The Navy Midshipmen concluded their spring football practice last month with their annual Blue &…
Meet the New Mids: Quarterbacks
At NAPS Akers won the job early in the year and held it until a late season concussion ended his season. Akers is a 5-10, 190 pound quarterback who is similar in style and build to former Navy quarterback Jarod Bryant. While not as fast as Bryant was, his game is similar in that he's more effective and accomplished as a runner than a passer.
Akers is a tough, hardnosed competitive runner. Kody is quicker than fast but is very physical. Akers attacks defenders and tries to run over people. It is one of the reasons he missed the finale with a concussion. Similar to Jarod Bryant, Akers is not an accurate passer and doesn't possess a big arm. Kody's deep ball floats and he's not especially effective throwing downfield outside the hash marks. As an option quarterback he did an excellent job reading the defense and distributing the ball last year. Akers had a great game in the win over Bryant JV.
Greg Bryant is a quarterback from North Carolina who also saw playing time last year at the Naval Academy Prep school. Bryant is a 6-2, 185 pound quarterback who had an outstanding senior year at Jack Britt high school. Greg completed 128-of-216 passes (59.3%) for 17 touchdowns running a spread offense. Bryant also rushed for 1,180 yards, averaged 7.7 yards a carry and scored another 17 touchdowns. Bryant led his team to the state 4-AA championship game where they lost. For his efforts he was named the Fayetteville Observer's Cape Fear region Player of the Year.
Last year at NAPS Bryant rotated with Akers the first three games. From that point Akers took most of the snaps until a concussion ended his year. Bryant was the starting quarterback in the finale against Army Prep in the battle for the Reasoner Trophy. Greg is a talented athlete; he is a tall, lean player whose elongated throwing motion over the top is reminiscent of a shorter Randall Cunningham.
He has a good arm but his accuracy can improve. As a runner Bryant has quickness, acceleration and a wide receiver like stride when he takes off. He is still adapting to being an option quarterback and wasn't use to the constant physical contact early last season. His technique and decision making pitching the ball needs a lot of improvement. Against Army prep's defense, which was using the mesh charge and was mixing up the number one and number two players in the count, Bryant struggled with his reads and three of his pitches ended up on ground. Bryant was knocked out of the game briefly by Army's defense but returned the next series. However, Bryant showed his confidence, talent and leadership on the final drive for NAPS against Army Prep when he directed a 70-yard game winning touchdown drive with just 2:48 left in the contest. He made a number of nice throws on the drive including a key third down conversion. Greg showed his elusiveness and speed in running for a key first down on the final series. Bryant won the game with a picture perfect post corner route pass into the back of the end zone to clinch the 28-24 victory for NAPS.
Greg's family has served in the military. His grandfather, Sergeant First Class William Bryant., was a member of the United States Army's 5th Special Forces Group during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Medal of Honor. Bryant chose Navy over offers from North Carolina A&T and Catawba.
Kody West was the most talented quarterback last year at the United States Naval Academy Prep school yet never played a down. West injured his shoulder during preseason practice causing him to miss the entire season. Kody was a two-year starter at Riverdale, a Tennessee high school that is a perennial powerhouse. As a junior in his first year as a starter West struggled with fumbles and turnovers and Riverdale stumbled to an uncharacteristic .500 season. As a senior he had a tremendous year, leading Riverdale to an 11-3 record and an appearance in the Class 6A semi-finals. In 2009 Kody passed for 1,165 yards and rushed for 900 more while producing 17 touchdowns. He earned the District 7-AAA MVP award and the Nick Coutras Award, presented annually to a senior football player from Middle Tennessee who shows exceptional individual effort, superior attitude, dedication to team, academic and athletic excellence and commitment to community service. He was also selected to the All-State team.
West is 6-2, 195 pounds and is a terrific athlete. He has very good size for an option quarterback and surprising speed. Kody is listed as running a 4.65 forty yard dash but he is a fluid runner and plays faster than he times. West has a strong, accurate arm and is a good passer. Staying healthy is a concern with West. He missed last season at NAPS and often played through pain in high school with a pinched nerve in his neck, sprained ankle, strained wrist, turf toe and staph infection.
Brendan Dudeck (6-1, 188) is a talented all around direct admit who played both sides of the ball at the Hun school in Princeton, N.J. Dudeck started at cornerback as a sophomore. He was a two-way player his last two years starting at quarterback and defensive back. Dudeck quarterbacked an offense that blended elements of the spread, option and triple option. On defense he rotated between cornerback and safety depending on the opponent's personnel.
As a junior, Dudeck had 1,123 passing yards and eight touchdowns. He also ran for 307 yards and two touchdowns. On defense he had 42 tackles, three tackles for loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three passes defended. He was named first-team offense by three separate publications and was honorable mention All-MAPL quarterback and defensive back. His senior year both Dudeck and his team battled injuries in a difficult year. Dudeck has good speed, quick feet and throws well on the move. As the son of a coach, Brendan has good instincts and an understanding of the game. Dudeck chose Navy over offers from Army, Tulane, Lafayette and Holy Cross. He also received interest from Boston College.
The other direct admit quarterback is John Hendrick from Tampa, Florida. Hendrick led Sickles high school to a school record 14 wins the last two seasons directing their option offense. Hendrick was a two way player starting at quarterback and free safety. As a junior John threw 11 touchdowns while rushing 473 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and scoring five touchdowns. His senior year he threw seven touchdowns in just 65 pass attempts while rushing for another six on the ground.
Hendrick (6-1, 185) is a fine athlete with quick feet and instant acceleration. He looks the part of an option quarterback and can throw on the move off waggle action. He can breakdown defenders with his moves and has shown the ability to burst through a hole. Hendrick has good speed but seems to lack a top end gear. He has only a decent arm, at best, even by option quarterback standards. He struggled with his accuracy in high school completing less than 50 percent of his passes in his two seasons as a starter. As a free safety Hendrick demonstrated good instincts and range but is more of a wrap up tackler and not very physical. Next: A look at the new Mid fullbacks.
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