Potentially and on paper, this group can go down as one of the most prolific defenses in recent Army football history
In 2009, the Black Knights finished 16th in the nation in total defense. This is an extremely impressive statistic if you take into account how often "Swarm Gang" found themselves back on field before they could take their helmets off to catch a breather; as too often the offense's script was 3 and out.
This group returns eight starters and the three "newcomers", Richard King (corner), Jarrett Mackey (bandit) and Marcus Hilton (defense end) have quality game experience and may actually be an upgrade from their predecessors. Either way, this is a very focused unit led by Quick defensive end and Pre-season All-American Josh McNary, who is joined by an array of experienced and talented players.
Very much like the offensive unit, the "D" is relatively senior heavy, with five starters playing their final campaign in the Black & Gold. But there is also solid blend of junior and sophomore talent on two-deep, and the future remains bright. With that, it is a tough call for a freshman to break into 2 and even 3 deep, but there are a few who are making their presence felt.
For example, there is frosh Tyler Dickson at the safety position. Although the Mansfield, Ohio product's time on the field will come via special teams
at least initially. He is currently behind Ty Shrader, who remains in the mix at the free behind starter Donovan Travis and Jordan Trimble, who can step in at either safety positions.
Also in the mix at corner is L.B. Brown, who sits behind athletic Josh Jackson, where both players can bounce between both the boundary and field corner spots. With the staff's confidence in the four corners (King, Aaron, Jackson and Brown), look for Jackson and Brown to spell Aaron and King throughout the contest against Eastern Michigan.
Minus the injury to linebacker Andrew Rodriguez, there are few surprises in two-deep and by all accounts, sophomore Nate Combs is ready to rock and roll as A-Rod's stand-in at the Whip backer position.