Navy Spring Practice Update: Week 2

Navy continues its spring practice this past week as it prepares for the 2011 football season. A number of interesting battles have emerged with players moving on the depth chart. The Mids played their first full scale scrimmage of the spring this past Saturday.

In the battle for backup quarterback both sophomores Trey Miller and Jarvis Cummings played well. Miller played with both the first and second teams. Miller carried the ball 18 times for 82 yards and scored two touchdowns. Miller was effective throwing the ball as he completed 4-of-5 pass attempts for 41 yards. Miller moved the team all day. Trey showed his mobility as he avoided a few defenders on a couple of pass attempts. Miller fumbled once but was impressive. Jarvis Cummings, who backed up Miller at the prep school in 2009, also played well.

Sophomore quarterback D.J. Sargenti also attended the prep school in 2009 but played outside linebacker because of the talent in front of him. Sargenti has the best arm among the sophomore quarterbacks and saw time at quarterback on Saturday as did Andrew Nerup. Nerup, who ran the option in high school, was another member of the talented 2009 prep school quarterback class.

Interestingly, the one quarterback that isn't battling for position on the depth chart, starter Kriss Proctor is the one who struggled. Proctor, who wore a green no contact jersey, led the first team offense to only a touchdown and field goal on seven drives. Proctor struggled passing the ball as he completed just 4-of-13 passes for 58 yards. Questions about Proctor's throwing accurately remain a concern for many Navy football fans.

New captain and star "B" Back Alexander Teich is being held out of spring practice after having surgery on his left shoulder during the off season. Teich ran for 863yards and scored five touchdowns last season. His leaping touchdown dive into the end zone against Notre Dame will be an all-time Navy highlight. For the first time in years Navy doesn't have an established backup fullback to split time with Teich. In the backup battle last year's third string fullback senior Delvin Diggs rushed for 32 yards on eight carries. Junior Kevin Eckel, the brother of former Navy star fullback Kyle, was also impressive. Eckel ran for 39 on just five carries.

At wide receiver senior Doug Furman and junior John O' Boyle both had two catches. The most impressive wide receiver was sophomore Matt Aiken who showed his speed rushing for 62 yards on two reverses. Aiken didn't have any official catches last year because two big plays he generated were returned due to holding penalties. Matt Aiken was the best receiver on the Naval Academy Prep school team in 2009, leading the prep team in both catches and touchdowns. Against Army prep he dominated catching three touchdown passes. He caught a 36-yard touchdown pass against the Navy JV. Aiken is an excellent athlete who was a second team All-State performer at Hidden Valley high school in Virginia his senior year. He has excellent acceleration in and out of his cuts and knows how to get open, adjust to the ball in the air and catch the ball cleanly.

Head coach Ken Niumatalolo said of Aiken, "I'm really excited about Aiken, he's been solid," said Niumatalolo, "He's blocked well and has done some nice things."

On defense junior linebacker John Michael Nurthern led the scrimmage with eight tackles. Senior Eric Stein, a former safety who was moved to outside linebacker last year, had a nice scrimmage. Stein had six tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and a pass break-up.

Junior linebacker Garrett Sherwood, senior cornerback Gary Myers, a converted wide receiver and inside linebacker Caleb King all had five tackles each.. Defensive end Josh Dowling- Fitzpatrick showed his athleticism with four tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and a pass break-up.

This week Navy is scheduled to practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday then scrimmage again at Rip Miller Field on Saturday.

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