Preview 2008: Defensive line

As part of's continuing preview of the 2008 Navy football season today will take a look at the defensive line. The Mids open their 2008 season on August 30th against Towson in Annapolis.

Overview: Gone is Chris Kuhar-Pitters but the Mids have two good starters returning in Nate Frazier and Mike Walsh (who has changed numbers this year to #78 from #38). If the Mids are to improve on defense, it must start on the defensive line.

Starters lost:

Chris Kuhar-Pitters (LDE)

Returning starters:

Michael Walsh (RDE) (6-2, 257, Sr.) - Walsh was a force on the field for the Mids last season, piling up 10.5 tackles for losses including 3 sacks. He had 57 tackles, which was sixth best on the team.
Nate Frazier (NG) (6-3, 287, Jr.) - Frazier played in all 13 games and had 42 tackles with 4.5 tackles made for losses.

Others to watch:

Defensive ends

Kyle Bookhout (6-2, 247, Jr.) - Listed as the backup right defensive end after spring drills. Finished '07 with 9 tackles including one for lost yardage.
Lee Calloway (5-11, 255, So.) - Listed as the backup left defensive end after spring drills.
Maurice Cumberland (6-4, 259, So.) - Rising sophomore hopes to see playing time in 2008.
Clyde Lydick (6-4, 246, So.) - Worked hard in the spring and hopes to see some action this season.
Richard Marshall (6-6, 228, Jr.) - Listed as the third string left defensive end after the spring workouts.
Matt Nechak (6-4, 249, Jr.) - Nechak finished spring drills as the starting left defensive end. In 2007 he had 22 tackles, one for a loss and broke up a pass while seeing action in all 13 games.
Artie Pauls (6-1, 250, Sr.) - Hard working senior who hopes to contribute in 2008.
Zach Weatherington (6-4, 260, Jr.) - Good sized junior that hopes to see some action this season.
Billy Yarborough (6-5, 234, So.) - Listed as the third string right end after the spring.

Nose Guard

Shane Bothel (6-3, 239, So.) - Rising sophomore.
Chase Burge (6-4, 250, So.) - Another rising sophomore.
Ryan Griffith (6-2, 252, Sr.) - The third string nose guard after spring practice. Played in 3 games last season and had 2 tackles.
John Maddox (6-4, 253, Sr.) - Veteran who had a good spring and hopes to contribute in 2008.
Jordan Stephens (6-4, 263, Jr.) - Listed as Frazier's backup at the conclusion of spring drills. Saw action in 12 games in '07, picking up 13 tackles.

Projected starters:

Defensive ends

Michael Walsh (RDE)
Matt Nechak (LDE)

Nose Guard

Nate Frazier

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo comments

"I expect us to be improved on the defensive line this year. Michael Walsh plays as hard as anybody on the team and Matt Nechak has a ton of potential. Nate Frazier can be as good as he wants to be. He has the ability to be the best nose guard we¹ve had in my time here if he continues to work hard."

Navy defensive line power rating (1-10): 8.3

Nate Frazier (USNA) Top Stories