Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Ultimate Navy Preview: Quarterback

Well, it's getting to be that time a year again. With approximately sixty days to go until the start of the 2007 college football season, media days and fall camps aren't that far off, and the Navy's visit to Lincoln Financial on August 31st is finally on the horizon. Forget the Athlon and the The Sporting News you bought at the 7-11 last week, because we've got you covered with the Ultimate Navy Preview. Today we take a look at the quarterback position, which figures to be one of the main strengths on this Navy team.

Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada: A great athlete who started the final six games of the 2006 season at quarterback. Kaipo compiled a record of 4-2 record as a starter last year, and also saw significant action against UMass and Rutgers, scoring the winning touchdown in the former. Kaipo has the understanding and the raw athletic ability to be a star in the triple option offense, and despite questions over his arm strength and accuracy, he has shown the ability to make big throws in the past. Kaipo runs in the 4.5 range and has great football quickness and elusiveness, and is extremely difficult to bring down in the open field, making him a dangerous runner out of the triple option. He understands the system well, having played in option oriented offenses since his high school days in Hawaii. He does however need to show better composure in the pocket this year and the ability to "pull the trigger" in the passing game, as well as improve his reads of the defense. Given that he handled the team so well as a sophomore last season I only see continued improvement in his play, and with the experience under his belt I look for some of that raw athletic ability to be channeled into consist ant and system efficient quarterback play. He'll be the starter going into fall camp and despite the fact that the race is still open, he'll more than likely be the starter going into the August 31st game at Temple.
2006 Stats: 23-48 (47.9) 384 yards, 5-1 ratio. 507 net rush, 10 rushing TDs.

Jarod Bryant: A fan favorite, Jarod was one of the most highly recruited players to come to Navy in recent memory, turning down an offer to play defensive back at Auburn. A former star at the famed Hoover High program in Alabama, Jarod has shown flashed of brilliance on the practice field and in mop up duty, but needs to show better consistency and the ability to protect the football. Like Kaipo, Jaord is a great athlete who has good elusiveness and vision in the open field, traits which make him a dangerous runner in Navy's triple option. He also has good pocket prescience, and despite his size (5'10) he sees the field well. While he doesn't have a rocket of an arm, he is considered by many to be the best pure passer on the team, a trait which may lead Head Coach Paul Johnson to incorporate him into the offense.
2006 Stats: 6-15 (40.0) 42 yards. 86 net rush.

Troy Goss: Troy has been moving back and forth from wide receiver to quarterback over the past year, and with his senior season on the horizon it looks like more of the same for North Carolina's Mr. Football 2003. He lacks the athleticism of Kaipo and Jarod and doesn't have the best arm, but he's an intelligent player who understands the system and is accurate on short to mid-range throws. I spoke to him a few weeks ago and he indicated that things were still very much up in the air of next season. With the continued development of Zingler I look for him to settle in as a receiver unless either Kaipo or Jarod go down. I really feel for Troy and hope that he can be incorporated on the field in 2007.

Greg Zingler: Still a young player but has shown promise and improvement in his first year in the program. He was more down than up in the spring game but showed the ability to make some long throws. Still looks somewhat tentative running the option, which isn't unexpected considering his inexperience. Will likely compete for the starting job going into the 2009 season.

Overall: This may be the the deepest group of Navy quarterbacks in a decade, and certainly one of the more talented. Kaipo-Noa is a dynamic athlete who has the potential to have a huge season, while Jarod Bryant is in his own right a capable backup who will likely be utilized in various facets of the offense next season. There is a very good chance Troy Goss moves back to receiver in fall camp meaning that sophomore Greg Zingler would move in as the third string quarterback. This is definitely one of the the strengths of the team, although it goes to mention that this group also faces higher expectations than in past seasons.
Required Watching Material: Navy's 49-21 destruction of Eastern Michigan last season.

Unit Grade: 8.5


Eric said...

Hey, just wanted to comment on the post.

I love Keahakuaehakuan-Enhaneanaduanda or however you say it (lol). The guy's a great athlete and he seems to be the perfect QB to run the triple option.

I noticed that Johnson used Bryant in some passing situations and when they tried to change up the pace a little bit. Johnson will find a role for him because he's another great athlete at QB.

I'm looking forward to reading this series! Very informative!

Adam said...

Thanks, Eric.