March 20 practice blog

Certainly didn’t feel like the first day of spring as Army opened its spring practice with temperatures in the mid-30s.

Even coach Jeff Monken was wearing earmuffs.

Indeed, sophomore Kell Walker, who has started at slotback his first two seasons, was working with the quarterbacks. Read my story on Walker’s spring tryout here.

In accessing the quarterback position, which includes sophomore Kelvin Hopkins, junior Luke Langdon, freshmen Christian Anderson and Cam Thomas, Monken said, “there’s some guys that have been around the program and some guys that are pretty new and have a lot to learn. There’s some guys that are talented enough. We’ll see if they play well enough for that position to be the guy.”

Monken said the biggest difference from last year’s start of spring to Tuesday’s first day was noticing that the players from Army’s 2017 senior class, which helped Army to 10 wins in 2017, weren’t practicing.

“Not that we didn’t the year before,” Monken said. “We had some great guys in that group with (Andrew) King and (Jeremy) Timpf and so on. This group of seniors that is graduating this coming spring, they played a lot of football for us and meant a lot to our team, helped us win a lot of football games the last two years and you notice them being gone. I saw Mike Houghton and Brett Toth watching the offensive line and just how much they played and how knowledgeable that were and on defense, John Voit, Alex Aukerman and Rhyan England and what they meant to our our program…It’s a new time every year that’s really college football.”

Junior fullback Darnell Woolfolk said the returning players, “have high expectations going into the season especially after last year. But, the past is the past. We have a new team so we have to keep getting better every day.”

Monken said managing the expectations will be among the priorities this spring.

“I think it’s easy when you have a couple of winning seasons in a row for guys that haven’t experience anything but those winning seasons to maybe think it’s a lot easier than it is,” Monken said. “It’s really tough. We have to keep our team from being complacent and really pushed to get better.”

VIDEO: Defensive line drill in slow motiuon

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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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