Fullback- B back
Starter: Alexander Teich #39 Sr.
Back up: Prentice Christian #25 Jr.
Third String: Delvin Diggs #37 Sr.
Player to Watch: Kevin Eckel #32 Jr.
Senior captain and star "B" Back Alexander Teich was held out of spring practice after having surgery on his left shoulder during the off season. His spot in the starting lineup in secure. Teich is a terrific player who combines power and speed with a tremendous work ethic. Last year he ran for 863 yards and scored five touchdowns. Teich became the first Navy fullback in history to rush for over 200 yards (210 VS ND) in a game last season.
For the first time in years Navy will enter a season without a proven backup fullback. Junior
Prentice Christian won the backup job but hasn't carried the ball in a regular season game during his Navy career. Christian (5-11, 190) is very strong and runs a 4.5 forty-yard dash.
Christian's most productive moments came during the week three scrimmage when he rushed for 37 yards on six carries.
Senior Delvin Diggs is even with Kevin Eckel in the battle to be third string B back. Diggs knows his assignments but lacks run skills and doesn't break many tackles.
Junior Kevin Eckel, the brother of former Navy star fullback Kyle, ran hard all spring and led the Blue with 39 yards rushing on 11 carries in the Blue-Gold game. Eckel needs to improve his blocking if he hopes to move up depth chart.
Player to Watch: Michael Patrick #24 So.
Navy has outstanding depth at slotback. Despite missing the spring game, Gee Gee Greene and Aaron Santiago are firmly entrenched as starters. Greene was out with a sore shoulder. Greene had an excellent sophomore campaign rushing for 492 yards and five touchdowns. He has great hands and caught 18 passes for 286 yards. Green possesses outstanding speed, acceleration and a darting running style that makes him the Mids' best slotback.
Aaron Santiago was held out of spring practice with a minor leg injury. Santiago also battled the injury bug early last season when he was limited by a hamstring injury. After regaining his health Santiago's speed and pass catching ability have made a huge impact. Santiago caught 13 passes for 251 yards and scored three touchdowns. Aaron averaged 7.4 a carry and added a touchdown rushing the ball. Santiago has 4.49 speed and is a terrific blocker.
Backup slotbacks John Howell and Bo Snelson are very similar. Both are juniors, run well, are tenacious blockers and have at times inconsistent hands. Howell showed his game changing ability in the Army- Navy game catching a 77-yard scoring bomb from Ricky Dobbs. Howell had a nice 23-yard run in the Blue-Gold game before dropping a short screen pass. Snelson isn't as fast as Howell but is quick and blocks well. Snelson dropped a sure touchdown pass in last year's bowl game. Both need to focus on ball security which is an occasional problem for them.
Sophomore Marcus Thomas (5-7 165) emerged last season as a kick returner in which he flashed his excellent speed. In Navy's comeback win last year against Wake Forest it was Thomas's speed that prevented a kickoff return touchdown. Thomas can be inconsistent, like when he dropped a pass in the Blue-Gold game, but he has the talent to make an impact.
Fellow sophomore Darius Staten is a 5-6 190 pound very well built runner who is solid as a rock. Staten has quickness, a low center of gravity and possesses excellent balance.
The player to watch is sophomore Michael Patrick. Patrick played fullback for NAPS in 2009. He led the team in rushing and was named the team's Most Valuable Player. While Patrick is short at 5-8, he is well built. Patrick was moved to slotback last year and he isn't far behind Thomas and Staten in ability.
Slotback is the deepest position on the team and a number of talented prep players will swell the ranks this fall.
In our next edition GoMids.com will look at Navy's wide receivers.