Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel lived up to his potential as an impact defender with a tremendous senior season. He started every game at Raider linebacker and made 79 tackles, led the team with 15 tackles for a loss and posted seven sacks. Keegan also had a pass break-up, forced a fumble and made a fumble recovery. In addition to his outstanding play on the field he was a First Team Academic All-American studying systems engineering. Wetzel was the only player in college football last year who had a perfect 1600 on his high school SATs. Wetzel earned First Team All Independent honors and was named the FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week in the victory over Army. Keegan produced a career-high 11 tackles and a sack where he knocked aside Raymond Maples. Wetzel posted sacks in six different games including posting two against East Carolina.
Sophomore Jordan Drake started all 13 games at the striker outside linebacker, Drake is a 6-4, 220 pound outside linebacker who is from former quarterback Ricky Dobbs' hometown of Douglasville, Georgia. Drake finished the year with 49 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, had two sacks, an intercepted a pass, a knocked down a pass and a forced a fumble. Drake was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week after the win against Indiana where he posted a career-high eight tackles and returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown.
The Mids had a number of excellent athletes backing up the starters. Sophomore striker outside linebacker John Tate won the starting stiker job this spring. Tate was sent home during the summer after he failed the Naval Academy's physical readiness test that is mandatory of all Midshipmen. Tate worked his way back up the depth chart to finish the year backing up Drake. He played in all 13 games. Tate made 23 tackles, posted a sack, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble. Sophomore Obi Uzoma has added fifteen pounds to his frame since I-day. Uzoma played in every game. He runs well and made 13 tackles. Freshman AK Akpunku is a good athlete. Those players should provide plenty of spring practice competition in the battle for playing time. I'm not even including sophomore Chris Johnson who was in the mix for a starting linebacker spot when he suffered a season ending ACL injury to his left knee late in summer camp.
2012 Navy Report Card: Outside Linebackers
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