5 more questions for Navy Football

Last week gomidshipmen.com checked in with five questions for Navy heading into the 2006 season. Here are five more: 1. Will this be Navy's best team under coach Paul Johnson? One of the first questions Johnson fielded from reporters this spring was. . .

could this be your best team?

Could very well be.

Navy returns 18 starters from last year's team that finished 8-4 and smoked Colorado State 51-30 in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Midshipmen have few questions marks. Only one is glaring: Can Brian Hampton take over as starting quarterback and get the job done?

Hampton made strides in spring ball and is confident. Seems like the only thing that could stop Navy is injuries, which the team battled during spring drills.

2. Is Navy a top 25 team?

You could make a good argument that the Midshipmen should have ended last year in one of the polls.

Instead, Navy, which won four of its last five games, got snubbed. The Midshipmen did receive 17 points in the final USA Today Poll and 20 in the Associated Press poll.

Navy could probably make a run at the top 25 poll with a 4-0 start. The Midshipmen open the season with East Carolina and Division I-AA Massachusetts, before moving on to more difficult games against Stanford and Tulsa.

3. What players could have big seasons for Navy?

There are several.

The above mentioned Hampton: His play will be the key to Navy's triple option attack. Slot backs Reggie Campbell and Karlos Whittaker: Campbell torched Colorado State for five touchdowns. Whittaker impressed before going down with a knee injury.

Fullback Adam Ballard: Will he hold off Matt Hall for the starting job? Ballard torched Army for 192 yards and two touchdowns last season. Linebacker Rob Caldwell: The linebacker is poised to put himself on the national radar. He made 140 tackles last year. Also watch out for outside linebackers David Mahoney and Tyler Tidwell.

4. Who is a hot up-and-coming Navy player to watch?

Back-up quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada is an electric and exciting player. Of course, Hampton is the man, but if he ever gets hurt (let's hope he doesn't), Kaheaku-Enhada would be an interesting guy to watch. He played every skill position in high school. Quarterback. Running back. Wide receiver. Kaheaku-Enhada runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and is so athletic that Navy coach Paul Johnson played him at wide receiver last fall just to get him on the field. Johnson and Kaheaku-Enhada had an agreement that he would eventually get a shot at playing quarterback for the Midshipmen. Sure, Kaheaku-Enhada is raw. But he rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the annual Blue-Gold scrimmage this spring.

5. Some more answers for the fall Toughest game this season? Notre Dame.

Easiest? Army, just kidding! Massachusetts. Another player to watch? Gritty center James Rossi.

How many game-winning field goals does Joey Bullen kick? Two.

By how many points is Navy favored entering Air Force? Four.

And Army? Seven.


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