Navy Spring Review: Rover

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 rovers.

ROVER

Starters: Lonnie Richardson Sr.
Back ups: Lorentez Barbour Jr.
Third String: Daiquan Thomasson So.
This is a position of concern with the graduation of Wave Ryder and the career ending injury to Chris Ferguson. It is probably the weakest position on the Navy team. Senior Lonnie Richardson (25 tackles, fum rec) had a solid spring to emerge atop the depth chart. Richardson had a disappointing 2013 season and his career has been uneven at best so far at Navy. He was widely considered a top cornerback prospect out of NAPS in 2010 but never made a serious move up the cornerback depth chart. Richardson (5-11, 195) was used at safety by the staff but he didn't provide any more answers there. He played every game and started the Toledo game but struggled as he replaced Chris Ferguson who was out with an injury. Lonnie took a terrible angle on Toledo's Kareem Hunt's 52-yard touchdown run. His poor tackling led to his benching the following week with Parrish Gaines being moved from cornerback to free safety. Richardson replaced the ejected Wave Ryder in the bowl game but left the game himself after suffering a concussion. Richardson is strong and will hit but he needs to improve his tackling and positioning. The physical tools have always been there but he needs to be more consistent squaring up when tackling.

Junior Lorentez Barbour moved up the depth chart to second string this spring. Last year he appeared in three games. Barbour is a former direct admit who has spent his first two years mostly on the JV team. The 6-1, 194-pound Barbour is very active and aggressive in run support. He had played quarterback in high school which helped him understands pass patterns on defense. He demonstrates a nice feel for coverage and has good range. Barbour is very instinctive and always seems around the ball. Barbour is a good athlete but has seen very limited playing reps.

Sophomore Daiquan Thomasson (6-0, 205) impressed this spring to move up to third string on the depth chart. He played on the JV team as a plebe. He was the starting Rover in 2012 at the Naval Academy Prep School. Thomasson really impressed me at the NAPS. Thomasson is a tremendous athlete. He is fast, strong and possesses a 38-inch vertical leap. He has quick feet, covers a lot of ground and has man-on-man coverage skills. Watching him cover slot receivers as a Rover you could project him to cornerback if the Navy staff wanted to move him. He is a form type tackler who can lay the lumber. Thomasson is a tough, physical player who played his entire junior season in high school with a broken hand and didn't miss a game. He has the ability to read and react quickly and can make big plays. Daiquan has the talent to eventually become an impact starter. He probably has the most raw talent among the Rovers but just needs more experience.

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