Meet the New Mids: Quarterbacks part I

Kenneth Mouton

The Navy triple option revolves around the quarterback. Last year's direct admit quarterback, Keenan Reynolds, had a remarkable season. He was named the starting quarterback after coming off the bench to lead the Mids to a comeback win against Air Force. He led Navy to victories in six of their final seven regular season games. GoMids.com will now take a look at the new Midshipmen quarterbacks.

GoMids.com will look at this year's incoming freshman class by position. The Navy triple option revolves around the quarterback. Last year's direct admit quarterback, Keenan Reynolds, had a remarkable season. He was named the starting quarterback after coming off the bench to lead the Mids to a comeback win against Air Force. He led Navy to victories in six of their final seven regular season games. Interesting enough, it was last year's Naval Academy Prep School starter Kenneth Mouton, not Reynolds, who was initially considered the best quarterback recruit in the 2012 class. GoMids.com will now take a look at the new Midshipmen quarterbacks.

Kenneth Mouton was the starting quarterback last season at the Naval Academy Prep School. Mouton's recruitment represents the lasting impact that former Navy star quarterback Ricky Dobbs had on the program. Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper has discussed in the past that Dobbs passing ability opened the staff's eyes to recruiting a dual threat quarterback then teaching him how to run the spread option offense. Mouton, from Naples, Fla., fits that mold. He was as a three-year starter in high school but missed time twice during his senior season due to injuries. Despite the injury setbacks he threw for 1,394 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games and led his team to the postseason. During his career Kenneth passed for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for nearly 1,000 yards at Golden Gate high school.

At NAPS Kenneth was the starter but split much of playing time with the since departed Anthony "Fish" Smithson. Mouton helped NAPS to a 7-2 season. Mouton led the team to 40 or more points in four games against a strong schedule. In the opener Mouton led NAPS to a 33-32 overtime victory over a good Dean College team that was the 8th ranked NJCAA team in 2011. Mouton didn't complete a pass as Navy quarterbacks threw just three passes the entire game. Mouton struggled against Prep powerhouse Nassau Community College. He carried the ball 13 times for just 43 yards as Nassau Community shutdown their option attack. On the road against Bridgton Academy Mouton scored a short touchdown run in the second quarter as the NAPS Rams beat the Bridgton Academy 25-20. Mouton led the team to victory over Navy JV and scored a touchdown. He had a tremendous game in the victory over Hudson Community College as he scored three times and threw a 22-yard touchdown pass.

Mouton showed his leadership and playmaking ability in the battle for the Reasoner Trophy against the United States Military Academy Prep School. He simply refused to let his team lose. In the first half Mouton scored the Rams only touchdown. NAPS trailed 20-6 at halftime as he split time at quarterback with an ineffective Fish Smithson. On NAPS' opening possession of the third quarter he drove the team the length of the field and finished the drive with a 23-yard touchdown run off a reverse option play where he hurdled a defender to score. The next offensive series quarterback Fish Smithson had his pass picked off and returned for a touchdown as USMAPS expanded its lead to 31-14 and it looked like the game may be over. NAPS coach JP Shevory benched Smithson and turned to Kenneth the rest of the game. The next series Mouton ripped off two long runs to set up a 6-yard TD run by B-back Shawn White. Mouton ran in the 2-point conversion making it 31-22. The next series Mouton completed a long pass down field to Toneo Gully that led to another score. After the two point conversion Naps trailed 31-30. NAPS defense held and Mouton took over with 1:56 left in the game and 90 yards to go. After being sacked for a five yard loss Mouton ran for 15-yards and a first down. He then found wide receiver Julian Turner for a 37-yard gain. Mouton ran an option keeper for 20 yards to the 25-yard line. The next play Mouton hit wide receiver James Stoval on a 25-yard flag route for a TD and a Navy 36-31 lead. USMAPS responded with a touchdown with three seconds left to take the lead. The NAPS special teams made sure Mouton's heroics didn't go to waste as they miraculously returned a squib kick, with the help of a lateral, for a touchdown with no time left to give NAPS an amazing 42-36 victory. Mouton finished the game rushing 20 times for 215 yards and two scores. He was 4 for 7 for 131 passing yards and a touchdown. Mouton was named the Naval Academy Prep School offensive MVP for his outstanding season.

Mouton is a 6-1, 200 pound quarterback with 4.65 speed in the forty yard dash. I know it's the standard comparison for a Navy quarterback but watching Mouton play reminds me a lot of Ricky Dobbs both with his running and passing. His Scout.com profile actually said "while he is not a runner, he can make plays with his feet." While that doesn't sound like an option quarterback the same could have been said about Dobbs. Mouton is fast enough and during summer camps after his junior season he ran a 4.65 forty yard dash. He is a quick, strong cutback runner who can accelerate in the hole but lacks a top end gear in the open field. Kenneth is a powerful runner who can break arm tackles and has the ability to make the first man miss. He's a tremendous competitor who can take a team on his back. He did a solid job distributing the ball but he's still learning the offense. Mouton has a very strong arm for an option quarterback, possesses a nice touch and can really drive the ball down the field and on out patterns. Not surprisingly for an option quarterback he is mobile in the pocket, has quick feet and can throw on the move. Mouton's father played at Michigan for Bo Schembechler. He received interest from a few Big Ten schools after his junior season and attended their summer camps but his injury plagued senior season scared them away to Navy's benefit. Mouton chose the Midshipmen over offers from Eastern Michigan and Bethune Cookman.

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