Injuries to top wide receivers Chevaughn Lawrence and Ejay Tucker have opened chances for others to shine.
During Thursday’s Army vs. Army, senior Anthony Stephens took advantage of the opportunity. Stephens made five catches on five throws in the first half of Army’s practice. He caught a pass one-handed near the sideline with freshman cornerback Josh Jenkins in tight coverage. Stephens showed great concentration, hauling in a pass, which was tipped by two Army defenders. He snagged a crossing route and caught a deep pass while falling to the turf.
Stephens has caught four passes in 32 games for Army. He leads all Army receivers in career touchdowns (2).
Injury report: The following players did not practice due to injury – RB Terry Baggett; WR Chevaughn Lawrence; WR Ejay Tucker; Rover Thomas Holloway; CB Marques Avery; WR Jay Roberson; LB Derek Sanchez; S Luke Proulx. Senior tackle Momo Kime and sophomore middle linebacker Alex Meier both participated in full-drills drills in the first half of practice. After a break, Kime and Meier, who are both returning from ACL injuries, were in blue (limited) jerseys.
Quarterback competition: Sophomore Kelvin White worked with Army’s top offenses during the Army vs. Army segment and practiced as the No. 2 quarterback. Junior Angel Santiago remains at the top of the depth chart. Sophomore A.J. Schurr was running with the third group. He completed three consecutive passes in the second half of practice. Freshman wide receiver Edgar Poe made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on one of Schurr’s throws.
Position changes: Matt Giachinta and Elijah St. Hilaire have returned to their positions on offense. Giachinta, a sophomore fullback, was getting a try at middle linebacker. St. Hilaire, a freshman slotback, was briefly switched to cornerback. Junior Todd McDonald, Army’s second-string center, got a look at left tackle.
One-on-one pass-rushing drills: Jarrett Mackey beat Justin Gilbert; Nick Bennett beat Dalton Mendenhall; John Szott beat Clayton Keller; Ryan Powis beat T.J. Atimalala; Bobby Kough beat Matt Hugenberg; Justin Gilbert and Dalton Mendenhall drew; Jarrett Mackey beat Stefan Moreau; Mike Ugenyi beat Steve Shumaker; Shane Finnane beat Ryan Powis; Kyle Maxwell beat Jack Plunkett.
First-time offense: QB Angel Santiago; RB Raymond Maples; RB Trenton Turrentine; FB Larry Dixon; WR Anthony Stephens; WR Xavier Moss; LT Nick Bennett; LG Steve Shumaker; C Ryan Powis, RG Matt Hugenberg; RT Momo Kime. Note: RB Stephen Fraser, WR Patrick Laird and RT Justin Gilbert were rotated in.
First-team defense: DE Bobby Kough, Joe Drummond; NG T.J. Atimalala; Quick Dalton Mendenhall; WHIP James Kelly, MLB Alex Meier; SS Hayden Pierce; Rover Justin Trimble, CB Chris Carnegie, Josh Jenkins; FS Geoff Bacon.
Sights and sounds: Coach Rich Ellerson worked with kicker Mitchell Howard on his approach after his missed a 42-yard field goal wide right at the end of practice. Special teams coach Luke Thompson said the kicking (field goals and extra points) job is an, “open competition.” Sophomores Cale Brewer, No. 1 on the preseason depth chart, and Dan Grochowski are the top returning candidates. Grochowski, who made 10-of-16 field goals and 24-of-27 extra points as a freshman, will likely handle the kickoff duties, Thompson said.