Graduating corner Mario Hill did a good job in the role last year. Replacing him is the biggest question on the defense.
Army received good news when it was announced that Richard King is rejoining the team after sitting out last year due to a concussion. In 2008 as a backup King showed good speed and a knack for making plays with an interception and a sack. Josh Jackson who played well as a backup last year looks to be the main competition along with King.
5. Who are the wide receivers?
With the graduation of the world's tallest wide receiver, Ali Villanueva, along with Damon Hunter, Army needs to find two new wide receivers. This competition is probably the most wide-open position on the team.
Davyd Brooks at 6-3, 200 has the size that Ian Shields likes in his receivers. Plebe George Jordan has the most upside but needs to get a better handle on the offense. Austin Barr has nice size but needs to improve his blocking if he hopes to start. High school track star Brian Austin spent last year on the JV squad and will get the chance this spring to show what he can do.
The blocking by the receivers must improve. The perimeter blocking was very inconsistent last year. Coming into last year most Army fans thought they would have a big advantage on the perimeter with Villanueva against smaller cornerbacks. That advantage didn't often materialize as Ali struggled blocking in space. This is why I believe with the depth at slot back that Jameson Carter will be eventually moved back to wide receiver. His ability to cut block on the move is needed here.
6. Build Depth while regaining Health.
With Army's two best defensive players Josh Mc Nary and Stephen Anderson out this spring and recovering from surgery it will be interesting to see who develops in their absence.
Jarrett Mackey should see the most snaps at quick end this spring. It is the most important position in the Flex and is designed to feature the best pass rusher. Mackey has the size and speed needed to flourish in the position. Shola Mustapha, who played well on the JV team, should also push for some playing time.
At Mike linebacker, Kyler Martin took most of the snaps after Anderson's injury. The converted former wide receiver showed good speed but also took some bad angles, most noticeably in his first start against VMI. Expect seniors to be Bill Prosko, Andre Shinda and converted fullback Ehie to also compete for playing time.
The great thing about spring practice is to see who will emerge and move up the depth chart. Last year it was Andrew Rodriguez who developed into a terrific whip linebacker. On February 17 the 2010 Army football team will begin to take shape. ArmySports.com, your source for Army sports, will be there to cover all the action.
Six questions for Army spring practice (4-6)
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