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2014 Army Recruiting Class Analysis
Army Golden Knights
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2014


Army Black Knights 2014 ... Head Coach: Jeff Monken


Army Black Knights

2013 Record: 3-9
8/31 Morgan State W 28-12
9/7 at Ball State L 40-14
9/14 Stanford L 34-20
9/21 Wake Forest L 25-11
9/28 at Louisiana Tech W 35-16
10/5 at Boston Coll L 48-27
10/12 Eastern Michigan W 50-25
10/19 at Temple L 33-14
10/26 OPEN DATE
11/2 at Air Force L 42-28
11/9 WKU L 21-17
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/30 at Hawaii L 49-42
12/7 OPEN DATE
12/14 Navy (in Phil.) L 34-7


Army | The 2014 Recruiting Class 

Team Concerns For 2014: The Knights have to be far, far better on special teams under new head coach Jeff Monken after averaging a horrendous 15.28 yards per kickoff, 3.36 yards per punt return and 34.4 yards per punt. For a team that relies on field position and the running game, there has to be more pop. The pass defense has to stop giving up so many big plays, and the run D has to be far, far better after allowing 213 yards per outing.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. It’s all relative when it comes to an Army recruiting class considering how the program works, but Todd Monken brought in a slew of wide receivers to go along with enough running backs and two quarterbacks to keep the ground game moving. Will this mean more of a passing game? At least there are more options. Center Bryce Holland might be the team’s best recruit, but corner Max Regan isn’t far behind. Jarvis Polu has the potential to be the team’s top pass rusher in the next few years.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 111. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The Knights have a decent quarterback recruit in Kado Brown, and there are plenty of running backs and receivers for the offense to work with. Offensive guard Patrick Joseph is the team's top recruit and might be needed sooner than later, and there are plenty of linebackers are bring brought in to add more speed and athleticism to the position. The talent, though, should be on the defensive line with ends Andrew McLean and Caleb Newman each good enough to have played at bigger schools. The each need to turn into pass rushers, and next year, the coaching staff has to find more bulk for the interior.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 120. That Class Was Heavy On ... Is head coach Rich Ellerson doing anything to help the woeful passing game? He’s getting a few receiver prospects, but the class will mostly revolve around a defense that needs bigger and better bodies up front. Defensive tackle will be a big key to the class, while the secondary get an influx of prospects with the idea to become faster and more athletic in the back seven as soon as possible. 

at Hawaii 49, Army 42
Basically … Hawaii won its first game of the year with Sean Schroeder throwing three touchdown passes and running for a six-yard score for a late lead, and then the D held on. Army QB A.J. Schurr ran for four second half touchdowns and scores on a two-yard run with 2:30 to play, but the Warriors closed out. Hawaii took a 28-7 lead going into halftime on a one-yard pass from RB Joey Iosefa to Harold Moleni, but Army and A.J. Schurr went off as the offense scored 21 straight until Iosefa scored on an eight-yard run to turn the momentum the other way.
- Hawaii outgained Army 608 yards to 406.
- Army QB A.J. Schurr completed 5-of-10 passes for 122 yards, and he ran 15 times for 47 yards and four scores.
- Hawaii RB Joey Iosefa ran 28 times for 154 yards and a score, and he threw a one-yard touchdown pass.
- Hawaii QB Sean Schroeder completed 23-of-33 passes for 332 yards and three scores with a pick and he ran for a score.

WKU 21, at Army 17
Basically … Antonio Andrews ran for a two-yard score with 32 seconds left to lift WKU over Army. The Knights took the lead midway through the fourth on a 20-yard Terry Baggett run, overcoming touchdown catches by Willie McNeal from 11 and four yards out. Army scored the first ten points helped by a one-yard Angel Santiago touchdown run, but the offense lost two fumbles and the defense couldn’t hold on WKU’s 87-yard drive in the final 3:49.
- WKU RB Antonio Andrews ran 24 times for 117 yards and a score and caught three passes for 30 yards.
- Army RB Terry Baggett ran 12 times for 102 yards and a score.
- Army QB Angel Santiago completed 8-of-11 passes for 70 yards and ran 15 times for 35 yards and a score.
- WKU WR Willie McNeal caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

at Air Force 42, Army 28, Nov. 2
Basically … Air Force RB Anthony LaCoste raced 78 yards for a touchdown, breaking a 21-21 tie with 8:37 left in the third quarter. The Falcons built their lead to 35-21 on another LaCoste touchdown run with 14:45 left in the game. After Army turned a muffed punt by Air Force into a touchdown with 5:58 left in regulation, the Falcons answered with a game-sealing touchdown drive. Broam Hart delivered a three-yard touchdown run with 3:41 left to put the game away. The two teams both rushed for more than 300 yards and finished with over 400 total yards. Air Force scored 21 points in both halves.
- LaCoste finished with 23 carries for 263 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 11.4 yards per carry.
- Army RB Terry Baggett carried the ball 20 times for 121 yards and a touchdown.
- Air Force QB Nate Romine completed 7-of-8 passes for 111 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
- Army QB Angel Santiago completed 8-of-14 passes for 109 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

at Temple 33, Army 14
Basically … Temple scored the first 33 points of the game as P.J. Walker threw two touchdown passes and Kenneth Harper and Zaire Williams each ran for short scores. The defense dominated the Army ground game, allowing next to nothing early and scoring on a 19-yard fumble return from Nate Smith. The Knights got into the end zone on a touchdown run and a scoring pass from Kelvin White, but it was way too late.
- Finally, Matt Rhule gets a win at Temple. Credit the defense as linebacker Tyler Matakevich and his 13 tackles and a pick led the way to frustrate the Army ground game all day. The active defensive front got to plays before they could get started, finishing with two sacks and four tackles for loss, and it was a very, very disciplined effort to get control of the game early.
- This was a frustrating game for Army. QB Angel Santiago went down with an apparent ankle injury, and while Kelvin White was effective, it was way too late. This isn’t a team built for a comeback in any way.
- This was a total disaster – Army needed this. Now at 3-5, it’s going to take three wins in the final four games to go bowling. On the plus side, Air Force, WKU, Hawaii and Navy are all beatable. They’ll have to be, but after losing to Army, this isn’t exactly the strongest of teams – everyone’s going to be looking at the Knights as the free space.
- Is this when things start to turn around for Temple? P.J. Walker plated well, and Zaire Williams was a strong runner with 94 yards and a score. If the defense can come up with more performances like this, there’s a chance to come up with wins over SMU, Connecticut and Memphis. There are still too many holes, though, to beat UCF or Rutgers.

at Army 50, Eastern Michigan 25
Basically … Terry Baggett ran for 304 yards with four touchdowns, highlighted by a 96-yarder in the third quarter to go along with scores from four, 67 and 35 yards out as Army ran wild on the Eagles. EMU had a 15-7 lead early on with Bronson Hill catching a 17-yard scoring pass and running for a 12-yard score, but the Army offense took over going on a 34-3 scoring run capped off by a 30-yard rumble from Larry Dixon.
- Terry Baggett will get all the headlines from a phenomenal performance, running 18 times for 304 yards and four scores, but the Army offense rumbled at will for 513 yards. The blocking was phenomenal, and Baggett and the O benefitted.
- Eastern Michigan didn’t have any luck whatsoever coming up with a stop after halftime. The Eagles were right there in the mix after a field goal made it 22-18 Army going into the locker room, but the defense wasn’t able to get into the right position at the right time on run after run, and the results weren’t pretty. Tyler Benz threw for 223 yards, and Bronson Hill had a nice day running 20 times for 143 yards and a score, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

at Boston College 48, Army 27
Basically … The two running games went wild, with Army cranking out 326 yards on the ground and Boston College running for 320, but the Eagles had more of a passing game and had Andre Williams, who ran for 263 yards and five scores, tearing off scoring runs from 34, 1, 37, 3 and 34 yards out, with two of his touchdowns as a part of a 17-0 run to put the game away. Army came up with several big plays, with Larry Dixon running for an 80 yards score and Xavier Moss taking a pass 75 yards for a touchdown, but the offense fell flat late.
- Andre Williams had the Boston College single game rushing record, but he lost a yard on his last carry and that was it. The 263 yards and five scores will have to do.
- Lost in the great day from the running game was a near-perfect performance from BC quarterback Chase Rettig, who completed 11-of-13 passes for 203 yards and a score.
- The Army offense worked. 13 players carried the ball, but BC’s ground attack was a bit more explosive, and the Eagle defense did a little more late to take control of the game. QB Angel Santiago was fine, but he didn’t come up with any big plays on the ground – he was shadowed well.
- Kevin Pierre-Louis came up with 18 tackles for BC. The Eagles were able to get more penetration up front than Army’s D line could, and they were able to stop a few plays before they could get going. Outside of the 80-yard run from Larry Dixon, Army couldn’t break free.

Army 35, Louisiana Tech 16 in Dallas
Basically … The running game worked. Army rumbled for 414 yards on the ground with Terry Baggett coming up with two scores for a 14-0 lead, and Aaron Kemper, Angel Santiago and Kelvin White all scoring on short runs. Louisiana Tech was never really in the game after the first quarter, managing a field goal and a seven-yard Kenneth Dixon touchdown run, but Army controlled things throughout.
- That’s how the Army offense is supposed to work. It ground out the clock, having the ball for almost 40 minutes, while Angel Santiago seemed to always make the right decision. There weren’t too many third and long situations, but the Knights managed to keep on moving the chains.
- Louisiana Tech’s running game can’t find a groove. Kenneth Dixon scored, but the Bulldogs relied on Ryan Higgins and the passing game that cranked out 320 yards and a score.
- Is Army now on track for a bowl game? It needed a big win, and it got one to get to 2-3, and now with Eastern Michigan, Temple, and Hawaii still to play, the opportunities are there battle to six victories.
- The bad start just got a lot worst for the Bulldogs. There are several winnable games against bad teams like UTEP, FIU and Southern Miss, but with the way the Louisiana Tech defense is playing, there aren’t any gimmes. At least last season, the team could rely on an explosive attack. That’s not happening this year.

Wake Forest 25, at Army 11
Basically … Down 11-10 late in the third quarter, Wake Forest scored 15 unanswered points with two Josh Harris touchdown runs from 15 and six yards away. Army got up on three Daniel Grochowski field goals and a first quarter safety, but the offense couldn’t get into the end zone.
- Army can’t win unless it outgains the opponent on the ground by leaps and bounds. Wake Forest, helped mostly by Josh Harris and QB Tanner Price, came up with 228 yards to Army’s 271, and they controlled the game in the second half.
- Wake Forest played strong, disciplined defense bending, but not breaking. It was an absolute killer for the Knights to get three excellent drives deep into Demon Deacon territory and ending with field goals instead of touchdowns.
- How do you beat an option offense? Get a big game from the defensive interior. Wake Forest nose guard Nikita Whitlock led the team with 14 tackles with three tackles for loss. Army didn’t have any answers for him.
- The Wake Forest passing attack needs a whole bunch of help. Tanner Price might be a good veteran, but he only completed 6-of-17 passes for 132 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He didn’t take advantage of his chances.

Stanford 34, at Army 20, Sept. 14
Basically … Stanford gave up 284 yards of Army rushing offense, but Kevin Hogan and the passing game took control with three touchdown passes including a 46-yarder to Ty Montgomery. Tyler Gaffney caught a 23-yard touchdown pass in the third and ran for a one-yard score in the fourth as part of a 34-7 run. The Knights got into the end zone on a 15-yard Larry Dixon run in the second, and scored with 17 seconds left on a six-yard Edgar Poe catch.
- Stanford was able to contain the Army running game for the most part, but it had a few problems with the Knights on the outside. The Cardinal took over the interior and didn’t let the fullback get established.
- Terry Baggett ran for 96 yards on nine carries for Army, but QB Angel Santiago was bottled up outside of a few runs. He finished second on the team with 54 yards on 17 carries, but he couldn’t shake free. A.J. Schurr took over the passing game late.
- Kevin Hogan threw a pick and took a few sacks against a team that doesn’t have much of a pass rush, but he completed 11-of-18 passes for 188 yards and three scores. It was a calm, cool performance.
- The two teams combined for just three penalties in a tight, clean game. Army just couldn’t come up with enough big breaks to make it a battle once Stanford got on a run.

at Ball State 40, Army 14, Sept. 7
Basically … Keith Wenning threw two touchdown passes and Scott Secor connected on four field goals on the way to a blowout win for Ball State. Army started out the scoring with a 71-yard Larry Dixon run in the first minute, but the offense wouldn’t get back on the board until late in the third on a nine-yard Dixon run. By that time, the Cardinals were up 37-7 before the score and the game was well out of reach.
- Army ran for 363 yards, but two fumbles and a pick were costly. The ground attack was able to control the ball and the clock, but it couldn’t keep up the pace after the defense started getting picked apart.
- Keith Wenning has been on fire to start the season. He didn’t make any big mistake completing 23-of-32 passes for 325 yards and two scores, while his targets Jamill Smith and Willie Snead each caught five passes.
- The Cardinal defense gave up the really big play early for a score, and Raymond Maples cranked out seven yards per crack, but Army struggled at quarterback. Angel Santiago completed just 3-of-11 passes for 49 yards with a pick. And A.J. Schnurr tried to get the passing game moving, but it wasn’t enough.
- Army can’t keep making mistakes. The three turnovers were bad, but the eight penalties were a problem. The lack of a steady pass rush on Keith Wenning became a killer – the Knight defense never came up with a key stop.

at Army 28, Morgan State 12, Aug. 29
Basically … New starting quarterback Angel Santiago ran for 120 yards and three score and threw for another on the way to an easy win. The Knights got up 21-0 before Morgan State came up with a score, but Santiago put the game away with a three yard score in the third quarter.
- How sharp was Army right out of the gate? No penalties and no turnovers. However, the team needs to be better at using the ground game to control the tempo. Morgan State had the ball for 34:28; Army only converted four of nine third down conversions.
- The Army linebackers are going to be the stars of the defense, but free safety Geoffery Bacon was the main man making 16 tackles. Linebacker Alex Meier came up with 11 stops and a broken up pass.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited The Knights were experienced last year, and this year they’re full of veterans again who should be ready to finally start moving forward. Eight starters return to a defense that sputtered, struggled and was gouged throughout the season until the Navy game. The entire defensive front returns and the underclassmen in the secondary last year are back to try to improve after getting beaten on a regular basis. Enough of the key parts of the offensive puzzle are back to be fine, with running back Raymond Maples almost certain to be a 100-yard per game producer.

Why To Be Grouchy There’s a long, long way to go before the team can be consistent. There’s still no size on the defensive front and the defensive backs have to prove they can actually play. Heart-and-soul quarterback Trent Steelman is finally done, and now it’ll be a battle between A.J. Schurr and Angel Santiago to see who can handle the workload to direct the triple option attack. The offense is all about timing and precision, which is always good for a place like Army, but the left side of the line needs to be replaces with tackle Derek Bisgard and guard Frank Allen done. Also gone are kicker Eric Osteen and punter Chris Boldt.

What Needs Working On First and foremost, the defensive line has to be better. The passing game needs to be more efficient after failing to hit on anything deep and finishing with just three touchdown passes and 797 yards on the year, but that’s a function of the offensive style. The undersized defense is the bigger issue after generating a pathetic 15 sacks – and with just five coming against Boston College – and not getting to quarterbacks to push them on a regular basis. The problems showed in a secondary that had to come up with plays against passers who got all day to throw, picking off just seven passes with three of those coming against Air Force.

Team Concerns For 2013: The Knights have to keep working on coming up with some sort of a passing game. Of course, the Knights are all about the running game, but the passing attack - the worst in the nation last season - at least has to be more efficient. If you're going to run like Army does, you have to be able to hit the home run once in a while. On the flip side, the defense has to prevent the big play after getting bombed on time and again. It starts with a pass rush that did absolutely nothing with just 13 sacks on the year. The run defense wasn't a prize, either, allowing 232 yards per game.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The Knights have a decent quarterback recruit in Kado Brown, and there are plenty of running backs and receivers for the offense to work with. Offensive guard Patrick Joseph is the team's top recruit and might be needed sooner than later, and there are plenty of linebackers are bring brought in to add more speed and athleticism to the position. The talent, though, should be on the defensive line with ends Andrew McLean and Caleb Newman each good enough to have played at bigger schools. The each need to turn into pass rushers, and next year, the coaching staff has to find more bulk for the interior.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 120. That Class Was Heavy On ... Is head coach Rich Ellerson doing anything to help the woeful passing game? He’s getting a few receiver prospects, but the class will mostly revolve around a defense that needs bigger and better bodies up front. Defensive tackle will be a big key to the class, while the secondary get an influx of prospects with the idea to become faster and more athletic in the back seven as soon as possible. 
 



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