As usual it was great to get out and talk to all the players. With everything going on in sports right now and all the negative publicity in the NFL and major college football, it's such a breath of fresh air to interact with the kind of student athletes you find at the Naval Academy. As you probably guessed from the above photo, it was especially good to get a chance to talk with Jarod Bryant, who remains as upbeat as ever on Navy's chances next season. I also really enjoyed talking with Joey Bullen, who said he's looking forward to competing with Matt Harmon for the starting place kicking job this fall. I made sure to get a few words in with Adam Ballard, Eric Kettani, Troy Goss, and Zerb Singleton, who all said they were ready to get going for the season and even inquired about the blog. Greg Thrasher, who sat out the 2006 season, also said he's back and ready to go for fall camp. Jeff Deliz was very humble about being named team captain, and more or less made my day when he said he enjoyed reading the blog. The slotbacks all seemed to be in good spirits, including Greg Shinego, who is my choice as a surprise performer in 2007. And then there was O.J. Washington, who may have been a little annoyed at my prodding him about last month's wide receiver preview, but was very excited about his 91 speed rating in NCAA '08. I also ran into David Ausiello from GoMids.com, who writes a great column called "Off The Yard" over there.
Oh yea, and then there was this amazing piece of Naval hardware:
Let me just say that was one helluva moon bounce.
I attempted a video broadcast from the event, although it made absolutely no sense so I decided to give up on it thirty seconds into taping. I guess I should stick to writing.
All in all, a good way to open up fall camp and kickoff the final countdown to the 2007 season. As usual, Navy's players conducted themselves with a degree of class and enthusiasm that is unmatched anywhere else in college football.