Have I mentioned that I really enjoy my copy of Phil Steele's 2006 College Football Preview? A recent search of those exact words on Google reveals that Pitch Right is on the first page! Anyways, it's amazing what one can learn from this $8.95 football almanac.
As we near I-Day (June 28th), when the Service Academies release their recruiting lists for 2006, I thought it would be worthwhile and examine the relative position of past (and present) Navy recruits with regard to the rest of the nation. It all starts with The Phil Steele Positional Recruiting Rankings. These "PS numbers" are an average of several recruiting services' rating for a prospective recruit at a certain position (they are based on a complicated points system I'm not even going to try to figure out.) Phil likes to use these when talking about VHTs (very highly touted players) and HTs (highly touted players). A VHT is a player in the Top 20 of his position (generally, there are exceptions, including Top 60 for DBs and DL, Top 100 for OL, and Top 50 for LBs.) A HT usually includes players in the Top 50 at their position (Top 100 QBs, Top 150 for WR and RBs, top 200 for LBs, 250 DBs and DL, 250 OL). For my purposes, any player in the 50 slots below a HT will be referred to as NHT (Near Highly Touted, or in other words, solid). Alright, enough of the explanation, let's take a look at the player's Phil has made a note of on Navy's 2006 roster.
Bryant: Not rated as QB, listed as 239 DB (HT)
Ballard: Not rated as RB, listed as 376 DL (!).
Kettani: Not rated as RB, listed at 272 LB.
McCoy: 178 (NHT)
Campbell: 160 (NHT)
Martin: Not rated as RB, listed as 233 QB.
Washington: No WR rating, listed as 414 RB.
Coffey: Not WR rating, listed as 214 QB
Gabbard: 162 (HT)
McGinn: Not rated as OL, listed as 340 LB
Griffith: 264 (NHT)
Cycl, Larry: 142 (HT, scholorship offer to BC)
Lisante: Listed as 173 DE (Highly ass touted, offer to Louisville)
Spencer: 144 (HT)
Cylc, Joe: 467
Alvarado: 198 (HT)
Little: 169 (HT, offers to ACC schools, Wake, etc..)
McGown: No DB rating, listed as 460 QB)
Sudderth: No Db rating, lised as 88 LB (what the hell, give him a almost very highly touted)
Note that a lot of the people rated are backups (actually a fair amount are 3rd team). If anyone has a copy of Phil Steele 2005 or 2004 Preview, I'd love to be able to see the Navy PS's for Newcomers and backups (who are the starters now). A scanned copy (or written) will earn you major points on your Pitch Right I Owe You Card.
Anyways, what does all this mean? Well if nothing else it should give you an idea at the depth that Navy has. For God's sake, the team has 3 HT Linebackers behind a talented group in Mahoney, Caldwell, Sovie, and Tidwell. At first glance, you can see that there are 8 HT players on the roster, one of those being Greg Sudderth, who at #88, fits between that VHT and HT class. Remember, this isn't even accounting for our starters! Reggie Campbell was at 160, ten slots from a HT classification, which probably has something to do with his 5'6 height. Don't overlook the HT Larry Clyc, who was offered a scholarship to BC, or the HT Keenan Little, who had several offers prior to coming to Navy.
Part 2 and 3 of this preview/review will come out later this week. I hope to evaluate the players Navy is bringing in as part of the 2006 High School class, and for Part 3 intend to take a roster from a comparable team and size it up against Navy's.