The tailback position at any service academy is one that is expected to carry a heavy load. You will…
Danger Men: South Alabama, San Jose St., Army
South Alabama - Ross Metheny - QB
If the concept of becoming an FBS level competitor just five years after founding the program sounds crazy that is because it most defiantly is. The Jaguars have got to this level in an unprecedented amount of time, but the downside is that this upside heavy program has a thin roster by top college level standards. The key man to USA (catchy huh) succeeding in 2013 is senior quarterback Ross Metheny. The Virginia transfer threw for over 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, despite not playing in the first four games, and he has an athletic blend of skills which allow him to keep plays alive when the offensive linemen get beaten. He needs to work on ball protection (12 interceptions) and also his ability to use a stronger than expected arm to force the ball downfield. For the team to have a shot against Navy they need to average far greater than the 6.1 yards they had per completion in 2012.
San Jose State - David Fales - QB
Fales is the best player Navy will come up against in 2013. His 2012 stat lines are just ridiculous. He threw for seven shy of 4,200 yards and had 33 touchdowns with just nine picks for a ratio of over 3:1. Basically barring injury or a catastrophic meltdown he will be a first round NFL draft pick in 2014 and could even be the first quarterback taken to play on Sundays when all is said and done.
For a guy who only had one scholarship offer coming out of high school (Nevada) Fales has surprising arm strength. His 72.5 percent completion percentage last year led the nation, in large part due to the fact he can make all the throws in the playbook. In the era of the modern, dual-threat quarterback Fales is something of a throwback with more limited mobility. He does have outstanding pocket presence though and he is a thick 6-2, 225 which makes him difficult to put down even when he is hit. The best comparison for Fales is Tony Romo because both have the ability to find a way to get the ball through seemingly impossible passing windows when under duress. Finding a way to limit his effectiveness is going to be key for the Mids defense.
Army - Raymond Maples - RB
With Trent Steelman gone this becomes Maples' team. The bruising senior running back is aiming for his third straight 1,000 yard season and he will have to shoulder plenty of the load while the Black Knights bed in a new quarterback. Though he rushed for over 1,200 yards last year Maples was only able to score two touchdowns on the ground as Army put together a disappointing 2-10 season. Not much of a threat out of the backfield receiving, Maples will be looking to return to his 2011 form where he ran for an electric 7.3 yards per carry. Navy will have to account for Maples on every play as Army throw the triple option down the Mids throat with reckless abandon.
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