Navy Football Notes

Football season is getting close and Navy season ticket sales are skyrocketting. The Navy football team is seeing some newfound respect though not everyone sees eye to eye with those feelings. We also look at one current Navy football prospect with connections to the movie Radio and think about a 2004 Navy team loaded with seniors.

The Navy backfield is considered the 16th best according to Phil Steele's College Football Preview Magazine. No big surprise there. No reason why big Kyle Eckel won't run over opponents again in 2004. The senior fullback gained over 1,200 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in 2003. Steel's magazine lists Kansas State as having the top backfield in the country.

While Navy's big turnaround caught the attention of many football experts, It didn't catch the attention of Larry Phipps. Phipps publishes Phipps 2004 SEC Football Preview, an annual publication which includes indepth previews and predictions for all 12 SEC teams. In his Vanderbilt preview he predicts the Commodores to have little trouble with the Midshipmen. Phipps says the Commodores should cruise to an easy 30-17 win. Did he sleep through last season?

Brent Copeland, who attends T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C., is a fine quarterback prospect who currently lists Navy as a school of interest in addition to Army, Vanderbilt and UTEP. Copeland, who passed for over 2,000 yards as a junior, has an offer from UTEP. Some of you may already know that Copeland's high school was the school featured in the movie Radio. Radio is about James Kennedy (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) a developmentally disabled young man who is taken under the wing of head coach Harold Jones, played by actor Ed Harris. Brent's father, Dr. Brent Copeland, also attended and played for Hanna in the mid 70s. It's a heart wrenching movie.

Navy football season ticket sales are up more than 20 percent over 2003. It's amazing what winning does to help sell those tickets. America loves a winner! Only the most loyal fans will continue to pay to watch a losing team. Losing is misery in football. The Navy marketing department has done an outstanding job promoting season ticket sells but winning in itself, is the best promoter of Navy football. Navy kicks off the 2004 season when it hosts Duke Sept. 4.

When you look at the Navy spring depth chart one thing jumps out at you quickly. Eleven senior starters on offense. Head Coach Paul Johnson must be fairly excited. His offense was a machine in 2003 and we have every reason to expect the 2004 offense to be even more productive. It's great news for 2004 but what will we think in 2005 when we have zero returning offensive starters?

On defense the Midshipmen will feature seven seniors starters.

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