Meet the New Mids: Defensive Line

Bernie Sarra

GoMids.com continues its review of this year's incoming freshman class by position. Navy enters the 2012 season with two seniors expected to start on the defensive line. For the second year in a row Ken Niumatalolo and his staff recruited what looks to be a talented defensive line class. GoMids.com will now take a look at the new Midshipmen defensive linemen.

Bernie Sarra (6-1, 290) is a three star recruit star recruit from Pennsylvania who played nose guard last season at the Naval Academy Prep School. Sarra was well regarded as a two-way lineman in high school and was one of the very few players selected to the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Fab 22 East team. He also was named First Team All-State as a junior. The following year as a senior defensive tackle he posted 32 tackles, 12 for a loss and forced seven fumbles. At guard he allowed no sacks for three consecutive years. He was impressive before his senior season during the off season summer camps. Sarra played well at the 2010 Nike Camp at Penn State. At the Schuman's National Underclassman Combine he was named the Offensive MVP.

Despite his on field production Sarra didn't receive a lot of Division I interest because at the combines it was discovered he was shorter than advertised. Most Division I coaches have biases against linemen with short wing spans because they are often more easily neutralized. Bernie, despite decent first step quickness, also ran disappointing times in the forty yard dash. None of that mattered on the field at NAPS. Sarra played very well, controlling his gap, which allowed the inside linebackers to fly to the ball. Sarra was dominate at the point of attack and was usually doubled teamed. It was no surprise the defensive MVP at NAPS was the Mike linebacker playing behind Bernie. Sarra is very strong and has benched pressed well over 400 pounds. He offers a wide body frame but has the ability to slide off a block and fill a gap. Bernie doesn't provide much as a pass rusher but he can definitely hold up against the run. Sarra had an offer from Bryant but committed to Navy just after his senior season ended. Other schools like Maryland, Akron and Central Michigan expressed some late interest. Sarra was listed as an offensive lineman on the I-day list but played nose guard last season. He can play both sides of the ball but I would be surprised if the staff moved him from nose guard. He played the position very well at NAPS.

William Anthony is a 6-2, 245 pound defensive end who started last year at NAPS. Anthony played on both sides of the ball at Trinity Christian high school in Florida. He was a three years starter as an offensive guard in a Wing-T offense and starred at defensive end. During his senior year he posted 57 tackles, including 17 behind the line of scrimmage and recorded six sacks in helping Trinity Christian win the state championship. Last year at NAPS Anthony was injured and missed part of the season. When he played he was very impressive. He was a force against Dean College and against Gattaca he was in the backfield all day long. Anthony isn't very big but is strong as an ox. He uses his hands well to disengage from blockers. William has good speed and a non-stop motor. He is a talented player who could contribute early.

Sean Reaver was the most productive defensive end at the Naval Academy Prep School last year. Reaver is a Maryland product who played at Catoctin high school where he played both ways in as a defensive end and a tight end. His sophomore year he made himself known in recruiting circles after he recorded an impressive 14 sacks. Sean's junior year he was often doubled team and he dropped to 5 ½ sacks. On offense he scored three touchdowns. His senior year he led his team to a state championship as he made 70 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, and posted eight sacks. Reaver was a three year first team all-conference selection. In addition to football he played both basketball and lacrosse.

Reaver is a very intense, aggressive player who is quick off the ball. Sean demonstrated very good pass rush skills as he led NAPS in sacks last fall. Reaver had a huge fumble recovery in the win over Navy JV that set up a touchdown. He plays with seemingly relentless, maximum effort every down. Reaver, a 6-3, 245-pound, defensive end attracted interest from a number of FBS schools based on his production. Fortunately for Navy he didn't pass the eyeball test since many Division I coaches viewed him as undersized. Despite that knock he did a very nice job holding the point of attack against the run at NAPS. Reaver has added nearly twenty pounds since his senior season. He probably needs to add some more muscle but, like William Anthony, he could compete for a spot on the depth chart by next spring. Sean isn't as athletic as Anthony but his production can't be ignored. He chose Navy over offers from the Citadel, James Madison, Monmouth and Towson.

Peter Igras (6-3, 240) played on the Naval Academy Prep School defensive line last season. Igras was a defensive end for Notre Dame high school in Arizona. His junior year he made 83 tackles and posted 6 1/2 sacks. He was named First team All-Region. As a senior he earned his region's defensive player of the year after recording 113 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks in 2010. At NAPS Igras had a terrific game against top ranked Dean College. Twice on two different goal line stands he penetrated into the backfield to make stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Igras isn't as big or as fast as fellow NAP defensive ends William Anthony or Sean Reaver but is a very solid player in his own right. Pete is very quick off the ball and moves well. Igras is strong and, has benched pressed 305 pounds and did a squat press of 430 pounds. He needs to watch his pad level. He has a tendency to peek into the backfield and play a little too high. Igras chose Navy over offers from Army, Air Force, New Mexico State and San Jose State.

Sean Kamela (6-2, 250) is another recruit from Arizona who played on the defensive line last season at NAPS. Sean was the team captain at Chaparral high school which won consecutive state titles his last two seasons. During his junior year Kamela was involved 36 tackles and made 8 1/2 sacks. He was named First team All-Region. As a senior he made 35 tackles and posted 6 sacks. He earned All-State and All-Region honors.

At the Naval Academy Prep School Kamela played defensive end and saw some snaps at nose tackle. He's a good solid defensive end with some size. He works very hard in weight room. He has above average speed and decent quickness. Kamela does have the ability to rush the passer. He can string pass rush moves together and uses a spin move every effectively. Sean made some big plays when NAPS needed them rushing the passer last fall. He has the frame and the work ethic to add weight down the road.

Jude Akpunku played outside linebacker last fall at the Naval Academy Prep School. Akpunku is from Cedar Hill, Texas. He was an impact defensive end in high school at Cedar Hill. In high school Jude was known for having a non-stop motor and for his ability to pressure the quarterback. In his final regular season game against Duncanville as a senior Jude finished the game with four sacks.

Akpunku (6-3, 225) is a terrific athlete. He looks like a Division I lineman getting off the bus. Jude has excellent speed and has been timed at 4.59 in the forty yard dash. He is strong, fast and is able to drop easily into coverage. Akpunku has a burst to the ball and can deliver a big hit. He had terrific games against Bridgeton Academy and Gattaca among others last fall. Akpunku chose Navy over offers from Texas-San Antonio and a chance to play at North Texas with his cousin. He is listed on the I-day list as a defensive lineman were he'll probably play. He is quick enough to play outside linebacker where he excelled at the prep school.

Rex Montes (6-5, 230) is a direct admit defensive lineman from Colleyville, Texas. Montes father played football at Arkansas State. During his junior year he split time between defensive tackle and end. He recorded 58 tackles and two sacks. Rex's senior year he was moved to his more natural defensive end position and made 76 tackles and posted three sacks. Montes was another player who originally committed to Air Force before switching to Navy. He also drew an offer from Arkansas State. Rex has gained fifteen pounds over the last year and he runs well.

The other defensive line direct admit is David Gordeuk. He played at State College high school in Pennsylvania. Gordeuk is a late bloomer who didn't even start playing football until his junior season. He is a very athletic 6-3, 215 pound player who excelled at both football and track. Despite being a novice he started all 13 games as a senior and earned First Team Mid-Penn Conference honors. In the field events Gordeuk has thrown the shot put 50 feet and has cleared 6 feet in the high jump. He is a diamond in the rough but measures up athletically because he can run well, is strong and has quickness off the snap. Gordeuk has powered cleaned 320 pounds which shows his natural strength and explosiveness. Gordeuk chose Navy over an offer from Princeton.

Next Meet the new Mids linebackers

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