Navy Spring Review: Offensive Tackles

Navy recently completed its spring drills. GoMids.com’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 offensive tackles.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES
Starters: LT Blake Copeland Jr., RT Joey Gaston Sr.
Back up: LT Seth White So., RT Robert Lindsey So.
Third String: LT Patrick Hoffman Jr., RT John Ferguson Jr.
Navy ranked second nationally in rushing last year averaging over 336 yards per game. The success of Navy's option offense greatly depends on the offensive line and the Mids enter 2015 having to replace three senior starters. Navy ranked dead last in the nation in sack percentage allowed and the line's inability to protect the quarterback.

Replacing left tackle Bradlyn Heap will likely be junior Blake Copeland. Copeland made his first start in the Mids’ win over VMI last year and appeared in three games. He is a 6-4”, 258 offensive lineman. Brandon was a First team All-State offensive lineman for Muscle Shoals, Alabama in high school and was a direct admit. He is an average athlete but has good strength and has worked hard in the weight room. Senior right tackle Joey Gaston is the most experienced of the returning offensive lineman. The six-foot five inch, 281 pound right tackle has started 16 consecutive games. Joey is very good at getting off the snap and cutting linebackers at the second level. He is tall but can bend his knees and is explosive through his hips. Gaston has been solid player with good size and feet but like most Navy linemen he's had some issues in pass protection.

The backup tackle is sophomore Seth White, a 6-3”, 265 pound direct admit guard, from Sky View high school in Utah. He was a team captain and first-team all-state offensive lineman on Sky View’s football team. He is an excellent athlete and strong. White was one of the best prep throwers in track and field in the entire state during his high school career. He impressed the staff this spring. The other back up offensive tackle is sophomore offensive tackle Robert Lindsey. Lindsey was a starting offensive tackle at the Naval Academy Prep School in 2013. The 6-4”, 267 pound Lindsey was ranked by the Orlando Sentinel as the 17th best recruit in their 2013 MIDEAST Florida top sixty recruits poll. Lindsey is the ideal option offensive tackle in terms of athleticism. He is very explosive and quick off the ball. Lindsey is not an overly dominating lineman physically but has the ability to easily get to the second level and maintain his blocks.

Junior Patrick Hoffman is a former direct admit from La Salle high school in Pennsylvania moved up to third string on the depth chart. He followed in his father's footsteps. His dad was an offensive guard at Navy in the eighties. Hoffman (6-4”, 265) offers nice size and is a hard worker if not a great natural athlete. Some members of junior John Ferguson (6-4", 250) family also attended the Naval Academy. Ferguson is an overachiever. In 2012 he was just a reserve defensive lineman at the Naval Academy Prep School. Ferguson has really improved after being moved to offensive tackle. He is mobile and moves well.

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