I seldom take part in the latest college football blogging fads, but I thought Peter from Burnt Orange Nation and MaconDawg from Dawgsports had a great idea with this one. We're talking players we would have loved to see on our teams, but instead chose to take their talents somewhere else. This is just for fun, so don't take it too seriously. The criteria is supposed to be conference rivals, but since Navy is an independent I've listed players from Navy's traditional rivals. Oh yea, and Mark Dodge, who, let's face it, is just too badass not to be on this list.
Mark Dodge, Texas A&M: Talented linebacker who started five games for the Aggies in 2006, recording 51 tackles and two interceptions. Dodge was not offered a scholarship out of High School and ended up enlisting in the Army, serving in the famed Old Guard at the Pentagon during the September 11th attacks. After four years in the Army he continued to pursue his dream of playing college football, playing two years in community college before coming to the Aggies prior to the '06 season. He's a very good linebacker in the Big 12, but just think how good he would be playing against Navy's competition!
Chad Hall, Air Force: Elusive back who would fit right into Paul Johnson's already talented group of slotbacks. Last year Chad ran for 784 yards on 155 carries, including five touchdown scampers. Hall is a multi-use back who will be playing a hybrid running back/wide receiver position this year for Air Force, and can even play quarterback despite his diminutive 5'8 size.
Tom Zbikowski, Notre Dame: Was actually recruited by Navy as a quarterback, but decided to attend the University of Notre Dame as a defensive back instead. Has been one of the best strong safeties in the country when healthy, and has also been an explosive punt returner on special teams. Can do a variety of things, not the least of which includes knocking people senseless in the boxing ring. Could play quarterback in Navy's system and would also make a great rover or outside linebacker. Sports a freaking awsome haircut as well.
Caleb Campbell, Army: When he's healthy he can be a dominant player in Army's otherwise work in progress secondary. After recording 54 tackles as a true freshmen he became one of the best strong safeties in the country as a sophomore, recording 97 tackles and five interceptions. Was off to a good start last year before an ACL injury took him out for the year. Bobby Ross once commented that he'd take Caleb over any other safety in the country, and to be perfectly honest, so would I (although we'd still make room for Jeff Deliz of course.)
Drew Fowler, Air Force: A first team All-Mountain West performer in 2006, Fowler has been one of the best Air Force linebackers in recent memory. He recorded 123 tackles for the Falcons last season, and 77 the year before. Considering Navy's inexperience at linebacker, they could sure use a play maker like Fowler. He also has a really cool last name.