What you need to know ... The
nation's number one rushing attack last year averaged 319 yards
per game, and it should be even better this season with four
starting offensive linemen returning to pave the way for a
tremendous backfield led by late-year sensation Adam Ballard at
fullback and Poinsettia Bowl hero Reggie Campbell at slot back.
Receiver Jason Tomlinson leads an experienced receiving corps
that's good at doing what it's supposed to for the running game.
The only question is at quarterback where Brian Hampton has
prove he can throw with some consistency and make the decisions
in the running game like former starter Lamar Owens did.
Passing: Brian Hampton
6-19, 99 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Adam Ballard
109 carries, 668 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: Jason Tomlinson
25 catches, 445 yds, 1 TD
Star of the offense: Junior FB Adam Ballard
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior QB
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Tyree Barnes
Best pro prospect: Ballard
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Ballard, 2) OG Antron
Harper, 3) OG Zach Gallion
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, experience
Weakness of the offense:
Passing, quarterback experience
Navy has become a factory when it comes to grooming option
quarterbacks, and Brian Hampton should be more than fine
replacing Lamar Owens, who led the team in rushing last year.
Hampton is a good-sized runner, but he has to prove he can be an
effective passer when the pressure is on. Big Troy Goss and former
receiver Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada provide some other options.
The key to the unit: Brian Hampton's ability to throw
well enough to make defenses worry about the deep ball.
Quarterback Rating: 5.5
- Brian Hampton, Sr. - 6-19, 31.6%, 99 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT,
40 carries, 160 yds, 4.0 ypc, 2 TD
Yet another tough, quick, Navy quarterback, the 5-11, 203-pound
Hampton provides a bit more size than past Midshipmen signal
callers. He saw time in every game last year and ran relatively
well. He doesn't have the quickness of former starter Lamar
Owens, but he'll break more tackles and has good speed when he
gets into the open. Can he throw the ball? He has to be around
50% to be effective and has to take advantage of every open
- Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, Soph.
A receiver last year, the Hawaii native will move to quarterback
to get a little bit of practice experience to be a factor in the
race for the starting job next year. He'll be used a little bit
on special teams to take advantage of his blazing speed.
- Troy Goss, Jr. - 2 carries, 8 yds
At 6-2 and 214 pounds, Goss is a different type of Navy
quarterback who should play a bigger role after being hurt most
of last year. He's more of a passer than a runner, but his size
provides a few options for the running game.
The backfield is loaded with speed and experience, but the
real excitement is over fullback Adam Ballard, who turned into a
dangerous, explosive runner down the stretch. Trey Hines is
fully healthy and should finally live up to his promise as one
of the fastest backs in Navy history. Poinsettia Bowl star
Reggie Campbell returns, as does fullback Matt Hall from a knee
injury. Also look for this group to be great at catching the
The key to the unit: Getting the ball to Trey Hines
and Reggie Campbell in space a little more to utilize their
blazing speed. Backup slot backs need to be developed.
Running Back Rating: 9
- Trey Hines, Sr. - 27 carries, 104 yds, 3.9 ypc, 1 TD, 3
catches, 23 yds, 7.7 ypc
Hines has been the player everyone has been waiting to explode,
but hasn't. He's the team's fastest player and is a top sprinter
on the track team, but he hasn't been nearly as explosive as he
should be after averaging 8.6 yards per run in his freshman
season. To be fair, he was never quite right last year after
suffering a leg injury running track. Now he'll focus solely
- Reggie Campbell, Jr. - 57 carries, 514 yds, 9.0 ypc, 7
TD, 12 catches, 314 yds, 26.2 ypc, 2 TD
Campbell had a nice season as a part-time slot back with track
star speed and quickness to add a burst for around three carries
a game, and then he exploded in the Poinsettia Bowl scoring five
touchdowns against Colorado State while gaining 290 total yards.
He's only 5-6 and 164 pounds, but he's freakishly strong and a
good blocker for his size.
- Fullback Adam Ballard, Sr. - 190 carries, 668 yds, 6.1
ypc, 6 TD, 5 catches, 78 yds, 15.6 ypc
The 240-pound Ballard was an afterthought in the offense with
Matt Hall getting all the work, and then Hall went down with a
knee injury and Ballard exploded rushing for 167 yards against
Temple, 192 against Army, and 129 against Colorado State
finishing second on the team in rushing despite getting most of
his work in the final three-and-a-half games. . He's a battering
ram of a blocker and a tough runner with the speed to break off
the big play once he busts through the line.
- Fullback Matt Hall, Sr. - 99 carries, 493 yds, 5
ypc, 6 TD
Hall was having a decent season before getting knocked out for
the year after suffering a knee injury against Notre Dame. He's
not as big as Adam Ballard and isn't as good a runner, but he's
experienced enough, and effective enough, to battle for the
Karlos Whittaker, Soph. - 37 carries, 290 yds, 7.8 ypc, 6
TDs, 3 catches, 64 yards
An explosive runner who demands to get the ball in his hands as
both a runner, kick returner and a receiver, he needs to get
over a knee injury to get back in the mix this fall. He's not as
good a blocker as the other slot backs, but his speed and skills
more than make up for it.
- Byron McCoy, Sr. - 3 carries, 5 yards
The 192-pound senior is a bigger option at one of the slot back
positions, but he'll mostly be used as a special teamer.
- Zerbin Singleton, Jr. - 1 carry, 3 yards
Exclusively a special teamer so far, the 165-pound Georgia Tech
transfer can flat out fly and might be used more on offense to
get him on the outside.
It's hard to get too much recognition or credit when you
play receiver in the Navy offense, but Jason Tomlinson leads a
strong group that will do exactly what it's supposed to: block,
surprise with the big play, run precise routes, and block some
more. Tomlinson will handle most of the pass catching duties,
but Tyree Barnes, O.J. Washington and T.J. Thiel have enough
speed to be effective if the offense has to go in comeback mode.
The key to the unit: Get in the end zone a bit more.
That's not the job of the Navy receiving corps, but receivers
only caught three scoring passes last year.
Receiver Rating: 5
- Jason Tomlinson, Sr. - 25 catches, 445 yds, 17.8 ypc, 1 TD
The lightning fast senior has been the team's best receiver for
the last few seasons and a big play threat with a career average
of 17.3 yards per catch. He's not a touchdown scorer with one in
each of his three seasons, but he has to be accounted for by
defenses lulled to sleep by the running game. He's a great
blocker and a solid punt returner averaging 7.8 yards per return
over the last three years.
- O.J. Washington, Jr. - 1 catch, 8 yards
Washington has too much speed not to be used more. He was a
Washington state high school champion sprinter and will get the
first look on the other side of Jason Tomlinson.
- Tyree Barnes. Soph. - 6 catches, 154 yards, 25.7 ypc, 2
Barnes didn't see too many passes come his way as a freshman,
but he made the most of his opportunities averaging 25.2 yards
per catch. At 6-2 and 175 pounds, he has good size compared the
rest of the Midshipmen receivers and is a great blocker.
- Kyle Kimbro, Jr.
The 6-2, 193-pound junior is a fierce blocker, but he won't
catch too many passes. He'll be back this fall after suffering a
knee injury last year.
- T.J. Thiel, Soph.
The rail thin 6-0, 164-pound sophomore will have a hard time
seeing playing time behind Jason Tomlinson, but he has the speed
and quickness to get his feet wet to be ready to roll next year.
No, this isn't a great line compared to the top units at the
big-time programs, but it's as good as it gets for what Navy does. Four
starters return and the fifth, tackle Joe Person, has starting
experience. Each returning starter can make the claim to being the
team's best lineman. There's more size than you might think, especially
at guard, but it's not a big line. It's an athletic, fierce group that
should dominate all year long if everyone stays healthy. Once again, the
line is ranked on how good it is for Navy's offense.
The key to the unit: This should be the best line in
the Paul Johnson era, but there's no experienced depth to rely on.
Players have to be developed for next year.
Offensive Line Rating: 6.5
- OT Matt Pritchett, Sr.
The 267-pound Pritchett grew into the starter's role last year growing
into a technician on the left side. What he lacks in size he makes up
for in tenacity and smarts. He rarely misses a block and is terrific on
- OG Zach Gallion, Sr.
The team's most important lineman because of his size, the 300-pound
senior is the biggest blocker by far. He's a killer in the running game
and doesn't get knocked out of position. He can play either guard spot
and will start on the left side.
- C James Rossi, Sr.
One of the strongest players on the line, the 268-pound Rossi grew into
a phenomenal blocker by the end of last year and should be one of the
team's most consistent players, He has 18 straight games of starting
experience and should be the leader up front.
- OG Antron Harper, Jr.
Even though he's tiny at 5-11 and 249 pounds, he's an incredible blocker
who plays far, far bigger than his size. He plays with an attitude you
might expect from a small lineman always finishing his blocks extremely
- OT Joe Person, Sr.
The line will benefit in a big way from the return of the 6-4, 260-pound
Person after suffering a shoulder injury. He's a good athlete with
starting experience, and now he should take a step up and be one of the
team's most reliable blockers.
- OT Andrew McGinn, Soph.
The 247-pound sophomore will combine with Joe Person at right tackle.
He's great on the move and was one of the better performers this spring.
- OT Josh Meek, Jr.
If Joe Person isn't ready, the 256-pound Meek could be the only new
starter on the line benefiting from all the experience around him. He's one of the biggest tackles on
the team and can play either tackle spot.
- OG Anthony Gaskins, Soph.
He won't see a ton of time with Antron Harper firmly entrenched at right
guard, but he could step in if the line wants to go bigger. Harper is
249 pounds, Gaskins is 273.