Who's Who and Where They Were

As I sat in the bleachers adjacent to Rip Miller Field as Navy opened spring practice on Monday, I was happy for two reasons. First, I was glad that I wore my winter coat. The thermometer may have claimed that it was in the 50's, but the breeze off of the Chesapeake begged to differ. I was also thankful that I remembered to bring my football roster, because without it, I would have been lost.

I managed to observe the last 40 minutes or so of practice and from what I could tell there were no major changes in its structure from the fall. The defensive and offensive teams each occupied one end of the field. The most obvious thing to stand out was what appeared to be the scout team (offense) which was wearing red sleeves over their helmets. They looked very Terrapinish – although Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo later confirmed that the red color was only a coincidence and that the players were not thinking about their opening game – yet. The coaches, on the other hand, have already dived into the game film of their first opponent. More on that to follow in a later article.


As I scanned the field, the first three numbers that stood out to me around the 30-yard-line were all unfamiliar ones (#6, #20, and #37). At first I thought that I was looking at the first team defense, but when I saw the names that corresponded to the jerseys (Caleb Lucas, Travis Keating, and John Michael Nurthen), I knew something was amiss. Not to take anything away from these potential future stars, but I had not remembered hearing their names and the word ‘starter' in any of my colleague Adam Nettina's spring preview articles. It turns out these players were not practicing with the first team, but probably either the second or third team defense. I know this because moments later I found the more familiar #98 (Jabaree Tuani) and #90 (Billy Yarborough) roaming the far end zone with other first team defensive players.


On the other side of the field, my first impression of the offense was that there were a ton of slot backs who seemed pretty quick. Rising sophomores John Howell and David Zapata were the first two to catch my eye. Of course without my roster, I would never have known who they were. Later I realized that it appeared that Howell and Zapata were working with the second and third team offenses, respectively. I say ‘appeared' because I can not be 100% sure because there was a lot of rotating going on. But based on my decent vision, it seemed to me that the below players were practicing with the following units. Does this mean anything? Well, probably not…as it was only the first day of spring, but what would spring practice be without a little fun speculation?


Note 1: I did not see either fullback Alexander Teich or tackle Jeff Battipaglia on the practice field, but Navy SID Scott Strasemeier confirmed to me that they were both out there on Monday. 


Note 2: I had some trouble seeing the numbers of the second and/or third team defense. I'll try to do a better job the next time I venture out to practice.



First Team Offense


QB    4  Ricky Dobbs


WR  84  Greg Jones

WR  80  Mike Schupp

WR  83  Gary Myers


OL  75   Brady DeMell

OL  65   Josh Cabral

OL  71   Eric Douglass

OL  63   David Hong

OL  70   Matt Molloy

OL  68   John Dowd


SB  28   Marcus Curry

SB  17   Mike Stukel

SB  21   Gee Gee Greene

SB  26   Aaron Santiago


FB  47   Vince Murray


Second Team Offense


QB    2   Kriss Proctor


WR  86   Brandon Turner

WR  89   Jonathan Gazaille

WR  83   Gary Myers

WR  79   Wes Henderson


OL  67   Josh Corby

OL  66   Warren Fischer

OL  64   Ryan Basford

OL  69   Francis Archibald

OL  55   Matt Couch

OL  50   Kahikolu Pescaia

OL  62   Mike McCarthy


SB  33   John Howell

SB  23   Bo Snelson

SB  20   Andre Byrd

SB  40   Trey Reed


FB  37   Delvin Diggs

FB  25   Kevin Eckel


Third Team Offense


QB    8    Tyler Lynch


WR  79   Wes Henderson

WR  81   Bruce Andrews

WR  18   Matt Shibata


OL   55   Matt Couch

OL   77   Steve Spada

OL   57   Zach Dryden

OL   62   Mike McCarthy

OL   52   Alex Boddiford  

OL   74   Beau Haworth

OL   72   Cory Oberst

OL   78   Donnie Bowers


SB    22   David Zapata

SB    24   Corey James

SB    32   Prentice Christian


FB    38   Jarred Mack


First Team Defense


DL   98   Jabaree Tuani

DL   90   Billy Yarborough

DL   93   Chase Burge


LB   57   Caleb King

LB   58   Trey Grissom

LB   29   Aaron McCauley

LB   56   Neil Doogan

LB   44   Max Blue

LB   59   Josh Dowling-Fitzpatrick


DB  11   Kwesi Mitchell

DB  24   Mario Washington

DB    8   Wyatt Middleton

DB  19   Jason Wright

DB  18   David Wright


Second or Third Team Defense


DL  70   David Mills

DL  97   John Cabbage

LB  32   Matt Brewer

LB  37   John Michael Nurthen

LB  48   Keegan Wetzel


DB  14  Ryan Green

DB    6  Caleb Lucas

DB    9  Tra'ves Bush

DB  20  Travis Keating

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