August 16, 2010

Inside the Huddle: Underclassmen continue to make progress


Sophomore Jump

If the offense is going to uphold their end of the bargain coming into the 2010 season, there are certain areas in resume of second year quarterback and starter Trent Steelman that must be on display - albeit the sophomore quarterback has all the tools to run Ellerson's triple option offense.

If you were able to analyze 2009 game film and were able to breakdown his play by play decision making, surprisingly, you would walk away noting that he graded out on the higher end of the scale than many had concluded.

And with that comes with realization that Steelman did so as a plebe where he stepped into a starting role of a triple option; Overall, not bad.

But yet there is room for improvement and during spring practice you could see the needle move in the direction of a more confident and comfortable Steelman when it came to his decision making and running the offense.

What a difference a year can make, especially if the year is from the player's plebe to yearling season. This summer he is throwing the ball very well and he has really improved in all aspects of his game.

Steelman is not the only sophomore that enters into West Point where their plebe year was an eye opener.

It often takes getting that first year under your belt in order to start putting all the pieces together. Such is the case for cornerback James Whittington who continues to play well and has really made huge strides from spring ball. He is a great kid among great kids.

The 5-foot-10, 186 native from El Paso, Texas has caught the eye of the staff and has really changed his role from a scout team guy to a being
a key piece to special teams. Whittington has turned into a solid and
consistent player.

Also making waves from the sophomore class is Bandit, Jarret Mackey and Whip backer, Nate Combs … both stood out during Saturday's scrimmage. And trying to stay on par with his brother's performance, A.J. Mackey also made some plays caught the attention of the staff.

Based on the make-up of the scrimmage, it was a tough day for the back end guys to stand out because the ball just doesn't get down that far.

Freshmen Push

This freshman class is not as deep as the mixture of players currently at the USMAPS and those who will eventually come in direct in 2011. But there is definitely some talent on campus, and some of those players are starting to stretch their legs and impress the coaching staff.

Free safety Tyler Dickson made some plays and continues to show his athletic ability, as observers witnessed on Saturday. The 6-foot-0, 195 pound safety is someone who has an opportunity to crack the two deep.

Add Mike linebacker Reggie Nesbit to the list of first year players that are catching the coaching staff's attention. The lanky, but physically build Nesbit showed up all over the place and made a lot of noise during Saturday's scrimmage.

Two other plebes that are turning heads and pushing their way up the depth chart are defensive end Quintin Kantaris and Rover linebacker Marcus McInerney.

Keep it here as continues to follow the progression of the Black Knights and the 2010 summer training camp.

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