Meet the New Mids: Fullbacks

GoMids.com
Posted Jul 9, 2012


GoMids.com continues its look at this year’s incoming freshman class by position. Noah Copeland, a talented sophomore who played at NAPS in 2010, won the starting job this spring. Another talented B-back who was the NAPS MVP and dominated at the Naval Academy Prep School last season just took the oath on I-day. GoMids.com will look at the new fullbacks joining the program.

Chris Swain was the star starting B-back at the Naval Academy Prep school last fall. He was named the NAPS offensive MVP. Swain is a 5-11, 220, pound fullback from Mount de Sales high school in Georgia. He was named to the Georgia All-State team both his junior and senior seasons. Swain rushed for more than 1,500 yards, scored 23 touchdowns and averaged 13.7 rushing yards per carry as a senior in 2010.

Last fall the public address announcer at Nimitz Field called big plays by the “Swain Train” all season long. Chris Swain at times did seem more powerful than a locomotive. Against Gattaca tacklers bounced off him as he led NAPS to a blowout win. In the victory over Bryant he demonstrated his power when he opened the scoring with a 29-yard burst up the middle, dragging a number of defenders with him into the end zone. During the victory over Navy JV Swain tied the score by literally carrying and then tossing Navy JV defenders off him on his way to a 43-yard touchdown. Swain performance in the win against Navy JV was impressive. With both starting slotbacks out with injuries head coach JP Shevory rode Chris to victory. Whenever NAPS needed a play they gave the ball to Swain who made plays all season.

Chris Swain is the prototype fullback that Navy fans are used to seeing at Navy Marine Corp Stadium the last decade. No one on the GoMids forum page will be questioning Chris's size. He is the ultimate power runner but has surprising speed. Chris is very strong and demonstrates impressive leg drive. He has exceptional balance and very quick feet for such a big man. He has a nice burst, is very physical and is hard to bring down. Swain barrels over tacklers but he can slide laterally, cut and accelerate in the open field like he did against Bridgton Academy Chris' powerful running style reminds me of former Navy great Kyle Eckel but he showed last season an even more explosive second gear that allows him to run away from defensive backs. Swain, despite his production, is not a finished product. He has a tendency to run too high at the mesh. He'll need to watch his pad level to avoid exposing his upper body to unnecessary hits. It's hard to find many concerns with Swain. He is simply a real talent. Swain chose Navy over offers from Citadel and Georgia Southern.

Last season at NAPS was similar to previous year when talented backup B-back Quinton Singleton was overshadowed playing behind a great player in Noah Copeland. Backup fullback Quentin Ezell was similarly eclipse by Chris Swain's outstanding campaign but he is an excellent player in his own right. Ezell is a Maryland native who played for Walkersville High School. Quentin ran for 3.041 yards and 35 touchdowns during his career. Ezell had a breakout senior season as he produced 1,789 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. In the 2011 post season Maryland Crab bowl he was one of the game's stars.

At NAPS last fall the 6-1, 210 pound Ezell had some impressive performances. In the finale against USMAPS he scored two touchdowns on runs of 28 and 37 yards respectively. Ezell burst through the line, on a dive play, on the 37 yard touchdown run where he ran over three defenders. Ezell is a punishing, bull-dozer style running back who is very hard to tackle on initial contact. He is quick off his mark and can accelerate in the hole. He attacks defenders with his north-south, physical style of play. Like Swain, he has a tendency to run too upright which needs to be corrected. Ezell lacks the breakaway gear Swain possesses. Ezell chose Navy over offers from Army, Citadel, and Monmouth.

Will Huntsman (5-10, 185) is the other fullback who attended the Naval Academy Prep school last year. He's better known for his family name than for his on field exploits. Will is the son of Jon Huntsman Jr., the former governor of Utah and ambassador to China, who ran for the Republican nomination for President. Will actually signed his acceptance letter in the Marine House attached to the United States Embassy in Beijing, China. Huntsman played for Judge Memorial Catholic in Utah. As a junior he played both ways and rushed for 558 yards and three touchdowns. Huntsman was injured in the opener of his senior year and missed the rest of the season after knee surgery. Huntsman saw limited time behind the two stars ahead of him but was praised for his hard work and leadership. Will needs to spend time in the weight room to develop and improve his game.

Next: A look at the new Mid slotbacks.


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