Navy Football Departures Update

Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo enters the 2012 season trying to rebound from his first losing season since being named head coach. That job became a little more difficult with the news that four players on the spring depth chart including one returning starter have left the program.

Cornerback David Sperry, a starter at cornerback last season, was dismissed from the academy. Sperry was found guilty of violating the academy's drug policy. Sperry was the team's most experienced cornerback but lost his starting job to Jonathan Wev this spring. During his junior season Sperry posted 70 tackles and recording two interceptions. He was named Honorable Mention All-Independent Team. Despite the post season honors he lost his job to Wev because Sperry lacked top coverage skills. He was a solid player but seemed a little slow to read the patterns and too often allowed wide receivers separation.

Initially after Sperry's departure junior Albrey Felder was listed on the depth chart as the backup at both cornerback positions. The current roster now lists sophomore Lonnie Richardson (5-11, 195) as Wev's backup. Richardson was tried initially at safety this spring before he was returned to cornerback. He played cornerback at the Naval Academy Prep school in 2010. Richardson measures up physically for the position. Lonnie has good quickness and he can turn and run. He has good size for a Navy defensive back with above average feet. Richardson made two tackles for the Gold team in this year's spring game. The loss of Sperry's experience hurts but the good news is that the Naval Academy Prep School produced three cornerbacks in Quincy Adams, Kwazel Bertrand and Myer Krah who have the ability to impact the depth chart. We'll discuss these three players in greater detail in our GoMids.com "Meet the New Mids" feature on new recruits.

The center position might have taken the biggest hit with the academic separation of backup sophomore Dale Howard. The center position is very thin with unproven sophomore Bradyn Heap expected to be the new starter. Dale Howard was moved from defensive end to center late this spring and earned the backup spot. Howard (6-0, 263) was a NAPS product who impressed me playing defensive end in 2010 against Army Prep with his strength and explosiveness off the edge. Dale was as strong as an ox and had a very quick initial burst off the snap. Senior Kahikou Pescaia. will move to the backup spot. Pescaia is a 6 foot, 273 pound center who appeared in three varsity contest last year. Pescaia knows his assignments but has struggled blocking against bigger more physical nose tackles in the past two spring games. Tanner Fleming a 6-2, 270 pound NAPS graduate is now the third string center. Fleming was probably the most skilled and technically proficient lineman at the Naval Academy Prep School in 2010. He started the season at center before hurting his ankle. He's added ten pounds of muscle since arrive at Navy.

It was also disappointing to hear that converted sophomore quarterback Jarvis Cummings was an academic casualty. Jarvis Cummings, last season's third string quarterback, was impressive after requesting to be moved to defense before this past spring practice. He excelled at the striker outside linebacker spot. Cummings had grown tired of playing second fiddle to quarterback Trey Miller. Miller beat him out of the starting quarterback job at NAPS and for the backup quarterback role at Navy. With Cummings gone, a soon to be sophomore direct admit Chris Johnson has moved up the depth chart. Johnson is a 6-1, 212 pound outside linebacker who is a very good athlete with quickness and 4.53 speed in the forty yard dash. He plays fast and is extremely athletic allowing him to slip or just run around blocks. Chris has the speed to track down plays from the backside. Junior D.J. Sargenti who played very well in the Blue & Gold game has moved onto the depth chart. Sargenti made ten tackles, two for a loss and recorded 1 ½ sacks in the spring game. Fellow sophomore direct admit Anthony Lewis also could be in the mix soon. Lewis, who is 6-0, 220 pounds, has added ten pounds since last summer. He has speed and mobility.

The other player to leave via separation was third string B-back 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. Patrick was moved to slotback as a freshman before being returned to B-back last summer. Patrick carried 15 times for 98 yards at fullback while playing in five games. In the spring game Patrick led the Gold team with 52 yards on seven carries. He was replaced on the depth chart by sophomore Quinton Singleton. Patrick was a good player but with Singleton, direct admit fullback Maika Polamalu, who was hurt this spring, and incoming NAPS fullback stars Chris Swain and Quentin Ezell, this is a position where the Mids have plenty of underclassman talent to fill the void.

GoMids.com will discuss Chris Swain, Quentin Ezell and the rest of the plebes joining the football program with our annual "Meet the New Mids" position previews which will start to appear after the official I-Day list is announced.

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