Interview: Navy's Wyatt Middleton

When injuries ravaged Navy's defense last season, the Mids called on, among other young players, freshman safety Wyatt Middleton. Just like the other underclassmen thrown into the fray, Middleton experienced some growing pains. But Middleton developed and had a solid season for Navy, finishing second on the team with 88 tackles. GoMids.com caught up with Middleton to talk about this season.

GoMids.com: The season-opener against Towson is right around the corner. How excited are you to hit someone other than your Navy teammates?
Wyatt Middleton: I'm very excited. We have seen the option offense the whole time during camp. It's going to be nice to see a conventional offense. You have all that built up aggression, it's going to be nice to hit another team, instead of my teammates.

GM: What was it like being thrown into the mix as a freshman last year?
WM: Everything was moving so fast. I tried not to think too much. I just went out and played. I had to learn my responsibilities and the defense. This year, I have a lot better idea of those type of things.

GM: What was your welcome to Division I football moment?
WM: I'd say the Rutgers game when I was thrown into the game and had to go against Ray Rice and try to tackle him. Plus, seeing all the people in the crowd. I just tried to keep it simple. I made some mental errors, but I think I played all right.

GM: Toughest adjustment for you last year?
WM: I played linebacker in high school (Marist, Ga.). That was a big adjustment. I was used to running down hill, not straight across in pass coverage.

GM: How much will last year's experience help you this season?
WM: It's great to have that experience under my belt, but, in actuality, we will find out against Towson. I think I will be ready. The experience has helped me learn how an offense works and quarterbacks tendencies', stuff like that.

GM: But you have to have some confidence, right?
WM: It definitely helps because I know I can play D-I football. The game is fast and I've experienced that.

GM: Any personal goals for yourself this year?
WM: Not really, just go out and play hard. Stats don't mean much to me. If you do your job right, everything else will take care of itself. I just want to work tremendously hard and leave it all on the field.

GM: Do you pattern your game after any players?
WM: Two. The first is Deion Sanders. Not only was he such a great athlete, he had to overcome a lot of other obstacles in his life. The other is Lawrence Taylor, he was a beast.

GM:What are you expecting from Towson?
WM: They are a good passing and running team. They have a good offense. I'm excited because they are going to put the ball up in the air a lot.

GM: How excited are you to be a part of this Navy defensive unit that could be pretty good this year?
WM: Very, we have a good amount of experience coming back. What I'm really excited about is having (safety) Jeff Deliz and (linebacker) Clint Sovie back (from injuries). We will find out how good we are next Saturday.


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