Navy June News Wrap

We may be in the quietest period of the college football year right now, but that doesn't mean that nothing news worthy is going on. Before we continue on with our Opposition Danger Men series here is a wrap up of news that concerns the Mids football program.

Four Mids on Phil Steele's All-Independent First Team

Phil Steele has become known as one of the foremost analysts and prognosticators when it comes to college football. Every year, as an annual rite of passage that college ball is just around the corner, he releases a series of lists and teams celebrating the best of the best around the country. This is the one preseason list which players want to be on, and the Mids have found four of their players on his All-Independent First Team.

Senior offensive tackle Bradyn Heap, senior outside linebacker Chris Johnson, senior safety Parrish Gaines and senior punter Pablo Beltran are the four have been given this honor, and each has earned it with hard work and dedication to their craft over the previous few seasons. It is interesting that all the Mids first-teamers are seniors as it speaks to the high level of coaching and improvement through the years at the Academy.

Perhaps the most interesting, and debatable, spot on this team however is created by a Mid who was not named to the squad. Keenan Reynolds, he of the monumental sophomore season in 2013, was named as a second team player with the quarterback spot on the first team given to Taysom Hill of BYU. Nothing against Hill who is a good player in his own right, but last year Reynolds rushed for more touchdowns from the quarterback spot (31) than Hill accounted for combined through the air and with his feet (29). I am not usually one to argue with Steele, but Reynolds will prove over the next two years that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of independent football.

Navy to be part of the AAC West

Earlier this week the divisional split was announced for the All-American Conference (AAC) when Navy joins and rounds the conference to 12 members in 2013. Navy is something of a geographical outlier in the conference structure, and though it makes more sense for the Mids to be in the east it is possible that the composition of the team, and the recruiting grounds, had something to do with the decision to put Navy in the ACC West.

The Mids find themselves alongside Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, Tulane, and Tulsa in this new structure, so fans should probably get their air miles at the ready. Navy will play those opponents in an alternating home and road series every year, while also picking up three games from the eastern division (Central Florida, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, South Florida, and Temple) for a total of eight conference contests. Conference life will mean a new beginning of sorts for Navy football with the strength in the market, the strength in branding, and the strength in combined resources often cited as major reasons to take the plunge.

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