Navy Spring Review: Slotbacks

Navy recently completed its spring drills.’s Jim Lawler will now review every Midshipmen position and name a starter, a backup and a third string player to watch. In this segment he reviews the slotbacks.

SLOTBACK (A-backs)
Starters: Demond Brown Sr. DeBrandon Sanders Sr.
Backups: Dishan Romine Jr. Toneo Gulley Jr.
Third String: Kendrick Moulton Jr. Calvin Cass Jr. Jr.
Navy saw both of last year’s starters graduate but still possesses terrific depth at A-back. It remains one of the deepest position on the team with five of the six players on the two deep depth chart carrying the ball last season. At times it looks like the Navy staff created a mold of former Navy slotback Reggie Campbell and has mass produced Navy slotbacks in the same image ever since. They are all short and very fast. The slotback depth was tested with a number of A-backs missing time with injuries in 2014 but the Mids saw little decline in performance due to Ken Niumatalolo and his staff''s excellent recruiting.

Senior DeBrandon Sanders (231 rushing yards, 8.0 avg., 3 TDs in 2014) has been a regular in the rotation the last two years. He was listed as the starter at the end of spring practice. Sanders missed time in 2014 when he was hurt against Texas State. He missed most of that contest and the following game against Rutgers. DeBrandon showed his explosive speed on the edge in last year’s opener against Ohio State's national championship defense when he somehow outraced what seemed like half their team to the pylon in the opener. Sanders caught just two passes last fall but one against Air Force was a 40-yard touchdown catch. In 2013 Sanders made a big impact in the passing game with 13 receptions, for 223 yards, a 17.2 average and a 63-yard touchdown catch against Delaware. He is a good blocker despite being just 5-7", 160-pounds. Senior Demond Brown (5-9", 201) left spring as a starter at slot back and kickoff returner. Brown is a workout warrior. He is a terrific all round player who can run, block and catch. Brown offers big play ability. He has 45 career touches and has produced 28 first downs or touchdowns. Last season he battled nagging injuries that caused him to miss three games. For the season he ran for 113 rushing yards, a 7.5 average and a score. He drew two starts and his 18-yard touchdown run off a pitch started the Navy comeback in the loss against Notre Dame.

Super-fast junior Dishan Romine left spring camp as second on the depth chart at A-back behind Demond Brown. Romine is the fastest Mid slotback and had a 47-yard run against VMI last fall. Romine missed four games in 2014 during an injury plagued season. He played in nine games but injuries cost him to miss the bowl game and the start of the season. Dishan was effective when he played. He ran for 123 rushing yards and had a 9.5 average per carry. Romine is one of the bigger slotbacks at 5 foot-11 inches and weighing 185-pounds. Special teams star Toneo Gulley (77 yards, 7.0 avg., TD in 2014) showed why he was so highly recruited on a 19-yard touchdown run against Western Kentucky last season. Gulley is a 5 foot-8 inch, 196 pound slotback with excellent speed. He was ranked as the 126th best running back in the nation according to his senior year. In 2012 at NAPS he lived up to the hype as he consistently demonstrated his ability to turn the corner and make big plays. Gulley is a fast, stocky running back whose build is similar to former Navy slotback Zerb Singleton.

Calvin Cass Jr. (50 yards, 5.0 avg. in 2014) started the spring at receiver before being moved back to slotback. Cass (5-10", 206) dropped to third string on the A-back depth chart this spring. The direct admit junior has good hands and offers above average speed. Cass is a physical runner and an aggressive blocker. His father, Calvin Cass Sr., was a very good halfback for Jim Young at West Point. Former direct admit junior A-back Kendrick Mouton moved up to third string after a solid spring camp. Mouton (6-0”, 195 pounds) is the brother of Navy quarterback Kenny Mouton. Kendrick is a fairly big player for a Navy slotback. He possesses solid speed and is a good blocker. Top Stories