Who is Navy's Most Important Player?

It is the same every year and at every level of the game. Fans who have been waiting for months all the way through the dog days of summer are finally amping themselves up for football season. Then, suddenly, that anticipation changes to a feeling of crushed expectations as the team's most vital player is lost.

Now this loss could be for a variety of reasons. LSU for example just lost Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu for the season (maybe forever) because he can't shake his pot habit. Penn State lost tailback Silas Redd to USC as part of the Jerry Sandusky fallout. In 2008 the New England Patriots lost Tom Brady for the season after a Bernard Pollard hit blew out the future Hall of Famer's ACL. Basically, it can happen to anyone.

So, with that being said, who can Navy least afford to lose if the promise of this season to be fulfilled?

Many would initially jump straight to junior quarterback Trey Miller. Many think that Miller is going to have a breakout year in 2012 after impressing hugely in spot time last fall. These expectations have only been increased during fall camp, especially after Miller's scrimmage performance this weekend in which he ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Miller is certainly a candidate as behind him there is no one with any experience.

Another option would be linebacker Brye French. It is often said that the inside linebacker is the quarterback of the defense and French has embraced that role fully this season. A former outside 'backer, French has the football knowledge and speed to be a true sideline to sideline defender on a Midshipmen team which is in need of playmakers at the linebacker spot.

Though Navy relies extensively on the running game it is hard to look at those spots and find a single player who would be classed as invaluable. The slot back position is loaded, with the likes of Gee Gee Greene, John Howell, and Bo Snelson all capable of huge games. The same can be said at fullback where sophomore Noah Copeland and senior Prentice Christian will carry the load between them.

My pick for the most important player on the Navy roster therefore goes to senior safety Tra'ves Bush. Bush will be the starting rover safety in the Navy secondary this fall, and his extensive knowledge of the position and the Navy defensive scheme makes him irreplaceable.

After spending much of last year at outside linebacker Bush is just the kind of leader that a young Navy defense will need to nurture them through the first part of the schedule. With 12 starts he has almost as many alone as the rest of the Mids secondary combined, and with 93 tackles (while playing out of position) last year. Bush's disciplined approach may well determine what kind of record Navy finishes with this fall.

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