I am projecting him as the starter at FS next season due to the departure of Smith, as well as the return of both starters at the OLB position. Lucius was 3rd on the team with tackles with 71 and he had 5 TFLs and 1 sack in 2002. He has a nose for the football, as his brother Lyle did a few seasons back. Look for Lucius to be one of the best players on Army's defense in 2003.

CB Jonathan Lewis, 5-11, 195, JR. Lonathan started 11 games in 2002 and has 14 career starts in his first two seasons at Army. A fast, athletic, DB with good size, he can play man coverage against most receivers allowing the defensive coordinator more options. With two seasons of experience under his belt, look for this rising JR to be an impact player in 2003. He finished 2002 with 1 INT and 47 tackles.

CB Delante Brewer, 5-11, 190, JR. Delante is the other half of Army's athletic tandem of returning starting CBs. Delante started 11 games in 2002 and finished with 2 INTs and 55 tackles. He is as quick as any DB Army has had in recent memory, and his two years of experience will certainly give Army an athletic, veteran group in the defensive backfield in 2003.

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The Next Group:

FS Seth Gulsby, 6-1, 190 SO. Seth is a great athlete who had alot of playing time in 2002 as a plebe. He had 10 game appearances and also had 7 kickoff returns. He will be a solid reserve in 2002 at FS, and he will clearly provide depth and athleticism to the FS position.

CB Emiko Terry, 5-10 185 SR. The Army backfield could experience a significant boost in depth with the return of Emiko Terry in 2003. Emiko was a key contributor in both 2000 and 2001 as either a starter or reserve at CB. His return to the team after concentrating on academics in 2002 will mitigate the graduation losses of Smith and Sezhue, and bolster the d-backfield's depth and experience.

CB Mario Price, 5-10 180 SO. Mario is a very fast DB who held down a 2nd spot on the depth chart throughout his plebe year. He appeared in all 12 games and also returned 7 kickoffs for 108 yards. Mark him as a future starter in the Army d-backfield.

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Others in the mix:

CB Ray Stith, 5-8 175 SO. Ray played in 6 games in 2002. Look for his playing time to increase in 2003.

CB Dhyan Tarver, 5-10 170 SO. Dhyan is an extremely speedy DB who appeared in 9 games in 2002. This athletic plebe will provide quality depth in 2003 and will likely start in the DB in the years ahead.

CB Scott Eden, 5-10, 190 JR. Scott has been on the three deep at times during his career and will be ready for a larger role if needed in 2003.

CB Andrew Wilcox, 6-0, 185 SO. Andrew will be looking to make an impact in 2003. Look for him to perhaps be a special teams player in 2003 and a quality veteran before he finishes his Academy career in 2005.

CB Rob Davis, 6-0, 175 SO. Rob provides the coaching staff with speed and athleticism to draw from. He'll be looking to make an impression in 2003.

Overall Assessment: This unit should be better overall in 2003 with the added experience of 3 junior starters, each having 2 letters under their belt and previous starting experience. The return of Emiko Terry, and the maturation of a number of plebe prospects, will provide this unit with some quality depth and back-up speed. 2003 could be the first year in ahwhile that Army fans can get truly excited about the talent, depth, and most importantly, the experience of a returning defensive backfield group.


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