Navy spring football notes

Everything seemed so clear entering spring drills: Brian Hampton would lead Navy's offense. That's still the plan, but after what transpired during the last week of spring drills it seems that Hampton may get a fight for the starting quarterback job when preseason practice begins in August.

His main challengers? Freshmen Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Jarrod Bryant.

A clean hit by linebacker Rob Caldwell knocked Hampton out of last Friday's Blue/Gold game with a minor shoulder injury just two plays into regulation. Navy coach Paul Johnson removed him as a precautionary measure.

That left an opening for Kaheaku-Enhada and Bryant to shine. They did.

Kaheaku-Enhada rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns for the Blue.

Bryant rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown to help Gold to a16-13 win. Johnson downplayed any quarterback controversy, pointing out that Kaheaku-Enhada and Bryant were paired up against second, third and even fourth-teamers.

Point taken. But the kids still looked good. Kaheaku-Enhada, who runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, is listed as second on the depth chart with Troy Goss behind Hampton. Gross rushed for 29 yards and completed 4-of-5 passes for 38 yards in the Blue/Gold game.

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Talk about a rise to prominence.

Offensive lineman Andrew McGinn entered spring drills with no varsity experience. He leaves as a starting tackle. Not bad. For his efforts, McGinn, a freshman, was given the Vice Admiral William P. Mack Award. The award has been given each of the last 31 years to the most improved player during the spring. McGinn is the third offensive tackle to win the award, voted on by Johnson and his staff. McGinn will battle senior Dan Person for the starting job during the preseason. Person, recovering from shoulder surgery, did not participate in spring drills.

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Another year, another trip to the White House.

The Navy football team is visiting President George W. Bush for a ceremony on Tuesday. The Midshipmen will be honored for winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for a third consecutive year. Navy finished 8-4 and beat Air Force 27-24 and Army 42-23 to win its third consecutive outright CIC for the coup de grace, the Midshipmen pounded Colorado State 51-30 in the Poinsettia Bowl.


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