4. Army Black Knights College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– Helped by the offense that kept the ball for over 34 minutes to keep everyone on the other side fresh, the Army D was No. 1 in the nation in yards allowed, giving up 275 yards and 27 points per game. There might be several missed starters, but a slew of the top tacklers are back.
– Jon Rhattigan is gone from the linebacking corps, but 240-pound Arik Smith tied for the team lead with 78 stops in the middle and 230-pound Daryan McDonald will work as the main guy on the outside in the team’s Apache position. Malkelm Morrison is only 5-10 and 190 pounds, but he works as an outside linebacker – he came up with 33 tackles.
The defensive front loses 300-pounder Nick Stokes from the nose, but 6-3, 280-pound Nolan Cockrill has size at one tackle and can get behind the line. The D will generate pressure from a variety of spots, but it’s going to miss the ends, primarily Amadeo West. 6-5, 270-pound Ryan Duran can work inside or out, and 6-5, 265-pound Andre Carter will work in a hybrid position.
– Just about everyone is back to a solid secondary, starting with the corner combination of Jamari Moore and Cameron Jones who combined for five picks. Cedrick Cunningham is a good-sized veteran safety who finished third o the team with 70 tackles, and Marquel Broughton came up with 67 – safety will be among the team’s biggest strengths.