Navy is entering the 2014 football season with established starters at kicker, punter and with new underclassmen taking over on the return teams. The Mids will have to replace tremendous senior punter Pablo Beltran and long snapper Joe Cardona next season. All the new specialists attended the Naval Academy Prep School last season. There were no direct admit kickers. In the last part of our series GoMids.com takes a look at the new Midshipmen joining Navy's special teams.
Bennett Moehring is a direct admit 5-foot-9, 180-pound kicker/punter from Bentonville, Arkansas. He chose Navy over offers from Army, UMass, Tulane and invitations as a preferred walk-on to California, Missouri, and SMU. Moehring was 7-of-8 on field goals with a long of 49 yards and converted all 51 of his extra points as a senior for Bentonville’s state championship team. He also averaged 65.8 yards-per-kickoff and 40.5 yards-per punt. Bennett placed 28 of his 46 punts inside the 20-yard line. Moehring was named All-State and All-Conference after both his junior and senior seasons. Moehring was the No. 1 ranked kicker nationally by Chris Sailer Kicking. Moehring is very dependable, consistent in his approach and has impressive leg strength. Bennett has improved every year.
Erik Harris (5-10", 190) is a punter/kicker from Saddleback Junior College in California. Harris graduated in 2013 from Santa Margarita Catholic High School then spent 11 months of active duty service in the United States Coast Guard. Harris attended Georgia Military College and Saddleback College. He is the brother of Navy linebacker Ryan Harris. Erik Harris was used exclusively as a place kicker at Saddleback JC last year but the Mids like him better as a punter. Harris made 10-of-13 field goals and 56-of-57 extra points. Harris earned second team All-Southern League honors.
Erik was the 2014 Chris Sailer California Fall Camp punt champion. Sailer’s report on Harris reads, "…is a good athlete with a very strong leg. He hits his field goals with a clean stroke. Harris's kickoffs are strong. His punting is the best part of his game. Kohl's kicking camp says, "he is a coordinated athlete who's consistency with his drop and clean rotation make him a college ready punter."
Nate Hawkins (6-1”, 210) was the long snapper last year at NAPS. He was a long snapper at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ohio. Hawkins was ranked as one of the best long snappers in the country by Chris Rubio who runs a kicking and snapping school. Rubio said, "Nate is beyond accurate, consistent and all-around solid with his long snapping. He's built well and handles pressure like a champ." Hawkins isn't Joe Cardona but he is a very solid long snapper.
The Naval Academy Prep School didn't have a great returner last season but slotback Tre Walker has the speed, hands and elusiveness to help Navy in the return game. NAPS’ three best linebackers,
Taylor Heflin, Hudson Sullivan and Conner Dorris can help Navy on the coverage teams. Taylor Heflin's bone crushing tackle covering the opening second half kickoff in the game against Army Prep was the hit of the year at the prep school. Hudson Sullivan runs well on makes plays on the coverage teams. Conner Dorris is a speedy 245-pound runaway train on the coverage units. Tory Delmonico, Jarid Ryan and John Gillis all have the speedy and tackling ability to make excellent gunners on the coverage units.
Meet the new Mids: Special Teams
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