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2014 Navy Recruiting Class Analysis
Navy Midshipmen
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2014


Navy Midshipmen 2014 ... Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo


Navy Midshipmen

2013 Record: 9-4
8/31 OPEN DATE
9/7 at Indiana W 41-35
9/14 Delaware W 51-7
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 at WKU L 19-7
10/5 Air Force W 28-10
10/12 at Duke L 35-7
10/19 at Toledo L 45-44
10/26 Pitt W 24-21
11/2 at Notre Dame L 38-34
11/9 Hawaii W 42-28
11/16 South Alabama W 42-14
11/23 at San Jose St W 38-32 3OT
11/30 OPEN DATE
12/7 OPEN DATE
12/14 Army (in Phil.) W 34-7
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
12/30 Middle Tenn W 24-6



Navy | The 2014 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2014: The lack of passing yards isn’t a problem for the Midshipmen considering the offense, but when there are throws, they have to hit better down the field – the passing game wasn’t efficient enough. The secondary struggled at giving up the big play. Third downs were tough for the D, allowing teams to convert 46% of the time allowing 283 first downs on the season. Field position is a big deal for a team like Navy – it would be good to have more pop in the punt return game that averaged just 7.4 yards per try.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive ends. The Midshipmen always come up with big classes – all service academies do – but this one is particularly loaded with potential defensive end prospects starting with Anthony Villalobos on one side and Jarvis Polu a fellow pass rushing athlete. There’s also a massive number of linebackers coming in led by Micah Thomas, a future leading tackler who’ll own the inside. Randy Beggs is the best of the defensive back bunch. 311-pound Trenton Noller will soon be the anchor of the O line.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 103. That Class Was Heavy On ... The offensive backfield. Navy is coming in with a huge class of players with a surprising number of receivers to play around with - several will become defensive backs or running backs - and with Sean Spence leading a solid group of defensive linemen. There's actual size among the defensive tackles, especially with 310-pound Patrick Forrestal and 280-pound Dylan Fischer, and linebacker Colton Jumper will eventually be the team's leading tackler. However, it's Navy, so the emphasis will always be on the backfield. Dishan Romine is the only running back of note, but there are plenty of options coming in. Travis Marshall is the best of the quarterback lot that'll be developed for three years from now.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 99. That Class Was Heavy On ... More running backs. If you’re going to run an offense like Navy’s options at running back are must. Speed is coming in with to fit the Midshipman type of smallish scooters, but there isn’t a thumper of a fullback to rely on. The linebacking corps is getting some help, but a few years in the weight room will be a must to beef up the safety-sized prospects.  

Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl
Navy 24, Middle Tennessee 6
Basically … Keenan Reynolds ran for two short touchdowns and DeBrandon Sanders ran for a 41-yard score as Navy too an early lead and never trailed. The defense bent, but didn’t break outside of allowing two Cody Clark field goals in the first half from 43 and 24 yards away. The Midshipman offense controlled the game and the clock holding the ball for close to 37 minutes with a running game that cranked out 366 yards and converted 8-of-14 third down chances. The Blue Raiders threatened late, but Logan Kilgore was picked off by D.J. Sargenti to snuff out any last gasp comeback hopes.

- Navy QB Keenan Reynolds completed 3-of-7 passes for 19 yards, and ran 20 times for 86 yards and two scores to finish the year with 31 rushing touchdowns.
- Middle Tennessee QB Logan Kilgore completed 19-of-33 passes for 218 yards and two picks
- Middle Tennessee SS Kevin Byard made a game-leading 14 tackles
- Middle Tennessee LB T.T. Barber made seven tackles with a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
- Navy LB D.J. Sargenti made seven tackles with a pick and a tackle for loss. - Middle Tennessee WR Kyle Griswould caught nine passes for 106 yards
- Navy FB Noah Copeland ran 11 times for 59 yards.

Navy 38, at San Jose State 32 3OT
Basically … Keenan Reynolds ran for seven touchdowns, with his final one from 25 yards out in the third overtime after David Fales threw a pick in the end zone on San Jose State’s possession. The Spartans needed a minor miracle just to get to overtime, allowing Reynolds to run for a 20-yard score with just over two minutes to play and with no timeouts remaining, and then getting a two-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Nunn on the last play of regulation followed up by the two-point conversion. In overtime, Nunn caught a ten-yard touchdown pass, but Reynolds ran for a 25-yard score. Reynolds’ sixth touchdown run was answered by a five-yard touchdown run to force a third overtime. Fales finished with five touchdown passes on the day.
- Navy QB Keenan Reynolds completed 4-of-6 passes for 46 yards and a score and he ran 36 times for 240 yards and seven touchdowns.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 42-of-56 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns with a pick
- San Jose State RB Thomas Tucker caught nine passes for 107 yards and score, and ran 11 times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Chandler Jones caught seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
- Navy outgained San Jose State 432 yards to 160 on the ground.

at Navy 42, South Alabama 14
Basically … Navy ran for 351 yards and dominated after getting down in the second quarter. USA took a 14-10 lead on the second Ross Metheny to Shavarez Smith touchdown pass of the first half, but that was it, The Midshipmen scored the last 32 points with touchdown runs from Shawn White, Keenan Reynolds and Tago Smith, and Matt Aiken caught a 45-yard touchdown catch from Reynolds.
- Navy RB Darius Staten led all rushers with 127 yards and a score on seven carries. Keenan Reynolds completed 10-of-17 passes for 168 yards and a score, and he ran 17 times for 59 yards and a touchdown.
- USA QB Ross Metheny completed 18-of-27 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran nine times for 23 yards.
- USA RB WR Shavarez Smith caught five passes for 65 yards and two scores.
- Navy outgained USA 519 yards to 300.

at Navy 42, Hawaii 28
Basically … Navy got a fight from a game Hawaii team, but was able to pull away just a bit in the second half with Keenan Reynolds running for three of his four touchdowns including a 21-yarder in the final few minutes to finally provide some breathing room. Hawaii stuck around with three Sean Schroeder touchdown passes with two going to Clark Evans, but the defense couldn’t hold in the second half.
- Navy QB Keenan Reynolds completed 4-of-8 passes for 59 yards with a score and ran 28 times for 226 yards and four touchdowns.
- Hawaii QB Sean Schroeder completed 29-of-33 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns.
- Hawaii RB Joey Iosefa ran 35 times for 191 yards and a touchdown.
- Navy RB Quinton Singleton ran 15 times for 93 yards and a score.

at Notre Dame 38, Navy 34, Nov. 2
Basically … Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith made an open-field tackle on Navy’s Shawn Lynch with 1:08 left in regulation, preserving a four-point win for the Irish. Smith’s tackle stopped Lynch short of the first-down marker on a fourth-and-four end-around play. The two teams traded leads throughout the second half. Navy took a 34-31 lead on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Keenan Reynolds to Matt Aiken with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame came back to take a 38-34 lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Tarean Folston with 3:47 to go.
- Folston carried the ball 18 times for 140 yards and one touchdown. Teammate T.J. Jones caught 4 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.
- Navy converted 10-of-16 third downs, with five separate ball carriers rushing for at least 48 yards.
- Notre Dame finished with over 500 total yards. Navy accumulated 331 rushing yards.
- Navy held the ball for 37:36, compared to 22:24 for Notre Dame.

at Navy 24, Pitt 21
Basically … Nate Sloan hit a 30-yard field goal as time ran out to give Navy the win. Pitt had a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter after Tom Savage threw two touchdown passes with a 12-yarder to Devin Street and a three-yarder to Tyler Boyd, but Navy kept fighting with a 58-yard touchdown catch from Marcus Thomas in the second quarter and with a two-yard Keenan Reynolds run late in the fourth. With the score tied, Navy forced a three and out, got the ball back after a horrible punt, and got down to the Pitt 13 to set up the game-winning field goal.
- The Navy running game didn’t dominate, and Pitt controlled the clock and the game, but the defense came up with one of its best performances of the season to help pull out the win. Keenan Reynolds threw 18 times, completing eight throws for 105 yards and a score, but he ran for a team-leading 93 yards and did what was needed in the fourth quarter to lead the way to 17 points and the victory.
- And now the bowl game is back on track. It was getting dicey after three losses in four games, but now, getting to the 13th game shouldn’t be a problem. This wasn’t the team’s best offensive performance, but the defense came up with a great outing and now the season might be back on track. This was a nice win, but beating Notre Dame next week would really be special.

at Duke 35, Navy 7
Basically … Anthony Boone threw three touchdown passes with two to Issac Blakeney from 27 and 18 yards out, and Jela Duncan and Shaquille Powell each ran for scores in the second half as Duke shocked Navy with a blowout win. The Midshipmen sputtered after tying it up at seven with a seven-yard Darius Staten touchdown run. Duke scored 28 unanswered points, while the defense took it away three times and held Navy to just 319 yards.
- It was a big shocker that Anthony Boone was thrown to the wolves just a few weeks after breaking his collarbone, but Brandon Connette wasn’t able to go after injuring his ankle. Boone was almost flawless, completing 31-of-38 passes for295 yards with three touchdowns.
- Navy’s three turnovers were a problem, but the bigger issue was the inability to get the ground game to work like it needed to. 230 yards weren’t bad, but outside of one bit run, there wasn’t anything steady happening. Keenan Reynolds try to make the passing game fly, but as soon as Navy has to turn to that, it’s all but over.
- This was a clunker, and it’s a pattern. When the Navy offense isn’t able to establish itself up the middle, and the big plays aren’t coming on the outside, it gets ugly, fast. It happened against Western Kentucky, and now Duke was able to stuff the attack. Basically, the O has to be far, far sharper.
- Is Duke now in the hunt for a bowl game? At 4-2, it just needs two more wins to get to the post season, and while it won’t be easy, Virginia, NC State and Wake Forest are all beatable. This was one of the key home games the Blue Devils needed to have to get to six wins.

at Navy 28 … Air Force 10
Basically … Keenan Reynolds ran for three short scores and Demond Brown took off for a 38-yard scoring dash as Navy overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit to score 21 unanswered points for the win. Air Force took the lead early on a 45-yard Will Conant field goal, and Anthony LaCoste ran for an 18-yard score, but the offense turned it over three times with Navy’s Chris Johnson picking off two passes.
- There didn’t seem like there were any ill-effects from the concussion suffered by Keenan Reynolds against WKU. The Navy quarterback made all the right decisions in the second half and held up well, running 28 times for 126 yards and three scores, and completing 6-of-10 passes for 54 yards.
- This was when Air Force needed steadier quarterback play. The ground game was fine, but it didn’t control the action like it needed to. Karson Roberts and Nate Romine combined to complete 7-of-16 passes for 82 yards with two picks, and while Romine was able to run well, the O struggled to move late.
- Navy owned the second half and held on to the ball for over 11 minutes in the fourth quarter. The Falcon fourth quarter drives were a disaster – they didn’t go anywhere.
- Give the Navy defense credit for doing a better job of swarming around the Air Force running game than Air Force did at getting around the Navy attack. Reynolds and his decision making was the difference, but Navy’s Chris Ferguson and Cody Peterson stuffed everything, combining for 21 tackles.

at WKU 19 … Navy 7
Basically … WKU defense held Navy’s vaunted ground game to just 86 yards, while the Hilltopper offense overcame a 7-0 deficit with 19 unanswered points. Antonio Andrews carried the load, running for 182 yards with scores from two and 11 yards out, and Garrett Schwettman hit a 30-yard field goal. Navy’s only points came in the first quarter on a one-yard Keenan Reynolds run.
- Everyone wanted to see a running game, but the wrong one showed up. Antonio Andrews controlled the game and the clock, running 32 times. As a team, Navy ran 33 times for just 107 yards and a touchdown.
- The WKU turnover problems continues with two giveaways, but unlike past games, the defense picked up the slack with two picks from Jonathan Dowling. Swarming, the Hilltopper D generated a safety and never let the Navy backfield breathe.
- The disaster for Navy was compounded by the loss of QB Keenan Reynolds to a reported head injury. He only completed 2-of-4 passes and ran for 23 yards and a score before getting knocked out. John Hendrick couldn’t move the offense, getting sacked for a safety and throwing two interceptions. The rest of the backs didn’t help the cause.
- Xavius Boyd continues to be WKU’s top linebacker, making a team-leading eight stops with the key sack and two tackles for loss. Even so, Andrew Jackson was a playmaker with seven stops and a tackle behind the line.

at Navy 51, Delaware 7, Sept. 14
Basically … Navy never let it become a game, scoring the first 23 points helped by touchdown runs from Darius Staten and Geoffrey Whiteside and a 63-yard touchdown pass to DeBrandon Sanders. Delaware scored late in the first half on a 17-yard Ryan Cobb catch, but Navy scored 28 unanswered points with Whiteside running for another short score and Shawn Lynch catching a 29-yard touchdown pass.
- This is a good Delaware team that Navy just thumped, and it wasn’t just with the running game. Navy rolled the rushing offense at will with 352 yards on the ground, but Keenan Reynolds hit everything through the air completing 10-of-13 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 109 rushing yards.
- After getting past a dangerous Indiana team with a high-powered offense, the Midshipmen won easily by controlling the ball and the clock while also holding up well defensively. Delaware turned it over three times and stalled on drive after drive. Down early, the Blue Hens had to press, and Navy’s defense knew how to handle it.
- Always the key stat for Navy games: third down conversions. Navy 10-of-13, Delaware 2-of-13

Navy 41, at Indiana 35, Sept. 7
Basically … Navy took a 17-0 first half lead and Indiana couldn’t come back. Keenan Reynolds ran for three short scores for the Midshipmen, and Noah Copeland added a three-yard dash, but it was Nick Sloan who put the game away with a 33-yard field goal in the fourth. The Hoosiers came up with a furious comeback helped by four Nate Sudfield touchdown passes with two to Ted Bolser, but it wasn’t enough.
- Navy is the last team you want to try to come back against. The Midshipmen owned the clock and kept the IU offense off the field, holding on to the ball for over 37 minutes including 19 in the second half.
- Keenan Reynolds was sharp out of the tunnel. He only completed 2-of-4 passes, but they were for 71 yards. He led the Midshipmen in rushing with 127 yards and three scores, taking a pounding on his 32 carries.
- Nate Sudfield can’t lead the Hoosiers in rushing. He bombed away, completing 31-of-42 passes for 363 yards and four scores with a pick, and he ran for 35 yards. Granted, IU was in comeback mode most of the game, but it has to establish the backs earlier.
- Navy corner Parrish Gaines was asked to make play after play against the Hoosier passing game. He gave up plays, but he also led the team with ten tackles and made several open field stops. However, the line didn’t generate any pressure, giving Sudfield all day long to throw.

Sprin Analysis

Why To Be Excited After getting back on track last season with an eight-win season and a bowl appearance, now it’s time to start doing more with a defense that welcomes back seven starters and an offense that has one of its most exciting quarterbacks in the Ken Niumatalolo era. Keenan Reynolds showed a few glimpses of what he could do as a freshman, and now the attack is all his to run with Noah Copeland a good fullback to rely on and three starters back up front. The defense might not have been a rock against the run, but two starters are back on the front three and three starters return to a secondary that allowed just 215 yards per game.

Why To Be Grouchy Arizona State 62, Navy 28. The season ended with a crashing thud as the Sun Devils did whatever they wanted against the Midshipmen. Coming up with stops against the better offenses was a problem, and while the schedule might not be loaded with high-octane attacks, having to deal with Indiana, Duke, Pitt and Notre Dame on the road could be a problem unless the offense does a better job of hanging on to the ball to keep the D off the field. Linebacker Matt Warrick and leading pass rushers Keegan Wetzel and Wes Henderson are gone, which is a major problem because …

What Needs Working On Pass rush. Getting behind the line is always a problem for the Midshipmen, and last season it was a particular issue with inconsistent play behind the line and a totally absent pass rush in some key moments – check the tape of the ASU game to know how much the lack of a disruptive force hurt. Offensively, the running game might have been solid and it might have put up nice stats, but it has to be even more effective. When the offense hummed – like it did against East Carolina and Texas State – the results were generally positive, but there wasn’t enough quite the normal pass efficiency wasn’t there to take advantage of defenses who sold out against the run.

Team Concerns For 2013: Will there ever be a pass rush? It's part of the function of the Navy defense to not send players into the backfield on a regular basis, but there has to be more pressure on a regular basis after finishing 100th in the nation in sacks and 114th in tackles for loss. The running game, for being Navy, has to be even better. It sputtered and struggled against Army and San Jose State, and while it had some dominant games, it has to be more consistent. It would be nice if the placekicking improved after Nick Sloan hit just one of his final four attempts.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... The offensive backfield. Navy is coming in with a huge class of players with a surprising number of receivers to play around with - several will become defensive backs or running backs - and with Sean Spence leading a solid group of defensive linemen. There's actual size among the defensive tackles, especially with 310-pound Patrick Forrestal and 280-pound Dylan Fischer, and linebacker Colton Jumper will eventually be the team's leading tackler. However, it's Navy, so the emphasis will always be on the backfield. Dishan Romine is the only running back of note, but there are plenty of options coming in. Travis Marshall is the best of the quarterback lot that'll be developed for three years from now.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 99. That Class Was Heavy On ... More running backs. If you’re going to run an offense like Navy’s options at running back are must. Speed is coming in with to fit the Midshipman type of smallish scooters, but there isn’t a thumper of a fullback to rely on. The linebacking corps is getting some help, but a few years in the weight room will be a must to beef up the safety-sized prospects. 
  
 

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