What do these four schools have in common on the football field?
Navy - 11-2 – Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy Winners – American Athletic Conference West Division Champions – Military Bowl Winners
University of Texas San Antonio – 3-9
North Texas – 1-11
If your answer was little to nothing then you are almost correct. There is one thread though that runs through the four schools. These are the only four schools in the country that do not have a single player placed on any of the preseason awards watch lists for 2016.
Honestly that fact is quite staggering. Navy at 11-2 is lumped in with three teams that combined to go 4-32 in not having a single player worthy of recognition. Some of these watch lists contain 70 and 80 players so that at the end of the season the people in charge have the ability to look like they were right all along. With that in mind it is actually a little scandalous that Navy is not represented at all on any of these lists.
Obviously the Mids graduated a lot of talent from that 11-2 team. Keenan Reynolds was the big name, but the likes of Will Anthony and Chris Swain were also guys who got award buzz. It is like the selection committees saw everything that Navy had lost and quickly bypassed the Mids as having anyone viable of being up for award contention without putting a second of thought (or research) into it.
Wide receiver Jamir Tillman isn’t going to put up massively explosive numbers in this offense, but he is going to be as vital to the success of the unit as any player at his position in the country. Micah Thomas and Daniel Gonzales both have shown flashes at linebacker that should have been enough to see one or the other find an award list somewhere. Dishan Romine is one of the best kick returners in the entire country.
If Ken Niumatalolo isn’t using these snubs as a way to rally his troops he should be. This Navy team might be short on game experience, but suggesting the players are no more outstanding than those playing for a UCF team that was outscored 167-452 in 2015 is outrageous.