Meet the New Mids: Defensive Backs

Last season Navy's inexperienced defensive backfield struggled in pass coverage. The defensive backs allowed over 74% of their opponents passes to be completed against them. That needs to change if Navy is to rebound from its first losing season since 2002. Several new players will likely enable the Mids to improve on pass defense. Look inside for more.

Most of this year's defensive back recruits played last season at the Naval Academy Prep School where head coach J.P. Shevory smartly rotated them to give them experience at different positions. will now look at the new Mid defensive backs.

Last year's Naval Academy Prep School team produced a number of talented defensive back prospects. One of the best was cornerback Quincy Adams. Adams is a 5-11, 195 pound cornerback originally from Brandeis high school in Texas. As a junior in 2009 he had 4 interceptions and returned an interception for a touchdown. In 2010 Quincy was moved by his Brandeis coaches to running back. He replaced star running back, and current Midshipman starting fullback, Noah Copeland who had graduated. As a senior Adams rushed for 1,643 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.

Adams was moved back to cornerback at NAPS. In the victory over Dean College he broke up a critical pass forcing a punt in a close 20-18 victory. He shut down the opposing wide receivers in wins over Gattaca and Bryant College. Adams has the size, speed and quick feet you want in a cornerback's skill set. Quincy is well built, tough, physical and a good tackler. He has the physical attributes for an FBS cornerback. Overall Adams is still rather raw. He needs to improve his technique and more fully develop his cover skills. Quincy is fast but his backpedal isn't very fluid. As a result he tends to default to using the bail technique to cover wide receivers. This is a coverage technique where the cornerback faces the quarterback in an open stance while covering the receiver. It allows Adams to see the play but he gives up outside leverage and often too easily allows inside route. If secondary coach Keith Jones can improve Adams footwork he could make an impact on the depth chart as early as next year.

Shelley White (5-10, 190) from Maryland decided two years ago to stay close to home and play for Navy. White is the son of DeDe Duncan-White who is Navy's assistant athletic director for academic support services. White had 45 tackles and three interceptions, and broke up nine passes as a senior at Archbishop Spalding. He earned first team all-conference, and all-county honors. White played in the Maryland Crab Bowl All-Star game.

Last year White was moved to SAM safety at the Naval Academy Prep School. White had spent his high school years as a cornerback. It took him a little while to adjust to the more physical role that the strong safety position demands. Once he adjusted he played well and thrived late in the year in his new role. Shelley grew up a Navy fan and chose the Mids over offers by Wake Forest, Syracuse, Maine and Delaware.

Myer Krah played defensive back and returned kickoffs last season at the Naval Academy Prep School. Krah had been a safety and linebacker at Hillside high school in North Carolina. Krah stands at 5-11, and is a muscular 175 pounds. At Hillside he was a very good cover man, active play-maker and a dynamic special team's player. He returned a number of kickoffs for touchdowns. His special hit in the championship game on kickoff coverage is still remembered by Hillside fans. Myer was a solid track performer as well. He competed in the 4 x 400, the long jump, the triple jump. Krah was recruited initially by a number of ACC schools like Georgia Tech. Krah was very impressive at the off-season high school camps following his junior season. He won the defensive back MVP at the Virginia Tech Nike Football Training Camp. At the VTO combine he once against demonstrated his physical man-on-man coverage skills. Fortunately for Navy, Krah lacked top end speed in the forty yard dash. He often was timed in the 4.7 range which scared off any potential ACC scholarship offers despite his on field production.

Krah was mostly used as a kick returner and saw limited time at cornerback after the first few games last fall at the Naval Academy Prep School. Krah didn't play that much in secondary because it was unclear early in the season if Myer wanted to graduate NAPS and attend Navy. He was back on track by the spring and has the ability to help the Mids. As a kick returner at NAPS he was outstanding and returned three kickoffs for touchdowns. In pass coverage he has all the attributes coaches want in a defensive back. Krah is strong, physical with the ability to turn his hips and change direction quickly. Despite just respectable times in the forty yard dash he closes quickly on the ball. Krah is a great athlete with a 34 inch vertical leap. If he remains focused he'll have the ability to compete early at Navy.

Kwazel Bertrand was a starting cornerback last season at the Naval Academy Prep School. He was a teammate of fellow NAPS defensive back William Beaird at the Brentwood Academy in Tennessee. Bertrand was a three-year letterman in football, basketball, and track. His senior season he played strong safety and was the team's leading tackler. As a junior he led the team with 72 tackles and returned a fumble 96 yards for a touchdown. Bertrand was also the shooting guard on the basketball team and ran hurdles for the track team.

Bertrand was converted to cornerback by NAPS head coach J.P. Shevory to take advantage of Kwazel's size and athleticism. He is a very good cover corner with man-on-man coverage skills. At 5-10, 163 pounds he possesses a nice skill set for a Navy cornerback. He did a terrific job defending fade routes in the end zone with his leaping ability. Against Dean College he had a huge interception in the end zone preventing a touchdown. Bertrand returned the interception over 50 yards as he did a nice job of avoiding tacklers before being finally brought down. Kwazel is a very smart and heady player both on and off the field.

Eddie Robinson was a safety last fall at the Naval Academy Prep School. Robinson played both outside linebacker and tailback for Hickory high school in Virginia. Robinson is a 5-11, 190 pound player who chose Navy over offers from Richmond, William and Mary and a host of Ivy League schools.

Robinson, like many defensive backs in this class, has good speed and size for a Navy safety. Eddie has run 4.56 in the 40 yard dash. Last year he was one of the better safeties at NAPS. He played well against George Mason helping to shut down their running game. He had a huge hit against Bridgton Academy. Eddie is generally solid in pass coverage and flies to the football. He is a smart player who understands coverages and plays well within the scheme. He's a nice athlete who is fundamentally sound. He could compete at safety or maybe striker linebacker if he fills out down the road.

Roddy Reyna is safety who played last season at the Naval Academy Prep School. Reyna is another recruit from Brandeis high school in Texas that Ken Niumatalolo's staff has landed. As a senior he had 89 tackles, five tackles for losses and made four interceptions. He also blocked two punts and scored a touchdown. Reyna's junior year was even better as he recorded 99 tackles, another five for losses, recovered four fumbles, intercepted seven passes and knocked down another nine passes. He also scored a touchdown. Reyna earned First Team All-District and All-Area honors both years.

Reyna (5-10, 190) played safety last season at NAPS but isn't as physically talented as some of the other players previously mentioned. However, he is a good football player. Reyna is Texas tough, competitive and intense. He is very smart and understands the game. Despite below average speed his football instincts allow him to read quickly and make a lot of plays. Reyna is fun to watch. He consistently delivered big hits and was always around the ball. Reyna has a special team type of personality and plays the game with anger and attitude. He is very physical and will hit anything that moves. He is an excellent special teams performer on coverage teams. The issue for Roddy is if he is fast enough and has the range to play safety at the FBS level.

Brandon Boyd is another physical player from Texas who saw time at safety for the Naval Academy Prep School last season. Boyd was a linebacker at LaMarque high school in Texas. Boyd missed most of his junior year with an injury. He attended the same school as current Mid Jonathan Wev and the LaMarque staff sent his film to the Navy staff. Boyd rebounded during his 2010 senior year with a very good year that earned him All-District honors.

At NAPS Boyd was converted to safety. The change was a learning experience for Boyd. Boyd was at his best running down hill and laying the lumber on opposing running back. Brandon is a well built, muscular 5-11, 190 pounds and a very physical player. Boyd has decent straight line speed but lacks the fluidity, lateral movement and change of direction you'd like to see in a safety. He also needs to work on his coverage skills. Boyd is still learning how to play the position and will need time to develop at Rover. I wouldn't be surprised to see him eventually end up at striker linebacker. Boyd chose Navy over an offer from arch rival Army.

Lorentez Barbour is the only direct admit in this year's defensive backs class. Barbour played safety at Male high school in Kentucky. The 6-1, 180-pound Barbour was a First-Team All-District defensive back selection last fall. Barbour made 66 tackles, broke up five passes and had an interception last season. Lorentez is very active and aggressive in run support. He also played quarterback which helped him understand pass patterns on defense. He demonstrates a terrific feel for coverage and has excellent range. Barbour chose Navy over Air Force.

Next: Meet the new Mids special teams. Top Stories