GoMids.com continues its look at this year’s incoming freshman class by position. Navy's football staff has once again added speed and depth with the new slotback recruits. The slotback, or A-Back, position has been one of the most talented and deepest positions on the team the last few years.
With starters Gee Gee Greene and John Howell, as well as co-captain Bo Snelson, entering their senior years the slotbacks depth chart will have to be retooled for the 2013 season. Some of the players listed below may be in the mix to replace the scheduled graduates in the future. GoMids.com will now look at the new Mid slotbacks.
Demond Brown (5-9, 202) was one of the starters at A-back last fall for the Naval Academy Prep team. Brown is an Annapolis, Maryland native who didn't have to travel far from home on I-day. Brown rushed for 3,962 yards and 49 touchdowns during his outstanding career at Old Mill high school. Brown has filled out physically the last two years adding nearly thirty pounds to go with his 4.54 speed. In 2010, as a senior, Brown led all the local high schools with 1,559 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. He opened his senior season with a 200-yard effort and only fumbled twice in 213 carries. As a junior he ran for 1,345 yards and scored 16 touchdowns.
Brown was the best of all the A-backs last fall at NAPS. He is a terrific all round player who can run, block and catch. He opened the scoring in the victory over Dean College with a 25-yard touchdown run. Brown demonstrated big play speed with a long touchdown run that swung the tide in the upset victory against junior college powerhouse Nassau Community College. It was Nassau Community College's first loss in 18 games. Demond has nice run skills and very quick feet. He can cut, juke and accelerate. He usually makes the first man miss and finishes his runs. He did a really nice job of cut blocking on the perimeter in the games I saw him. Brown broke his collarbone in the 47-6 win over George Mason and missed the final two games of the season but will be ready this summer. Brown chose Navy over offers from Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross and Delaware State. Of all the new Mid slotbacks he may have the potential to contribute the earliest.
The other starting slotback at NAPS most of the year was Ed Royds. Royds is a 5-10, 197 pound back who played halfback and safety for Shawnee high school in New Jersey. His senior year he ran for 1,181 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Royds is an all round athlete who was an All-County baseball center fielder and was considered one of the fastest players in South Jersey his senior year. Royds scored a touchdown on the game winning drive for NAPS against Dean College. He caught a long touchdown pass against Bridgeton Academy. Royds is similar to Brown in that he can run, block and catch. Just like Brown, he suffered a season ending injury against George Mason. Royds has big play speed and is a solid all round player.
DeBrandon Sanders probably would have been a starter at slotback for the Naval Academy Prep team last season but was hurt during the first practice. Sanders missed the entire season because of the injury. He is a 5-7, 160 pound player from Mississippi who played wide receiver, running back and cornerback and returned kicks for Leflore County high school. He produced over 4,000 all-purpose yards and made 21 interceptions on defense during his high school career. Sanders showed excellent quickness, speed and lateral agility. Sanders’ injury set him back since he still needs to learn the offense and how to block on the perimeter.
Jamaal Williams was in the slotback rotation last year at NAPS. Williams is a 5-9, 180 pound slotback who is from North Carolina. At Hillside high school he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns his senior year. He helped lead his team to an unbeaten season and win the state championship.
Williams struggled a bit last fall getting acclimated to military life and the Navy spread option system. In high school the game might have been too easy for Williams. Jamaal really matured this spring and was worked hard in the off season strength and conditioning program. Williams possesses pretty good 4.68 in forty yard dash speed. He is an athletic, productive runner. Williams has the moves to make tacklers miss, good body control and quickness. His blocking needs to improve. Williams will probably need some time to develop and get stronger.
Colin Osborne (5-9, 185) also saw some time at A-back last fall at the Naval Academy Prep School. Osborne is a slotback recruited locally out of Glenelg high school in Maryland. Osborne rushed for 1,885 yards and 18 touchdowns for Glenelg on 246 carries (7.7 avg.) in 2010. He was named the Howard County Times 2010 Offensive Player of the Year. He earned first-team All-Metro honors. In the Maryland Crab bowl All-Star game he demonstrated his speed catching two passes out of the backfield and turning them into fifty yard touchdowns.
Osborne wasn't a starter at NAPS but he was one of the best runners and a very good blocker. Osborne is a nice back with good speed and acceleration who is surprisingly strong for his size with the ability to run through arm tackles. He originally committed to James Madison but changed his commitment after Navy offered him. Osborne also had offers from Bryant, Bucknell and Towson. His brother attends the Naval Academy and his farther is a career Navy veteran.
Marc Meier is a player from the Naval Academy Prep school who is listed as a slotback on the I-day list but may end up as a receiver. Meier played wide receiver at NAPS then was moved to slotback later in the year after injuries decimated the prep slotback corps. Marc is a 5-10, 180 pound player who played wide receiver at Great Bridge high school in Virginia. Meier caught 40 passes for 750 yards and scored nine touchdowns during his senior season. He also played defensive back and made eight interceptions and returned one for a touchdown in 2010. Meier is a very athletic and versatile player. He possesses excellent hands and good speed. It will be interesting to see what position he ends up playing.
Bradley Bostick is a very short speedy (5-6, 155) direct admit slot back from Birmingham, Alabama. Bradley has excellent run vision, instant acceleration and breakaway speed. While Bostick's forty yard dash time is exaggerated (4.31) but make no mistake he can fly. He has run 10.99 in the 100 meters as a track athlete. Last season he had 143 carries for 723 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns. Bostick often lined up in the slot as a receiver and caught 21 passes for 205 yards and a TD. Bradley chose Navy over offers from Air Force and Columbia.
Next: A look at the new Mid wide receivers.