2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 74 Navy Midshipmen
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Navy Midshipmen
No. 74: Navy Midshipmen
Navy Midshipmen Prespring Status
How good has Navy football become under head coach Ken Niumatalolo? A nine-win season isn’t good enough now, especially when it closes out with three straight losses. Lose the American Athletic Conference title game at home, a streak-busting killer to Army, and in a wild shootout of a bowl game against Louisiana Tech, and that’s the season. At this point, the Midshipmen are supposed to win those games.
There might be plenty of personnel losses, but the program has the system in place to make sure the next man up can play, too. Even so, replacing seven starters on offense matters, even for Navy. Fortunately, the defense that should be better with the experience coming back, especially in the back eight.
Navy Midshipmen Biggest Issue
The defensive front. Losing five of the top six rushers would matter for most teams, but Navy always finds new producers to fill in the gaps. The defensive line is the issue for a front three without Amos Mason and Nnamdi Uzoma on the ends, and Patrick Forrestal on the nose. There wasn’t much of a pass rush, and Jarvis Polu is back on one end, but this should be the one key area of concern in spring ball.
Navy Midshipmen Biggest Positive
The secondary gets everyone back. The pass defense was a big problem against the high-powered American Athletic passing games – allowing 254 yards per game and coming up with four of the team’s paltry seven picks. Safeties Alohi Gilman and Sean Williams finished second and third on the team in tackles, while corners Tyris Wooten and Jarid Ryan return, too. They won’t be helped by much of a pass rush, but at least this should be one of the team’s most experienced areas.
Really, Why Are The Navy Midshipmen Ranked Here?
Really, can Navy keep this all going with all the big losses on offense? If Zach Abey really is the next great Midshipman quarterback, and a big play target can make for the loss of Jamir Tillman, and if all those top runners can be replaced – along with three of the starting offensive linemen – it’ll be another year deep in the hunt for the conference title. And maybe a win again over Army.