Navy Notes: Houston We Have a Kicker

Here are the latest Navy quick hits with less than a week to go until the team boards a flight for Dublin.

Kicker Search Over

At one point this summer it looked like the Academy would never find a kicker that Ken Niumatalolo could rely one. Finally though, after a process of elimination which might would put American Idol to shame, the Mids have their man. Nick Sloan is the name which fans will get to know this fall as the freshmen beat out six other prospective kickers to earn his spot at the top of the depth chart.

Sloan has shown both consistency on short kicks and the ability to hit from 40+, traits which saw him edge out classmate Austin Grebe. Both will be on the plane to Ireland along with Colin Amerau whose big leg made him an easy choice for kickoff specialist. With the rule change this year bringing the ball up to the 35 yard line for kick offs, Navy fans can expect to see plenty of touchbacks negating opposing return men.

Injury Worries at Linebacker

With Navy obviously hampered in the recruiting arena depth is always a concern. It is always a bonus then when a player stands up and makes a case for himself during camp who the coaches were not necessarily expecting to get production out of coming into the season. One such player is sophomore outside linebacker Chris Johnson who had been having one of the better camp performances in recent memory.

That could all be for naught though as Johnson went down with a serious looking knee injury in Friday's scrimmage. We were real disappointed when we lost Chris," defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. "Johnson was having one of the best camps of anybody we've had around here in a long time. Really good speed. When we lost him, we felt for him and for our team."

While it is unknown at this point how long Johnson will be down for coaches are preparing for the worst. All this means that fellow sophomore Josh Tate will have to get back up to speed quickly as he can no longer be eased back into the fold. Tate was one of the three Midshipmen who missed the bulk of fall camp due to repeatedly failing the Physical Readiness Test.

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