December 4 practice blog

Who will be Army’s starting quarterback against Navy on Dec. 12?

Coach Jeff Monken said the decision will be made after watching practice next week.

Monken will have three options.

Freshman Chris Carter, who is coming off a strong college debut against Rutgers on Nov. 21.

Sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw and senior A.J. Schurr are healthy enough to play in the Navy game, Monken said, and both are taking snaps.

Carter appeared to be getting the most reps with the first team during Friday’s practice.

But if Bradshaw has strong practices next week, Monken may opt to the sophomore, who has started seven games this season. Bradshaw has played through ankle and shoulder injuries.

Sophomore safety Rhyan England, who injured his knee late in the Rutgers game, is practicing fully and expects to start against Navy. England picked off a pass in practice.

Monken on his starting safety: He’s a tough kid and a really good leader for us. He’s a guy that we’ve known for a long time. We recruited him at Georgia Southern and had offered him at Georgia Southern. I’m really glad he’s here with us. He’s a really good leader and he’s a really smart player and he’s improving tremendous just over the course of this year.”

Most of the players, who were banged up prior or during the Rutgers game, are back practicing. Sophomore linebacker Alex Aukerman returned to the first-team defense after missing the Rutgers game. The only defensive player that I saw not practicing was sophomore linebacker Scott Washle.

Monken on the two bye weeks: “We are healthier. Sometimes, it (the bye weeks) can get a little long. The first week was Thanksgiving week. We only practiced twice and I wouldn’t say they were great practices. Perhaps, that was because it was Thanksgiving week and they were anxious to get home. They haven’t been home in a while. They also knew (the Navy game) was three weeks away. It’s just hard to be right on edge and have that game-like intensity three weeks out and I don’t expect that. They weren’t where I hoped they would be but we got some work in.

“It’s valuable to have an extra week just to prepare for the offense that they run. I’m sure they (Navy) feel the same. They were preparing for Houston two weeks ago and they are entirely different from what we do…The last couple of days of practice have been particularly good. There’s been real good competition. The scout team is really trying to work to give us the best look that they can. It’s hard to simulate. They have guys that are two, three and four-year starters. It’s hard for our freshmen to simulate that exactly but they are trying real hard. I think our guys are doing the best that they can to prepare.”

Army’s secondary had a strong practice. Senior cornerback Chris Carnegie denied wide receiver Edgar Poe a catch on three attempts during the one-on-on period. Freshman cornerback Marcus Hyatt also played tight coverage.

Junior cornerback Steven Johnson had an interception near the sideline on a ball intended for Poe during another live period.

Other observations: Junior linebacker Jeremy Timpf picked off a low pass during a scout period…Junior kicker Mitchell Howard made a field goal from at least 45 yards out…Senior running back Grant Escobar, a scout-team player, beat a linebacker and made a nice catch against the second-team defense.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope @salinterdonato

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