Navy Spring Review: Striker Linebacker

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 striker outside linebackers.

STRIKER OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Starters: Chris Johnson Sr.
Back ups: William Tuider Jr.
Third String: Josiah Powell So.

Senior striker linebacker Chris Johnson is an impact defender and is one of the best players on the Navy defense. Last year he had a terrific season. He is a very athletic linebacker with the range to drop in coverage and make plays all over the field. Johnson has made 84 tackles with three interceptions and three passes defensed. He made a great recovery from his ACL injury that caused him to miss the previous season. Chris received honorable mention FBS All-Independent and All-East recognition. Johnson (6-1, 207) is a very good athlete with 4.53 speed in the forty yard dash. He drops easily in coverage and has the speed to track down plays from sideline to sideline. Johnson has great instincts and a real feel for the game. His speed gives the Navy defense almost a nickle defense look due to his ability to cover and make plays on the ball.

Backup sophomore striker William Tuider (6-2, 213) had an impressive debut as a plebe last fall. Tuider is a fast, undersized but highly recruited direct admit who made an immediate impact. Tuider played in all 13 games. He made 32 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, two sacks, three quarterback hurries and knocked down a pass. The direct admit had attracted plenty of interest as a high school senior and had offers from Cincinnati, Ohio, Buffalo, Utah, Florida International and the Ivy League but chose the Midshipmen. Last year it was easy to see why he was in demand. Tuider is a huge effort player with explosive quickness and the ability to make plays. He was used as a situational pass rusher last season and will be again this year. Like Johnson, he has the speed to drop into coverage and make plays all over the field. Tuider's added some muscle since last fall and he has a huge upside to his game.

It was nice to see Josiah Powell emerge as third string on the striker linebacker depth chart. Powell looks to be another diamond in the rough recruit that Navy assistant coach Ashley Ingram has unearthed. Powell was the starting Striker outside linebacker for the Naval Academy Prep School in 2012. Powell (6-3, 215) only played in the opener against Dean but his performance was memorable. He made a huge impact with seven tackles, two sacks flying off the edge and he knocked down two passes in coverage. He unfortunately suffered a season ending injury in the third quarter when he broke a bone in his ankle. Josiah had surgery on his ankle and had a plate inserted which was later removed. He looks to me like one of the most talented athletes on the 2012 NAPS team. Josiah was healthy this spring and was back in top form. He showed his one game at NAPS wasn't a mirage. He's added some muscle and played well this spring. If he can remain healthy he has a huge upside with the potential to emerge as an impact defender.

The striker position is loaded from top to bottom and is probably the deepest position on the defense.

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