Navy Places Six on Phil Steele AAC Teams

Phil Steele is one of the most highly respected prognosticators when it comes to college football. His company produces an annual preseason magazine, which he still writes almost entirely on his own. It is hard to narrow down the field of preview magazines to one which is better than the rest, but if you were to do so then Steele’s magazine would be very near the top of the list.

As you may glean from that into when Steele announces his preseason teams it is a big deal. This week Steele released his Preseason All-American Athletic Conference picks and it was interesting to see where the Navy players slotted in. This is of course the first year Navy players have been classed as anything other than an Independent, so it was much more difficult to make a squad than it has been for Mids in previous years.

Six Navy players found their way onto squads, doing so as follows:

First Team – None

Second Team – Chris Swain (FB)

Third Team – Keenan Reynolds (QB), E.K. Binns (G)

Fourth Team – Jamir Tillman (WR), Will Anthony (DE), Daniel Gonzales (LB)

The most notable Navy name on here from a national perspective is Keenan Reynolds and it is very interesting to see that Steele has the quarterback dropped way down to the third team. The two quarterbacks ahead of Reynolds are first teamer Gunner Kiel (Cincinnati) and second teamer Paxton Lynch (Memphis). While both are good players it will be very interesting to see if Reynolds is able to outperform them this fall. If Reynolds is able to keep his historic pace going and break the NCAA rushing touchdown record (he needs just 14 to do so) then odds are he will not be seen as a third teamer when these rankings come out again at the end of the season.

The accolade for Swain is good to see as it often feels like he is overlooked in the Navy backfield. Swain rushed for 6.7 yards per carry last year, showing excellent speed to go along with his bruising power running. Tillman is a name which many will be shocked to see on here given his lack of stats, but he is an integral part of the Navy ground game with his blocking ability. When you also consider that Tillman has to be covered on every play it is easy to see why he is a vital cog to this offense.

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