A new month is upon us, and so is a new feature here on GoMids. Welcome to the first column of Pitch…
Navy Spring Depth Chart Review: Free Safety
Starters: Chris Ferguson #23 So.
Back ups: Wave Ryder #8 Jr.
Third String: George Jamison #33 So.
Sophomore Chris Ferguson had an impressive plebe year. Ferguson played in 11 games and started the final seven games at free safety last year. He recorded 43 tackles, defensed three passes, forced two fumbles and picked off two passes. Ferguson returned an interception for a touchdown in his first career start against Rutgers. As we mentioned last summer during our Meet the New Mids feature, Ferguson has a tremendous upside to his game. Ferguson was recruited originally as an option quarterback and moved to safety at the Naval Academy Prep School. While he's still learning to play the position, Chris (6-2, 195) has the size and speed you want in a safety. He demonstrated his speed when he ran 4.49 at the Shrine Bowl high school combine. On the field he has range, good recovery speed and can close on the ball.
Junior Wave Ryder was moved from rover to free safety this spring. Ryder is a 6-2, 215 pound safety who has good straight line speed. Wave is very aggressive in run support. Last fall he played in every game, appearing mostly on the Mids' special teams, producing 16 tackles. Ryder needs to become more consistent overall as a safety. He is a good athlete but at times his initial reactions can be a step slow. Ryder is a hard worker in the weight room and has added 30 pounds since his direct admit plebe year.
Sophomore safety George Jamison (6-0, 197) had a great spring camp to move up to third on the depth chart. He made five tackles in the spring game and won the Admiral Mack Award as Navy's most improved player during spring practice. He delivered a number of tremendous open field hits to get noticed. Jamison is a direct admit with a family connection to Navy football. Jamison's paternal grandfather, the late Bob Jamison, was a football official who was part of the crew that officiated the first Notre Dame-Navy game that was played in Dublin, Ireland, in 1996. George is quick, runs well and is a very aggressive defensive player who looks to hit everything that moves. Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green said of Jamison, "He got so much better and caught our eye the first week of camp. He made a couple big plays in the last scrimmage and just really jumped out to everybody. He got stronger in the offseason and played so much faster than he did in the fall."
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