Navy Spring Review: Rover

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 rover position.

ROVER
Starters: Kwazel Bertrand Sr.
Backup: Daiquan Thomasson Jr.
Backup: Brandon Jones So.

Senior Kwazel Bertrand (6-0”, 192) regains the Rover job this spring that he lost last year after an injury. He had been moved from cornerback to Rover. His inexperience at Rover showed last fall when he was beat a number of times on play action. Against the Irish he took a terrible angle and missed the tackle on Notre Dame's C.J. Prosise allowing a 78-yard touchdown reception. His best game was when he recorded seven tackles and picked off his first career pass in Navy's 41-31 victory over San Jose State. Bertand's interception came in the first quarter at the Navy two-yard line stopping a Spartan scoring drive. Bertrand was injured late in the season and missed the final three games. Kwazel finished the season with 53 tackles, an interception and broke up two passes. He has worked hard in the weight room adding nearly thirty pounds since I-day while retaining his man on man coverage skills.

Junior Daiquan Thomasson (6-0”, 195) is battling with Brandon Jones for the backup job. He played in four games on special teams last season. He was the starting Rover in 2012 at the Naval Academy Prep School. Thomasson is a tremendous athlete and he really impressed me at the NAPS. 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. 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 is competing with some talented players but I honestly thought by this time in his career he would be a starter after seeing him dominate at NAPS.

Sophomore Brandon Jones (6-4”, 205) is listed as the co-backup at the end of spring practice. The question with Jones was never if he could play but where he would play. Brandon played linebacker and safety at the Naval Academy Prep School in 2013. Jones is a bit of a tweener in the Navy defense. He is very tall, lean, athletic, jumps well and has good speed. His speed tends to be in a straight line at safety. Jones can make the plays in front of him but, in watching him at NAPS, he can have trouble turning and playing the deep ball. Jones seems to lack the hips to handle man coverage consistently. I personally thought his best position would be Striker linebacker as he got stronger but he's impressed the staff enough to compete at Rover.

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