Meet the New Mids: Special Teams & Athletes

Navy's lost possibly four games last season because of special teams mistakes. It was the difference between a winning and losing season. The placekicking job is still wide open entering this summer camp. The current kicker at the top of the depth chart following spring drills struggled and badly missed both of his field goal attempts during the Blue & Gold spring game.

The kicking job based on this spring practice's results could be won by a plebe. In the last of its series GoMids.com takes a look at the new Navy's special teams players.

Nick Sloan (6-0, 180) was the kicker and punter last year at the Naval Academy Prep School. Sloan is an all-round athlete from Scripps Ranch high school in San Diego, California. Sloan was a smooth and accurate kicker in high school. He was a three year starter and was named all-conference in 2010. Nick played soccer and was also an All-Eastern League First team pitcher in baseball. He was named the league's pitcher of the year his senior season. Sloan was his best in the clutch. In the 2009 playoffs, as a junior, Nick contributed 12 points towards the final score of 30-27. He had three field goals of 24, 27 and 28 yards, plus three PATs. He also had six touchbacks, including one that sailed through the uprights. As a senior in 2010, in a first-round playoff game, he nailed field goals of 44, 29 and 37 yards, added three extra points and sent seven kickoffs into the end zone, denying any returns. His career long field goal in high school was 46 yards.

Last year at the prep school Sloan handled both kicking and punting duties. He is viewed strictly as a kicker. He struggled a little bit with his consistency as he was kicking off the grass for the first time without a tee. Kicking at Nimitz field in Newport, Rhode Island can be a challenge. NAPS kickers lack a separate practice field to hone their skills and the windy autumn conditions often test kickers. Sloan is his own harshest critic. When he's confident Nick has range up to 45 yards. Sloan stayed true to his reputation as a clutch kicker. At Annapolis against Navy JV Sloan lined up for a 38-yard field goal attempt with seconds left. The Navy JV called a time out in an attempt to ice him. Sloan kept his poised and calmly nailed the ball through the uprights as time expired for a 23-20 NAPS victory over Navy JV. Sloan did a nice job on directional kickoffs and usually placed the ball near the goal line with an occasional touchback.

Direct admit Austin Grebe (6-0, 180) is the rare kicker who also a standout quarterback. Grebe played at North Stafford high school in Virginia and was named the Northwest Region Player of the Year. Grebe was the key player in North Stafford's 10-3 season. He was both the quarterback and kicker for his regional champion team. As a quarterback he connected on 100-of-189 passes for 1,496 yards and 21 touchdowns. He ran for 336 yards and four scores. As a kicker he connected on three field goals and 35 extra points during the 2011 season. Austin also captained North Stafford's 2011 State Champion Soccer Team.

Gavin Jernigan is a direct admit kicker and punter prospect from Mira Costa high school in California. In kicking combine camps he was generally rated as one of the top 2012 high school kickoff/punt combo prospects on the West Coast. At Chris Sailer's Kicking camp after his junior year Jernigan was awarded the camp's kickoff champion award. He was ranked by Sailer's camp as 26th nationally as a punter. Jernigan (6-3, 195) has the ability to hit kickoffs 70-plus yards and punts 50-plus yards with great hang-time. Gavin may have the strongest leg of the incoming kickers. He chose Navy football over an offer from San Jose State.

David Reisner (6-0, 185) is another direct admit who took the oath on I-day and joins the team as a kicker-punter recruit. Reisner was a nationally ranked kicker from South Elgin Illinois. He was ranked No. 20 at his position nationally by ESPN. Reisner's family has a Naval background. His grandfather was a Navy lieutenant, his aunt is a Navy captain, his cousin is a U.S. Marine and his cousin's wife is also in the Navy. Reisner was named First-team kicker on his All-Area team. He was the first player to have played all four years for the varsity team at South Elgin High School. David was honored by the Illinois High School Football Coaches' Association as an Honorable Mention on the All-State team. Reisner is an excellent kicker and a very good athlete. He was more widely recruited as a kicker after he hit a 57-yard field goal in one of the summer camps. Reisner opted for the scholarship from Navy over an offer Air Force and preferred walk-on possibilities at Illinois, California and Auburn among others.

Myer Krah was the most exciting special teams performer last year at the Naval Academy Prep School. Krah, despite relatively limited opportunities, returned three kick offs for touchdowns. He is a dynamic kick returner with excellent run vision and acceleration. Myer played much faster than his listed 40 yard dash time and was an impact kick returner at NAPS. He makes things happen when he's on the field.

David Frechette was the punt returner last fall at NAPS. Frechette ran a 4.62 as a junior in an Under Armor Combine workout. He has solid straight line speed and very good run vision as a returner. He doesn't cut or get out of his break that quickly but he has reliable hands. As a punt returner last year for NAPS he had a number of nice returns.

This year's incoming class offers a number of players who can help on coverage teams. Roddy Reyna is safety who is an excellent special teams performer on coverage teams. Quincy Adams, Kwazel Bertrand and Eddie Robinson all could help the coverage teams with their speed and athleticism. Brandon Greene is a direct admit 6-3, 268 pound center from Redlands East Valley High school in California who can also long snap.

Direct admit Zander Yost (5-9, 190) is an athlete who played both offense and defense at Wesleyan high school in Georgia. He played both running back and defensive back in high school. Yost led his team in rushing with 418 yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries. Yost made 29 receptions for 429 yards and three touchdowns. Zander also made 64 tackles and an interception on defense. Yost can play but the question is where does the staff put him? He was on the I-day list as a slotback which is his probable position. Yost selected Navy over offers from Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern.

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