Navy Spring Depth Chart Review: Slotbacks

The Navy Midshipmen football team recently completed spring drills. will now review each Navy position to project a starter, a backup and a player to watch. Today we'll discuss the slotback position.

Starters: Darius Staten #20 Sr., Geoffrey Whiteside #29 Jr.
Backups: Trey Miller #1 Sr., Demond Brown #25 So.
Third String: Colin Osborne #21 So., Marcus Thomas #26 Sr.

Senior Daurius Staten won one of the starting slotback positions during spring drills. Staten (5-6, 190) is short but a powerfully built runner who is solid as a rock.. He possesses good power and quickness and his blocking has improved each year well. In his fifth (he was at NAPS in 2009) year in the program, he has a solid grasp of the Mids' offensive schemes. Staten is not a newcomer to the slotback position. He's had 29 carries for 258 yards during his Navy career. Last season a 12-yard run against Notre Dame and a 68 yard rushing game against Indiana were among his highlights. Against the BCS Hoosiers Staten scored on a third quarter 17-yard run that put the Mids up 21-20 in a game they would go on to win.

Junior Geoffrey Whiteside won the other starting slotback position during spring camp. Whiteside (5-10, 171) has above average speed, can block and has solid hands. In interviews Navy slotback coach Danny O'Rourke raved on Whiteside saying he was in a similar mold as Gee Gee Greene and other outstanding Navy slotbacks. Last season Whiteside gained 111 yards on 16 carries. He also caught four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown.

Local product Demond Brown raised some eyebrows in spring drills with his ability to make plays. Brown (5-9, 191), from Glen Burnie, Md., is another athletic slotback with good speed and the ability to break tackles and is slated to backup Whiteside during the upcoming season. Brown had just one carry as a freshman, a 4-yard carry versus East Carolina. Brown ran for 3,962 yards and 49 touchdowns during his career at Old Mill high school. He was later the top back at the prep school. The sophomore should see plenty of action during the upcoming season.

Trey Miller is a name that is familiar to most Navy fans. Although Miller had solid talent, things just didn't pan out for him as Navy's starting quarterback last season. Now that the staff has found a capable backup for quarterback Keenan Reynolds, the staff has chose to move Miller to the slotback position in order to take advantage of his athletic ability and to get him on the field. Being a former option starting quarterback, of course, Miller is no stranger to the run game. He has run for 343 yards during his Navy career and as a high school senior ran for 600 yards. Service Academy football analyst Jim Lawler described Miller's running ability.

"Trey is an exciting, natural runner who possesses mobility, the ability to cut on a dime and accelerate," wrote Lawler. "He has excellent body control and usually makes the first man miss."

Miller finished spring drills as Staten's backup but could overtake him in preseason camp as he learns the position.

Sophomore Colin Osborne is another local product who has earned a spot on the 3-deep slotback depth chart. Osborne (5-9, 206), who is set to backup Staten and Osborne, is a stout yet quick back who should see action in 2013. Lawler wrote about Osborne in his "Meet the new Mids" article last year.

"Osborne wasn't a starter at NAPS but he was one of the best runners and a very good blocker," wrote Lawler. "Osborne is a nice back with good speed and acceleration who is surprisingly strong for his size with the ability to run through arm tackles."

At nearby Glenelg high school Osborne ran 1,885 yards and 18 touchdowns on 246 carries (7.7 avg.) in 2010.

Senior Marcus Thomas finished as the other slotback position's third stringer behind Whiteside and Brown. Thomas is as speedster who excels as kickoff returner. The Louisiana native ran for 59 yards last season on eight carries but was Navy's primary return man. He had 21 kickoff returns for 483 yards in 2012 and returned 34 for 728 yards including a 90-yard long scoring return in 2011. With his speed and experience Thomas should provide peace of mind for coaches as a backup slotback. Top Stories