Recruiting Update

Bill Wagner talks about Navy’s prep school-bound recruits, including Kevin Eckel, here:

It’s a great write-up on some of our future Mids, and Wags’ list includes several players that we didn’t have on our big board.

Billy Coates     LS      6-5, 220     Pebble Beach, CA
Jake Delvento     K/P     6-0, 180     Toms River, NJ
Kenson Dera     LB     5-11, 205     Naples, FL– We had mentioned Dera, but all I could find on him came from signing day last year. I’m not sure what his story is, but I’m going to take Wagner’s word for it.
John Kelly     DL     6-5, 225     Norcross, GA
Trey Reed     SB     5-10, 185     Texarkana, TX
Nick Ryan     OL     6-3, 270     Tucson, AZ
Kavon Seaton     QB     5-10, 180     Vista Murrieta, CA
Jordan Spriggs     DB     5-11, 155     Renton, WA
Siu Tafuna     DB     6-0, 180     Kahuku, HI  (highlights)
Kyle Widhalm     OL     6-2, 250     Carrollton, TX
Will Wied     LB     5-11, 210     Lafayette, LA

Is it just me, or did Navy recruit the west coast harder than ever? I can’t remember seeing so many players from California, Arizona, Hawaii, Washington, etc. Maybe Steve Johns is a recruiting juggernaut, maybe it’s a result of Ken Niumatalolo’s influence… Or maybe that’s just the way things happened to shake out this year.

Speaking of Hawaii, there is no doubt in my mind that thanks to Coach Niumatalolo, Navy is on the radar of a lot more island recruits. There’s a real us vs. them attitude there, and the locals take tremendous pride in their heritage. It was a remarkable sight at the Poinsettia Bowl luncheon, where many of Utah’s Polynesian players took the time to go to Coach Niumat, shake his hand, and have their picture taken with the nation’s first and only head coach of Polynesian descent. It definitely makes a difference when a Navy coach sits down in a Hawaiian kid’s living room.

This should be it for recruiting news until I-Day.

7 thoughts on “Recruiting Update

  1. Wags wrote Three Person brothers – Chris, Dan and Joe – have played for the Midshipmen.

    He missed the best of the Person brothers. Andy who started 4 straight years 3 @ RDE and in 1995 Bumpas switched him to LDE. A real good pass rusher and big effort guy. I felt bad he never beat Army especially in 1995 due to charlie’s blunder going for Td instead of kicking FG.

  2. NavyNewcomer

    Question for the birddog:

    It looks like Navy has about 125 returning players (2008 roster) plus 31 direct entry players (Wags list) and perhaps another 20 coming from NAPS would amount to a total of 175 +/- players coming in for August camp.

    Is that normal? I thought the NCAA allowed only 105 players brought in to August camp. Being new to Navy Football I would appreciate if someone could explain this to me. Thanks!

  3. thebirddog

    It’s normal. The service academies are exempt from that rule.

    It’s funny… Before this rule was passed there used to be a few teams with no-cut policies. I remember watching Washington home games back when Don James was coaching. I’ve never seen a more crowded sideline.

  4. NavyNewcomer

    Okay, birddog, thanks! I was told Paul Johnson abandoned the “let’s just throw out a big net” mentality in favor of quality over quantity. Fewer players means everyone gets more reps in practice and coaching is more efficient because everyone practices on the same field. This was one of the ways he was able to turn the program around. Since it seemed to work, I’m surprised to see 2008 numbers up so significantly. The 2007 roster only had 140 players, I believe, and 2008 would have moved closer to 120.

  5. thebirddog

    You were told correctly. It used to be well over 200 players. Keep in mind that we field a JV team that plays 5-6 games a year, too. And there’s usually some attrition, too.

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