QB news: Steelman will sit out spring, Jackson back

Army starting quarterback Trent Steelman will miss spring practice following offseason shoulder surgery, coach Rich Ellerson told the Times Herald-Record Monday.

The surgery is believed to be on Steelman’s left, non-throwing shoulder.

“We are not going to use Trent this spring because he had the shoulder done,” Ellerson said.

Steelman, who has started all 25 games since arriving at West Point, led Army with 11 rushing touchdowns and was second on the team with 721 yards in 2010. He threw for 995 yards and seven touchdowns.

Junior Max Jenkins will get the first-team snaps when spring practice opens on Feb. 16. Jenkins played in seven games as Steelman’s  backup in 2010. He rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown.

“He knows he’s initially in a reserve role but he’s been good at that role,” Ellerson said of Jenkins. “He’s a team leader in the Corps (of Cadets). He’s a team leader on the football field. Having him there means we are not nervous about our presence at quarterback this spring. He’s built a presence in the huddle and in the locker room.”

Ellerson said freshman Cody Jackson will be in the mix. Jackson left the team due to an administrative matter last season.

Freshman Chase Cresto, a scout-team quarterback last season, will also get some snaps.

Freshman Matt Luetjen, who dressed as the fourth-string quarterback in 2010, will start the spring as a safety, Ellerson said.

Junior Jimmy Reitter could see some snaps. But Ellerson said he may move Reitter to another position.

“Jimmy’s going into his senior year,” Ellerson said. “I think Jimmy’s athletic enough, I may try to see if I can find something else Jimmy can do to get him on the field. He’s an athlete. He’s a competitor. Quarterback is part of his portfolio but I would like to see if there’s some other things he can do to get on the field, maybe in the kicking game. I’m anxious to get him a little closer to the field.”

Reitter has played wide receiver in practice in the past. But Army has enough depth there with its top two – juniors Davyd Brooks and Austin Barr – returning. Sophomore Justin Allen and freshman Anthony Stephens are also in the mix.

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