A Ricky Dobbs in the Making?

Have the Navy coaches spotted the next Ricky Dobbs, and is he close to becoming a future Midshipmen? GoMids' recruiting writer Adam Nettina checks in with Florida prep star Kenneth Mouton Jr., and gets the details on his impending visit to the Academy.

6-foot-2, 216-pounds. A rocket for an arm, uncanny field presence running in open space, and a likable disposition that both gives respect but also earns it. Sounds a lot like former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs, right?

According to Golden Gate (FL) quarterback Kenneth Mouton, the comparison hasn't just been made by Navy fans.

"Navy's been on me real hard, they say they can use my dimension of throwing and running to add more to the offense, and I just really like that a lot," said the player who Scout.com ranks as the 161st best quarterback in the country.

"They're comparing me to Ricky Dobbs," he continued, referencing the Navy coaching staff.

What about Mouton reminds the Navy coaches – specifically Navy assistant Chris Culton – of the former record-setting Dobbs? All one has to do to find out is take a look at Mouton's film to see the comparisons. Aside from a similar, Brahman bull body type, Mouton displays excellent field vision in the passing game, with a fluid throwing motion that displays the kind of crisp, tight spirals Navy fans haven't always seen from their quarterbacks. Not only that, but his accuracy in the passing game and running ability make the comparisons to Dobbs a no-brainer. Mouton, who referenced watching at least five Navy games in 2011, said he remembers Dobbs' senior year from 2010 vividly, and encourages the comparison in styles.

"I watched him (last year) and I liked the way he played," Mouton said. "He can throw the ball really well. That's what (the Navy coaches) are talking about – that I can add that extra dimension to the offense. They didn't really have a vertical threat this year."

Mouton's recruitment with Navy has picked up in recent weeks, and he said he has plans to make his official visit to the Naval Academy during the second weekend of January (GoMids.com has learned many other uncommitted but high-interest level players are slated to visit Annapolis that weekend.) Currently, his only "official" scholarship offer has come from Navy, but Eastern Michigan and Bethune Cookman have extended what he calls "unofficial" offers. He reported that he is also be recruited by Indiana University.

Mouton's recruitment may have been more high-profile going into the New Year had he not spent a good portion of his senior season injured. While he was a three-year starter at Golden Gate, the first three games of his senior season were spent on the bench because of an ankle injury, and he was also forced to sit out the final game of the year because of an elbow injury to his non-throwing arm. Nevertheless, he threw for 1,394 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games as a senior, and led Golden Gate to their first postseason berth since 1994.

Major factors in Mouton's recruitment have been the Navy assistant recruiting him, as well as the discipline aspect of the Academy.

"He's a real nice guy," Mouton said of Navy's Chris Culton. "He keeps his word and doesn't ever sugarcoat it. He had a very good interaction with my family for a home meeting. My family loved him, he's a pretty cool guy."

Mouton said he does not have any military members in his family, but looks forward to "trying something new." He thinks he would be a good fit for the Academy because of the disciplined background his father, Kenneth Mouton Sr., instilled within him. The elder Mouton played at the University of Michigan under famed coach Bo Schembechler, and has been actively giving advice to his son as he goes about choosing a place to not only play football, but earn a college degree.

"(My father) told me that nothing is given to you," Mouton Jr. said. "Everything you do in life you've got to keep your priorities straight – especially at Navy. You've got to be very disciplined, and ever since I was growing up, that's what I've been."

Mouton Jr. also expressed interest in playing in the Big East Conference, which he said Navy's coaches have actively been telling him will occur within the next few years. As for how he would feel making the transition from the shotgun to running the triple option under center, he said he's not concerned, and referenced his familiarity with option football.

"My very first moment playing football, the very first thing I learned to do was running the option," he said. "I've always been able to do that – option. It's one of my favorite plays to do and the very first play I got to know."

Mouton is still waiting on the possibility of other schools to offer him a scholarship, but for the time being he favors Navy. Should he commit – whether after his visit in January or later – GoMids.com promises to be first on the scene.

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