Wide Receiver Update: Cline climbing depth chart

The route and catch impressed Army coach Jeff Monken.

Sophomore Kjetil (pronounced “Jetil”) Cline caught a post route at the end of the Commander in Chief’s period (live scrimmage) during Wednesday’s practice.

Cline, a scout-team player as a freshman, has taken advantage of his chances as returning senior starting wide receiver Jeff Ejekam works his way to practicing fully with the team.

“You just get more comfortable with the offense from working hard through summer and spring,” said Cline, who played in one game for Army last season. “The entire team has been working hard and everyone is ready to step up and make plays. I was just getting the opportunity and I made the play (the catch on post route).”

Cline and senior Jermaine Adams were the first-team receivers during Saturday’s practice with sophomore Christian Hayes and Chris Gregg lined up with the second team.

“He’s put himself in position to make some plays in this camp already,” Monken said of Cline earlier this week. “Physically, he’s developed so much from last year. He looks like a different kid.”

Cline played his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla after two seasons at East Ridge High in Woodbury, Minn.

“It (IMG) got me prepared for this with being away from home and being with a good group of guys who worked hard,” Cline said. “We work harder here.”

Ejekam missed the first four practices due to disciplinary reasons, Monken said. He should have enough practices to work in with the receivers early this week.

Monken said earlier in the week that Ejekam would, “be a guy that’s certainly at the top (of the depth chart). He’s a returning starter.”

Sophomore Glen Coates hadn’t been able to practice without restriction as of Saturday. Monken said Coates injured his knee during summer training.

Adams started a few games last season and Monken said, “he’s played some and enough to know what to do and have the confidence to go in and do it. He’s not as fast as some of the other guys we got. We got to make it work with him. He’s a great kid, works really hard and he’ll help us.”

When asked if the receivers collectively as a group can replaced the production of 2016 senior Edgar Poe, Monken said, “I think all of those guys are going to have to play. None of them are like Edgar. Edgar was really a talented guy. I wish we could get another guy like that and whole of them like that because he was a very willing blocker and he was a good enough athlete to handle that no matter who it was.

“He wasn’t mauling people and sending them into the water jugs but he just kept people off of the ball carriers and when you threw the guy the ball he had a better chance than the other guy to come down with it. He was really good. We don’t have anybody like that. I don’t know if I’ll ever coached another (receiver) like that.”

Edgar Poe and his brother, Christian, a sophomore in 2016, combined for 26 of Army’s 54 receptions last season. Christian Poe is no longer at the academy.

Monken said Army has some young receivers, “that I’m excited to see develop, long guys built like the Poe brothers. Not blazing fast but neither were those guys.” The coach didn’t mention any names. But, I’m assuming he was talking about freshmen Cam Harrison and Jon Hamilton.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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