Navy Spring Review: Wide Receivers

The Navy Midshipmen recently completed their 2014 spring practice drills. GoMids.com will now review every position, listing the starter, backup and third string players. In this edition we look at the wide receivers.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Z-WR
Starters: Jamir Tillman So.
Back ups: Thomas Wilson Jr.
Third String: Calvin Cass Jr.

X-WR
Starters: Brendan Dudeck Sr.
Back ups: Mark Meier Jr.
Third String: Derek Mann So.
OR/Third String Julian Turner So.
The focus for Navy's wide receivers playing in a triple option offense is usually blocking on the perimeter. The focus this year is on the depth chart as the Mids must replace their top three wide receivers from last season. The staff moved some players from the loaded slotback position over to wide receiver this spring. The Mids have suffered attrition in losing some of their best wide receiver recruits the past few years. Senior wide receiver Brandon Dudeck is expected to start and has the most experience. He is a solid blocker and a good receiver. Last fall he made five receptions for 48 yards. The former quarterback completed a pass on a 2-point conversion against Army. Dudeck has just average speed but is the prototypical big effort Navy receiver. Brendan, is the son of a coach, and has good instincts and an understanding of the game.

The other new starter at wide receiver is sophomore direct admit Jamir Tillman. Tillman (2 rec., 12 yards in 2013) played in seven games as he saw more action later in the year. Tillman is the son of a former Denver Bronco receiver Cedric Tillman. During his high school senior season he made 58 receptions for 958 receiving yards, a 16.5 avg., and 13 touchdowns. Tillman had 32 touchdown receptions during his high school career. Tillman is a big receiver at 6-4, 206 pounds who runs solid routes and has soft hands. Jamir's size allows him to be productive in the red zone. Tillman is not a speed demon but does a nice job of getting into his routes and out of his breaks. His blocking must improve. He looks to have a nice upside to his game. Head coach Ken Niumatalolo said this spring that Tillman reminds him of former Navy wide receiver Brandon Turner.

Backup wide receiver Thomas Wilson (6-1, 196) was a former direct admit who was converted from quarterback to wide receiver. Wilson ran an option offense in high school. Wilson, a junior, is quick and has a very fluid running style upright running style. He is a tough willing blocker. Fellow junior Marc Meier is also on the depth chart. Meier was listed as a slotback on the 2012 I-day list but played wide receiver at NAPS. He was moved to slotback later in the year after injuries decimated the prep slotback corps. Marc is a 5-11, 188 pound player who played wide receiver at Great Bridge high school in Virginia. Meier caught 40 passes for 750 yards and scored nine touchdowns during his senior season. He possesses excellent hands and decent speed.

Two sophomore slotbacks Calvin Cass Jr. and Derek Mann were moved to wide receiver. Cass was a direct admit from St. Augustine Prep in Sicklerville, New Jersey. Cass (5-10, 200) ran for 2,001 yards and scored 37 touchdowns in 2012. His father, Calvin Cass Sr., was a very good halfback for Jim Young at West Point. Cass actually chose Navy over an offer from Army among others. Derek Mann played slotback at NAPS in 2012. Mann is a 5-foot-11, 189 pound receiver from Texas. Mann is a solid blocker and has good speed.

The only wide receiver from the 2012 Naval Academy Prep School team to make it to I-Day was Julian Turner. He is a 6-2, 190 pound wide receiver from Ohio. Turner was a three year starter and played wide receiver, defensive back and returned punts at Orange high school. He led the team in receptions his last two years at Orange high. Turner produced 17 touchdowns during his high school career. Turner was a very strong, tough and physical wide receiver at NAPS. He is quick off the line with rather deceptive speed. Julian is a hardnosed competitor who does a nice job fighting for the ball. He can track the ball in the air and has good hands. Turner was a good blocker on the perimeter at NAPS.

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