DL Nate Frazier : For as valiant of a job that John Chan, Tye Adams, and David Wright did last year in Navy's 3-4 scheme, the reality was that they just didn't fit the mold of the the kind of linemen you need in that kind of defense. While their grit and determination helped give Navy a respectable rush defense, it was apparent against teams like Notre Dame that stopping the run and getting pressure on the quarterback were increasingly difficult. At 6'3, 285 Frazier is, physically at least, a grown man. But he's more then just a really big dude down on the line, as he combines great speed for his side with excellent strength. Consider for a second that while at prep school at Wyoming Seminary Frazier actually played lacrosse. No, that's not a typo, the guy played LAX! If that's not athleticism for his size, I don't know what is. Frazier goes into the spring as the starter at nose guard, and if he can show two-gap potential in practices, this could end up being much better Navy defensive line then people expect.
CB Blake Carter- We've been hearing a lot about Blake Carter ever since the freshmen from Stillwater, Oklahoma impressed the coaching staff last year during fall practices. As a freshmen he cracked the three deep, which is very difficult to do at a Service Academy. This year he'll be asked to step in and compete for a starting job at cornerback after the departure of two year starter Keenan Little, and if the buzz around fan circles in accurate, he should be able to do so. Yet even for all the hype building around the 5-11, 184-lb corner, he's still relatively untested on the field, seeing only mop-up duty and special teams work. He doesn't need to be a lights out, shut-down corner, but he does need to prove he can be a regular player with the potential to improve. He should be pushed by senior Greg Thrasher, who himself needs to prove he's fully returned to form after a year off from football.
OLB Matt Humiston- I was actually going to include OLB Matt Wimsatt here, but since Wimsatt will be sitting out this spring due to injury, I thought it apt to go with the other main contender at OLB. Humistan's a good athlete who played defensive back in High School, and has the versatility you like to see from a Navy outside linebacker. While he isn't likely to make anyone forget about Dave Mahoney (and who can, really?) he should be able to step into the defense and come out of spring as the starter. He will however be challenged by several young and very talented players, including Ian Meredith, Ross Pospisil, and perhaps Bayard Roberts.
Other to Watch: CB Greg Thrasher, OLB Matt Humistan, LB Ross Pospisil, LB Ian Meredith, DL Bayard Roberts, OLB Dell Robinson.