Meet the New Mids: Offensive Line

Navy recently announced the newest players to join the Navy football team. GoMids.com's Jim Lawler will now introduce the new Mid offensive linemen including Tony Taylor, Andrew Wood, Stephen Satchell, Laurent Njiki, Jacob Hawk, Chris Gesell, Bryan Barrett, Artie Vasquez, Nofo Ti’I, Adam Amosa, Tyler Morgenthaler and Chibuzo Ukandu .

GoMids.com continues its review of this year’s incoming freshmen class by position. Navy needs to replace three starters from last season’s offensive line. The Mids added some offensive talent to rebuild around with this class. Offensive line coach Ashley Ingram believes that the 2015 recruiting class is one of the best offensive line recruiting classes they ever had at Navy. GoMids.com will look at the incoming offensive linemen.

Navy landed two Scout.com three-star direct admit offensive line recruits. One was Tony Taylor an offensive tackle of the Wesleyan School in Georgia. The 6-foot-5, 272-pound offensive lineman played on both the offensive and defensive lines to lead his team to the Class AA state playoffs. On offense he recorded 36 pancake blocks with 88-percent blocking grade and allowed zero sacks. On defense he made 36 total tackles (12 solo and five for loss). He was recognized as first team All-Region and All-County as an offense lineman. He was named an NUC All-American and invited to play in NUC Senior Bowl. Tony moves well for a big man and can lock out and control a defensive end. Taylor committed to Navy early last summer over offers from Virginia Tech, Bucknell, Cincinnati, Georgia Southern and Georgia State.



The other three star recruit is Andrew Wood (6-4", 300) from Friendship Christian in Tennessee. Wood was named by Scout as a three-star recruit and No. 89-rated offensive guard in the nation. Wood played on both sides of the ball. He was a finalist for Mr. Football Lineman of the Year. The senior captain was a four-year starter. He posted 83 pancakes and graded out at 96 percent his senior season. As a defensive tackle Wood made 31 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Wood can bend his knees and he dominated as a run blocker in high school. He selected Navy over Mississippi State and Purdue.



Stephen Satchell was easily the best offensive lineman at the Naval Academy Prep School (NAPS) last year. Stephen Satchell played as a two-way lineman at Independence High School in Tennessee. Satchell played both left tackle and defensive end in high school. On defense he made 22 tackles and posted two sacks. He earned 2013 All-District honors. Satchell is a 6-4”, 275-pound offensive tackle who offers nice size and athleticism. He moves well and has quick feet to position and sustain his blocks. Stephen is very good at getting off the snap and cutting linebackers at the second level. At times he played a little too upright at NAPS but can bend his knees and is explosive through his hips. Satchell is the prototypical Navy tackle. He has the talent to impact the depth chart next year as a sophomore. Satchell looks like another gold nugget find by Navy's offensive line coach Ashley Ingram who is an amazing recruiter.



Laurent Njiki is a 6-3”, 295 pound offensive who was a huge surprise at the Naval Academy Prep School last year. I thought he was the second best lineman on the team. Njiki wasn't highly recruited and Navy was his only offer. Njiki played at Wylie high school in Texas. He has nice size and strength. Njiki is Texas tough, physical and nasty. He comes off the ball low, hard and fast. Laurent is very aggressive and has good feet. He once ran a 4.69 20-yard shuttle at an ESPN combine. He played very well last year at the prep school and has a nice upside to his game.

Jacob Hawk (6-6”, 297) was used at mostly at right tackle and some left tackle last year at NAPS. He is a local product from Fort Meade, Maryland. Hawk was a right tackle at Meade high school which won the Class 4A East Region championship in 2012. Hawk grew up on and around military bases, first in Georgia and then Maryland, while his dad served in the Army. His grandfather and great grandfather both served in the armed forces as well. Jacob is a very athletic offensive lineman with good feet and he moves well. Hawk played well last year at the prep school. He looks rather lean even for a triple option tackle. Hawk needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room to improve his upper and lower body strength before he can become a factor but he has talent. Jacob chose Navy over Wake Forest, William and Mary, and James Madison.



Chris Gesell (6-4", 295) is a direct admit who was a two-year starter at center for St. Augustine in San Diego, California. Gesell was named first team All-CIF and All-League as a senior. He has the size and frame to add weight that the Navy staff wants in their centers. Gesell often dominated on the high school level. He is a good athlete. He is very fast and strong off the ball. Chris ran an impressive time for a lineman, 4.81 in the 40 yard dash, at an ESPN combine. Gesell can long snap as well. His dad served over 20 years in the Navy. Chris chose Navy over Air Force, Army, Nevada, Yale, Idaho, Montana among nine offers.

Bryan Barrett is a 6-2', 330 pound center who started last year at NAPS until he was injured. Barrett was an under the radar recruit. He played right guard and right tackle for Guyer high school which won a Class 4A Division I state championship. Bryan is a big physical bulky center. He is a naturally strong and a good run blocker at the point of attack. Barrett needs to get in better shape and improve his stamina and quickness. He can dominate at times but he wears down and doesn't always finish his blocks. He showed good technique in pass protection. Slimming down will allow him to be more consistent at getting to the second level.



Artie Vasquez is a 6-foot 4-inch, 280 pound offensive lineman who split time at both guard and tackle for the Naval Academy Prep School. Artie played at Vista Murrieta in California. Vasquez earned second team 2013 All-Southwestern League honors. Vasquez played well and was a bit of a surprised last season at NAPS. He improved as the season progressed and his understanding of the system increased. Vasquez plays hard and is a mauler. He needs to build up his lower body strength to improve his run blocking. He offers a nice frame that can fill out as he matures. He played some tackle last year but I think his future lies at inside at guard.



Nofo Ti’i is a 6-foot-1, 310- pound offensive lineman from La Mirada high school in California. The mobile Ti'i earned All-Suburban league honors in all three of his varsity seasons. He was a Whittier Daily News All-Area selection in 2013. Nofo was in the guard rotation last season at the Naval Academy Prep school. Ti’i has intriguing talent. He's short but offers nice size for a Navy guard. Ti’i needs to become more consistent and lift his overall level of play. He can be physical at times with some pop but takes off too many downs. Nofo needs to improve his conditioning and stamina. He has a decent first step and solid tools to develop if he works hard in weight room. [Editor’s Note: Ti’i is currently listed as a nose guard on the official Navy roster]



Adam Amosa (6-2”, 260) was in the offensive tackle rotation last fall at the Naval Academy Prep School. He attended Campbell high school in Hawaii. He was named First team All-State offensive lineman, OIA All-Star Football Team and team's most outstanding offensive lineman. Amosa is an excellent technician with good feet, uses his hands well and is mobile. He is very quick off the snap. Amosa has the athleticism to thrive as an option offensive lineman. He just needs to get spend a lot of time in Mike Brass's weight room to get stronger. He's behind some of the other NAPS linemen we discussed in terms of strength and power.



Tyler Morgenthaler (6-0”, 280) was in the rotation at center last fall at the Naval Academy Prep School. Morgenthaler played offensive tackle and center for Downingtown East in Pennsylvania. His brother Jack is a midfielder on the Navy lacrosse team. Tyler has attended the Navy's football camp since he was eight years old and always dreamed of being a Midshipman. Tyler isn't that big and he is far from being physically imposing. He a limited athlete but he's very fundamentally sound and was effective. Morgenthaler is a big effort, hardworking overachiever. He understands blocking angles, his assignments and positioning. Morgenthaler is a development prospect who needs to get stronger and improve his first step to become a factor.



Chibuzo Ukandu (6-3”, 270) is a local product from the Gilman School in Maryland. He was a two -way lineman. Ukanda older brother, Azubuike, is a defensive tackle for Maryland. Ukandu initially hoped for a Maryland offer but it never came because the athletic Chibuzo is undersized. Ukandu was used as an offensive tackle at NAPS in 2014. He is behind the other tackles already discussed from NAPS physically and in his techniques. Chibuzo has ability but he is very raw and must get stronger. It looks like he added twenty pounds this off season which he needed. He needs to improve his footwork and build up his core strength. Ukandu chose Navy over offers from Tulane and Charlotte.



Next: Meet the new Mids defensive linemen.

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