Spring depth chart: Defense

Here’s Army’s depth chart on defense prior to the Black & Gold game on Saturday:

DE: Mike Ugenyi, Jr.; Ryan Alexander, Soph.; Evan Finnane, Fr.
DT: Richard Glover, Jr.; T.J. Atimalala, Soph.; Ammon Tuimaunei, Fr.
DE: Joe Drummond, Jr.; Jordan Smith, Fr.; Bobby Kough, Jr.
OLB: Steve Ricciardi, Jr.; Addison Holstein, Jr.
OLB: Derek Sanchez, Jr.; James Kelly, Jr.; Malcolm Hudson, Fr.
MLB: Andrew King, Fr.; Sean McBryde, Fr.; Jim Forgrave, Jr.
WLB: Jeremy Timpf, Fr.; Seth Combs, Fr.; Justin Fahn, Soph.
CB: Josh Jenkins, Fr.; Lamar Johnson-Harris, Jr.; Mike McFadden, Soph.
CB: Chris Carnegie, Soph.; Jared Vallner, Fr.; Nick Brickous, Fr.
FS: Geoff Bacon, Jr.; Steven Johnson, Fr.; Gino DeBartolo, Jr.
S: Hayden Pierce, Jr.; Gervon Simon, Fr.; Luke Proulx, Soph.

Not listed on depth chart: LB Julian Holloway, Jr. (injured); LB Chasen Brown, Fr. (injured), LB Marcus Poling, Soph. (injured); S Alex Waugh, Soph. (injured); DE Wyatt Wilkerson, Soph.; LB Dalton Mendenhall, Soph.; CB Marques Avery, Jr.; CB Issac Winters, Jr. (injured); S Joey Giovannelli, Fr.; LB Shawn Lemoto, Fr.; LB Adam Bungum, Fr.; LB Caleb Newman, Fr.; LB Luke Fetla, Fr.; LB Rob Jenkins, Fr.; CB Caleb McNeill (walk-on); DB Curtis Gardner, Soph.; S Akintunde Akinniyi, Soph.; DB John Barnett, Fr.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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Spring depth chart: Offense

Here’s a look at depth chart on offense before Army’s Black & Gold game Saturday:

QB: A.J. Schurr, Soph.; Angel Santiago, Jr.; Matt Kaufmann, Fr.
FB: Larry Dixon, Jr.; Matt Giachinta, Soph.; Aaron Kemper, Fr.; PaulAndrew Rhoden, Fr.
RB: Stephen Fraser, Jr.; Elijah St. Hilaire, Fr.; Jared Rogers, Soph.; Trenton Turrentine, Jr.
RB: Tony Giovannelli, Jr.; Joe Walker, Fr.; Jeff Malm-Annan, Fr.
WR: Xavier Moss, Fr.; Justin Newman, Jr.; Deandre Bell, Soph.; Chevaughn Lawrence, Jr.
WR: Kelvin White, Soph.; Edgar Poe, Fr.; Lane Holmes, Fr.; Mike Parros, Soph.
TE: Eddy Ruzga, Fr.; Jacob Owens, Soph.
LT: Drew Hennessy, Soph.; Ryan Powis, Jr.; Adam Szott, Fr.
LG: Steve Shumaker, Jr.; O.J. Hall, Fr.
C: Matt Hugenberg, Soph.; Todd McDonald, Jr.
RG: Stefan Moreau, Fr.; Colby Enegren, Fr.; Parker Bates, Soph.
RT: Justin Gilbert, Soph.; Corey Hobbs, Soph.

Not listed on depth chart: RB Terry Baggett (injured); RB Lawrence Scott (injured); C Lofi Tamasese (injured); T Alex Cauley (injured); G Will Butler (injured); G Jack Plunkett (injured); QB Cody Jackson; QB Tevin Long; FB Richie Smith; FB Tirone Young; RB Acha Ndando (injured); RB Grant Escobar; G Chris Smythe; T Niko Schillaci

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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2014 schedule update

CBS Sports Network released kickoff times for four 2014 Army home games at Michie Stadium and the Black Knights’ Nov. 8 game against UConn at Yankee Stadium.

Games against Buffalo (Sept. 6), Ball State (Oct. 4), Rice (Oct. 11) and Fordham (Nov. 29) will start at noon at West Point. The UConn game is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start in the Bronx.

Kickoff time for Army’s Nov. 1 game against Air Force at Michie Stadium has yet to be determined. The game could be picked up by CBS.

2014 schedule
Sept. 6 BUFFALO, noon
Sept. 13 at Stanford, TBA
Sept. 20 at Wake Forest, TBA
Sept. 27 at Yale, TBA
Oct. 4 BALL STATE, noon
Oct. 11 RICE, noon
Oct. 18 at Kent State, TBA
Nov. 8 UConn at Yankee Stadium, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 15 at Western Kentucky, TBA
Nov. 29 FORDHAM, noon
Dec. 13 Navy at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore


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Black and Gold Game rosters

Here are the rosters and coaching staffs for the Black & Gold Game, which will be held at noon Saturday at Michie Stadium.

Note- * – injured, likely won’t play

Black (first-team offense, second-team defense)
QB: 11 A.J. Schurr, 5 Cody Jackson
FB: 26 Larry Dixon, 25 Aaron Kemper, 33 Richie Smith
RB: 27 Stephen Fraser, 19 Tony Giovannelli, 18 Jared Rogers, 44 Grant Escobar, *37 Acha Ndando
WR: 86 Xavier Moss, 2 Kelvin White, 21 Chevaughn Lawrence, 15 Deandre Bell
TE: 45 Eddy Ruzga
C: 53 Matt Hugenberg, *74 Lofi Tamasese
OT: 73 Drew Hennessy, 60 Justin Gilbert, 52 Ryan Powis, 77 Adam Szott
OG: 70 Steve Shumaker, 75 Stefan Moreau, 69 Chris Smythe, 64 Jack Plunkett.
DE: 50 Ryan Alexander, 53 Jordan Smith; 97 Wyatt Wilkerson
DT: 93 T.J. Atimalala, 75 Evan Finnane
OLB: 43 James Kelly, 7 Dalton Mendenhall, 48 Shawn Lemoto, 27 Adam Bungum, 51 Caleb Newman
ILB: 28 Sean McBryde, 91 Justin Fahn, 66 Luke Fetla, 34 Jim Forgrave, *42 Julian Holloway; *49 Chasen Brown
CB: 19 Michael McFadden, 8 Jared Vallner, 31 Caleb McNeill.
S: 2 Steven Johnson, 10 Gervon Simon, 17 Gino DeBartolo, 37 Curtis Gardner, 38 Alex Waugh, 22 Luke Proulx
Special teams: 95 K-P Dan Grochowski; 17 K Mitchell Howard, 1 K Michael McDonald; 88 LS Connor Farley.
Coaches: Superintendent Robert Caslen (honorary head coach); Brent Davis (offensive coordinator); Lamont Seward (running backs); Sean Saturnio (fullbacks); K.C. Corless (linebackers); John Loose (safeties); Ray McCartney (defensive line); Jaybo Shaw (offensive quality control).
Student coaches: Momo Kime, Zach Williams, Zach Marciano, A.J. Armstrong, Kyle Maxwell.
Honorary captains: Garry Steele, Rollie Stichweh, Tom Morgan, Seth Nieman.
Staff: Danilo Robinson; Chris Clyde, Will Greenberg, Chad Davis, Jen Guzman, Kassi Lee.

Gold (first-team defense, second-team offense with mixed of remaining roster)
QB: 3 Angel Santiago, 4 Matt Kaufmann, 8 Tevin Long
FB: 40 Matt Giachinta, 23 PaulAndrew Rhoden, 38 Tirone Young
RB: 22 Joe Walker, 29 Elijah St. Hilaire; 32 Jeff Malm-Annan, *31Terry Baggett; *10 Trenton Turrentine
WR: 82 Edgar Poe, 85 Justin Newman, 88 Mike Parros, 83 Lane Holmes
TE: 6 Jacob Owens
C: 51 Todd McDonald
OT: 59 Corey Hobbs, 68 Niko Schillaci; *78 Alex Cauley
OG: 72 Colby Enegren; 71 O.J. Hall; 63 Parker Bates, *56 Will Butler
DE: 54 Joe Drummond, 92 Mike Ugenyi, 99 Bobby Kough
DT: 98 Richard Glover, 96 Ammon Tuimaunei
OLB: 32 Steven Ricciardi, 94 Derek Sanchez, 47 Addison Holstein; 90 Malcolm Hudson, 56 Rob Jenkins
ILB: 11 Andrew King, 39 Jeremy Timpf, 13 Seth Combs, 44 Kyle Ricciardi, *25 Marcus Poling
CB: 3 Josh Jenkins, 16 Lamar Johnson-Harris, 14 Chris Carnegie, 4 Marques Avery, 15 Issac Winters, 36 Nick Brickous
S: 6 Geoff Bacon, 9 Hayden Pierce; 29 Joey Giovannelli, 20 Akintunde Akinnyi
Special teams: 19 K Cale Brewer; 80 P Alex Tardieu, 21 K-P Ralph Freibert, 89 LS Alex Clamp
Coaches: Commandant Richard Clarke (honorary head coach), Jay Bateman (defensive coordinator), Mitch Ware (quarterbacks), Todd Spencer (offensive line), Tucker Waugh (wide receivers), Bob Bodine (tight ends), Jovan Dewitt (linebackers), Orlando Mitjans, Jr. (cornerbacks)
Student coaches: Patrick Laird, Colby Miller, Colin Linkul, Reggie Nesbit, Ross McDonald.
Honorary captains: Jodie Glore, Greg Gadson, Jim Ward, Carlton Jones.
Staff: Andy Wolfrum (defensive quality control); Troy Everhart, Scott Swanson, Darren Mustin, Gaylord Greene, Michelle Kohus, Liz Sramek.

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April 16 practice blog

Fullback Matt Giachinta picked up a burst of steam through the line of scrimmage.

Safety Geoff Bacon zeroed in on Giachinta, looking to make the big hit. Giachinta and Bacon collided. Giachinta won knocking Bacon sideways.

“That was a good one,” Giachinta said. “We’ve been hitting out here and going pretty hard. Low man wins. That’s what coach has been preaching. That’s one thing I’ve been trying to work on because I’m a little taller (6-foot-1) than the other B-backs. That’s one thing I’ve been trying to work on a lot and that’s a product of it right there.

Giachinta’s physical style has been one of the constant’s of spring practice. He looks bigger (he put on 10 pounds in the offseason). Giachinta played in 12 games last season, backing up junior Larry Dixon, a three-year starter. He made his first career start against Hawaii. Giachinta rushed 27 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. First-year coach Jeff Monken is looking for more production out of Giachinta in his fullback-based triple-option offense in 2014.

“He’s had a good spring,” Monken said of Giachinta. “I think there’s been some healthy competition between he and Larry Dixon. I think both he and Larry are the right body types and the right runners for that positions. Both of those are guys we can play with.”

Giachinta credited the coaches and his fellow fullbacks for his improvement.

“I think I’ve definitely gotten better every day,” said Giachinta, who now weighs 220 pounds. “I feel like the progress all of us (fullbacks) have made has been tremendous. We are running lower, more physical, making better blocks as a group. We definitely got a lot better.”

Quarterback competition: Though Angel Santiago finished practice with the top offense, coach Monken said sophomore A.J. Schurr is at the top of the depth chart. If the depth chart doesn’t change on Friday, Schurr will be quarterbacking the Black team vs. Santiago and the Gold team as Army’s spring game Saturday at Michie Stadium.

Sitting out: CB Chris Carnegie, LB Julian Holloway, RB Terry Baggett and RB Lawrence Scott were among the players, who did not participate in practice.

Practice highlights/recap: Schurr connected on a deep pass to WR Edgar Poe…LB Dalton Mendenhall strung out a pitch to RB Stephen Fraser for no gain…Freshman CB Jared Vallner was running with the second team…WR Kelvin White made a nice adjustment and a catch in front of CB Josh Jenkins…S Steven Johnson laid a big hit on RB Elijah St. Hilaire near the sideline…QB Tevin Long took some reps catching passes…K Dan Grochowski made a 37-yard field goal…FB Matt Giachinta bounced off Vallner’s tackle and gained a few extra yards…Giachinta scored on a 5-yard TD run…The ball slipped out of Schurr’s hands a few times while attempting a pass…Schurr delivered a pass on the money in the flat to RB Stephen Fraser…FB Larry Dixon scored on a 4-yard TD run…RB Jared Rogers showed some good speed, turning a short pass upfield…St. Hilaire scored a 7-yard TD off a pitch…S Gervon Simon went low on Santiago, which drew some grunts from coaches because quarterbacks were wearing non-contact jerseys…LB Andrew King broke through the line and would have laid out the quarterback on the final play of practice.

Sights and sounds: Tom Monken, brother of coach Jeff Monken, was in attendance. Tom Monken is the offensive coordinator for Casey-Westfield (Ill.) High. Nicco Stepina, his senior quarterback, will be playing for Army in the fall…2014 Army commits William Truong, a defensive lineman, and Garrett Sweetser, a linebacker, both of Esperanza (Calif.) High, watched practice……Clear fields at Michie Stadium and Howze Field. The fields were covered with snow Wednesday morning…According to weather app, temperature was 43 degrees when practice ended. It felt like 33 degrees.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato



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2014 recruiting class (Updated)

Army picked up a late commit in Cleveland (Tenn.) WR Tyler Davis this past weekend.

Bonita (Calif.) RB Jake Payton and Roswell (Ga.) P Daniel DiRoberto are off the commit list.

Eighty-seven commits and counting.

If I’ve missed anyone, commits please email me at sinterdonato@th-record.com or direct message me on Twitter @salinterdonato

Here’s a list of Army’s 2014 recruiting class:

# – will attend West Point in fall
* – will attend Army Prep in fall

DE Matt Allgor 6-2, 220, Mason (Ohio) HS
DE Emmanuel Aka, 6-3, 215, Norcross (Ga.) HS
#S Alex Aukerman, 6-2, 205, Center Grove, Ind.: Aukerman was Indiana Class 6A all-state (first team) safety as a senior.
#C Sage Baltrusaitis, 6-1, 255, Brother Rice, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
*FB Teran Barnitz, 6-foot, 215, Cabell Midland (W. Va.) HS
LS Clay Barton, 5-11, 210, North Forsyth (Ga.) HS
DE Lloyd Beal, 6-3, 210, Seneca HS, Louisville, Ky.
RB Nicholas Black, 5-9, 189, College Park HS, Woodlands, Texas
#G-NG Josh Boylan, 6-2, 255 Hebron Academy, Maine.
#LB Justin Byers, 6-1, 205, Panther Creek HS, Cary, N.C.
QB Chris Carter, 5-11, 165, Imperial (Calif.) HS: Set Imperial school career records in passing yards (3,510) and touchdown passes (45). Played in same backfield as Oregon RB commit Royce Freeman. Led Imperial to 11-1 record in 2013.
*RB Malik Crossdale, 5-11, 205, Fordham Prep
DE Cordarrell Davis, 6-foot, 238, Summer Creek (Texas) HS
#RB/LB Danny Davis, 6-foot, 220 pounds, Hebron Academy, Maine.
LB Nika Davis. 6-1, 205 Waco (Texas) HS
WR Tyler Davis, 6-3, 180, Cleveland (Tenn.) HS
* S Casey Dionne, 6-1, 180, Madison Southern, Ky.
RB Christian Drake 5-10, 178, Pelham (Ga.) HS
#WR Jeff Ejekam, 6-3, 200 Bellaire (Texas) HS
WR Rhyan England, 5-11, 180, Collins Hills (Ga.) HS: Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 6A first-team defensive back. Intercepted nine passes as a senior.
DT Morgan Faughnan, 6-2, 235, Binghamton (N.Y.) HS
*LS Scott Flanick, 6-2, 215, Pine Bush (N.Y.) HS
LB Jaquan Frazier, 6-foot, 194, Norcross (Ga.) HS
OL Tim Gant, 6-3, 270, Christian Brothers College High, St. Louis, Mo.: Gant was a Missouri 220-pound state wrestling champion as a junior.
LB Blake Goddard, 5-11, 216, Kirkwood (Mo.) HS
DE Juwan Griffith-James, 6-2, 201, Bergenfield (N.J.) HS
QB Jake Gnacinski 6-2, 225, Fossil Ridge HS, Keller, Texas
QB Seth Gonzales, 6-1, 196, Chapin HS, El Paso, Texas: Three-year starter. Associated Press 4A all-state honorable mention selection as a senior.
DB Jalen Hemphill 6-foot, 184, Hales Franciscan HS, Chicago
DB Kadeem Hemphill 6-foot, 180, Hales Franciscan HS, Chicago
LB Max Hernandez, 6-3, 215 Warren Central (Ind.) HS
# C Bryce Holland, 6-2, 260, Hamilton High, Chandler, Ariz.: Three-star recruit named state’s top center by Arizona Football Coaches Association. Member of Arizona all-star team, which played California in Canyon Coast Classic last month.
OL Isaiah Holland, 6-4, 320, Valor Christian HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo.: Father, Darius, played in NFL for 10 seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers.
*LB Calen Holt, 6-1, 205, Kamehameha, Hawaii: First-team, all-Hawaii pick.
WR-CB-KR Brandon Jackson, 6-foot, 175, Holy Cross (N.Y.) HS
*LB Sam Johnson, 6-2, 220, Riverview HS, Sarasota, Fla.
*T Sheldon Johnson, 6-3, 260, Gilman School (Md.): Chose Army over Navy. Comes from athletic family. Father, Sheldon, competes in 50-and-over hammer throw and still owns VMI outdoor hammer record (199 feet, 8 inches) set in 1986.
LB Jarrod Jones, 5-10, 205, Prattville (Ala.) HS
CB DaQuan Joy 6-2, 180, Brookville (Ga.) HS
OL Grant Kramer 6-3, 255, Duxbury (Mass.) HS
*G Rick Kurz, 6-2, 265, St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio
#QB Luke Langdon, 5-11, 185, Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif.
*DT Britt Lee, 6-3, 295, Greater Atlanta (Ga.) Christian
*LB Cole Macek, 5-11, 216, Montour (Pa.) HS
*LB Zach Maxwell 6-1, 205, Southington (Conn.) HS: 2013 Hartford Courant defensive player of the year had 17 sacks for Southington as a senior.
*CB Isa Muhammad, 5-11, 175, Riverdale (Ga.) HS
LB James Nachtigal, 6-2, 205, Fort Atkinson (Wisc.) HS: Caught 45 passes for 840 yards and eight touchdowns and made 48 tackles as a senior. Also punted for Fort Atkinson.
*DL Angelo Natter, 6-3, 250, Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh
G Victor Nieves, 6-4, 331, Northview (Ala.)  HS: Nieves was previously committed to Jacksonville State.
*WR Jalen Parson, 6-3, 185, Heritage (Wake Forest, N.C.) HS: Teammate of Army commit Trey Ratliff
WR Luke Peterman, 6-4, 190, Vandegrift HS, Austin, Texas
WR-LB Christian Poe 6-4, 190, Cienega HS, Vail, Ariz.: Brother of Army freshman receiver Edgar Poe.
LB Chandler Ramirez, 6-foot, 210, Archbishop Mitty (Calif) HS*
OL Josh Rea, 6-foot, 280, Northwest Mississippi CC
S Max Regan, 6-3, 188, Vandegrift HS, Austin, Texas
*CB Michael Reynolds, 6-foot, 175, Northview (Ala.) HS
#T Trey Ratliff, 6-5, 275, Heritage HS, Wake Forest, N.C.: Ratliff received late interest from UConn but stick with his commitment to West Point.
WR-CB Malik St. Hilaire, 6-foot, 175, Palisades Park/Leonia, N.J.: Brother of Army freshman cornerback Elijah St. Hilaire.
WR Malik Sanders, 6-5, 193, Harlan HS, Chicago
#LB Matt Sannella, 6-1, 215,  Kings HS, Cincinnati, Ohio
*TE Zach Saum, 6-4, 215, Cathedral, Ind.: Originally committed to Ball State. Saum’s high school, Cathedral, has won four straight state championships.
*OT Austin Schuffert, 6-3, 250. Prattville (Ala.) HS
*WR Jalen Sharp, 6-1, 175, Greenhill HS, Addison, Texas
#RB Nick Sliver, 5-11, 200, Bishop England HS, Mt. Pleasant S.C.: Versatile athlete could play slotback or fullback. Had 28 rushing touchdowns as senior.
* LB Demetro Stephens, 6-1, 220, Arabia Mountain HS, Lithonia, Ga.
#QB Nicco Stepina, 6-foot, 175, Casey-Westfield HS, Casey, Ill.: Stepina’s offensive coordinator at Casey-Westfield was Tom Monken, brother of Army coach Jeff Monken.
*WR Shafer Swann, 6-2, 195, Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh: Son of Steeler wide receiver, four-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann.
LB Garrett Sweetser, 6-foot, 201, Esperanza HS, Anaheim, Calif.
*OL Jericho Tamasese, 6-2, 280, Archbishop Riordan HS, San Francisco
RB-LB Aaron Thompson, 6-2, 205, Mobile Christian (Ala.) HS
WR-S Jamal Tookes, 6-4, 195, Eagle’s Landing Christian (Ga.) HS
#OL Brett Toth, 6-7, 260, West Ashley HS, Charleston, S.C.
DE William Truong, 6-1, 250, Esperanza HS, Anaheim, Calif.
#RB-KR Alex Turner, 5-8, 170, Sabino (Ariz.) HS
RB E.J. Turner, 5-10, 170, Grissom HS, Huntsville, Ala.
*G Kaveinga Tuitahi, 6-3, 300, Lutheran (Calif.) HS
FB Kendall Tu’ua, 5-11, 215, Timpview (Utah) HS: Tu’ua ran for more than 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior.
#LB Dennis Washington, 6-foot, 205, James Island HS, Charleston, S.C.
*LB Sam Walker, 6-4, 230, South Forsyth HS, Ga.: Recruited by Army coach Jeff Monken and offensive coordinator Brent Davis to play at Georgia Southern. Offered by Air Force. Could develop into defensive end.
DE Jack Ward, 6-3, 230, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
*DE Austin Weaver, 6-2, 250, Salpointe (Ariz.) HS: Captain of 14-0 state champion team.
*RB Isaiah Williams, 6-foot, 195, South Forsyth HS, Ga.
FB Morgan Willcox, 5-11, 225 LaSalle HS, Cincinnati, Ohio
K Blake Wilson, 5-9, 140 Boca Raton (Fla.) HS
#RB-LB Bayle Wolf, 6-1, 200, Clinton-Massie (Ohio) HS: Ohio’s Division IV player of the year rushed for 5,473 yards and 102 touchdowns in his career. Led Clinton-Massie to state titles in 2012 and 2013.
FB Darnell Woolfork, 5-10, 220, Maine Endwell (N.Y.) HS
#DB Chris Zook, 6-foot, 185, St. Thomas HS, Houston, Texas: Played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back at St. Thomas. Named in Houston Chronicle’s top 100 football recruits.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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April 14 practice blog

To say Army’s coaching staff is putting a lot of time into special teams is an understatement.

Coach Jeff Monken and his staff devoted five of the 20 5-minute periods at Monday’s practice to special teams.

At one point, six assistant coaches worked with the kickoff return team.

Monken stopped a punting drill to remind one of the lineman that there’s an 18-inch split between blockers. He halted a coverage team in their tracks downfield and pointed, “Tell me how are you going to keep the ball in front of you?”

Sophomore Alex Tardieu had a solid day punting. Tardieu has a few kicks, which drove punt returns back about five yards.

First-team offense: Former quarterback Kelvin White was working as a first-team wide receiver in just his third practice/scrimmage at the position. Left tackle Ryan Powis and left guard Steve Shumaker returned to action after missing Saturday’s scrimmage due to injuries.  RB Elijah St. Hilaire and Jared Rogers rotated in at one running back spot. FB Larry Dixon, RB Tony Giovannelli; WR Xavier Moss, RG Stefan Moreau and RT Justin Gilbert also ran with the first team.

First-team defense: Only major change that I spotted was senior CB Lamar Johnson-Harris working with the first team. Sophomore Chris Carnegie, a tw0-year starting cornerback, was limited. DE Joe Drummond, NG Richard Glover, DE Mike Ugenyi, LB James Kelly, LB Steve Ricciardi, LB Andrew King, LB Jeremy Timpf, CB Josh Jenkins, S Geoff Bacon and S Hayden Pierce rounded out the first-team defense.

Sitting out: RB Trenton Turrentine, LB Marcus Poling and LB Chasen Brown were among the players who did not participate in practice.

Practice highlights: Tony Giovannelli broke off a long touchdown run (85 yards) with some tough inside running…Nose guard Richard Glover stopped quarterback Angel Santiago for no gain…linebacker James Kelly knocked the ball away from quarterback A.J. Schurr and defensive end Ryan Alexander recovered the ball…Alexander sacked Santiago…Jared Rogers had a strong run up the middle…Santiago forced a pass into tight coverage which cornerback Josh Jenkins picked off.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato


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Black and Gold Game details: Supe to coach Black

Army coach Jeff Monken said he will step aside, sort of, and let West Point’s leaders coach in the Black and Gold spring game Saturday at Michie Stadium.

Superintendent Robert Caslen will lead the Black team. Commandant of Cadets Richard Clarke will head the Gold team.

Monken said he will be on the sidelines, overseeing both teams. Kickoff is slated for noon. Admission is free.

The teams will divided with one team fielding the first-team offense and the second-team defense and the other taking the top defense and the second-team offense. Caslen, a Army center in1973-74, stopped by practice Monday and indicated he was going to take the first-team offense.

Monken said he will continue a tradition that he started at Georgia Southern by naming honorary captains. Eight were picked by Monken. They are:

Gary Steele: The first black Army football letterwinner. He was a second-team all-American, who played from 1966-68.

Greg Gadson: A former linebacker at West Point in the late 1980s. Gadson lost both of his legs to a roadside bomb in Baghdad in 2007. Gadson’s inspirational speeches were part of the Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl run.

Rollie Stichweh: Played quarterback, running back, defensive back and kick returner at Army from 1962-64. Stichweh was involved in the first instant replay in college football history in the 1963 Army-Navy game.

Seth Nieman: A two-year starting offensive tackle (2003-04). Nieman, a member of the Special Forces, lost his right leg to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Tom Morgan: 1983 West Point graduate played defensive back for Army.

Jim Ward: Army wide receiver from 1971-73.

Carlton Jones: Jones, who played from 2002-05, ranks second on Army’s all-time rushing list (3,536 yards). He scored an Army single-season record 17 rushing touchdowns in 2004.

Jodie Glore: The Chairman of the Board for West Point Association of Graduates. A 1969 West Point graduate played running back at Army.

The spring scrimmage will be played under game situations with 15-minute quarters, kickoffs, field goals and extra points.

Offensive and defensive coaches will be split up. Some will coach from the booth and others on the sideline.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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Brent Davis on Army offense

Army’s offense scored two touchdowns in its second scrimmage of spring football Saturday.

That’s one more than it did in its first scrimmage.

Offensive coordinator Brent Davis, who is entering his first season at West Point,  says he’s seeing some progression from his unit. Here’s what Davis had to say after Saturday’s scrimmage:

“I like our mind-set (Saturday). I thought the guys came out and tried to compete. I really thought they did. I thought they were excited to be out here. We are still making too many mistakes that kill drives. We are not consistent enough in making the average play to help us stay on schedule. We made some big plays today that we didn’t make last week, which was good to see and those are going to happen too. We are going to have those opportunities. But, we got to make the average play more consistently so we can stay on schedule. It’s assignments a lot of times. It’s not having my eyes where they are suppose to be. It’s just paying attention to detail.  But, it was much improved from last week.”

When asked about Army’s quarterbacks, Davis said, “I like the way Angel (Santiago) and A.J. (Schurr) are progressing. I think they are really learning each day they go out. They both have ability to make plays for us. There are things that they both need to do better, just as far as managing the offense and making sure that we stay on schedule. I think they have a good understanding of what we are trying to do already, based on numbers and where we want to go with the football. I think they understand that. Sometimes in the heat of it, it may not occur to them to put their eyes in the right spot. That’s something that comes with repetition and I think they are getting better and better every day. I’m excited about both of them.”

Army may still be running a triple-option offense but that doesn’t mean everything is the same from its old scheme under former coach Rich Ellerson.

“A lot of people don’t realize what a change it is,” Davis said. “We are really different. There’s not as much carryover as some people might think between what we are doing. It’s just different philosophies. Similar formations but different philosophies. We are pretty fullback-oriented and formation oriented and just different. So, they are trying to apply what they already know and help them understand what we are doing and there’s some habits you have to change too. We are kind of in transition still.”

What is Davis’ assessment of fullbacks Larry Dixon and Matt Giachinta?

“I think they are both tough,” Davis said. “They need to continue to work on being better without the ball and play faster without the ball. But, I think they are both tough guys. They are reliable. They fall forward and I like them. I think we can win with them.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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April 12 scrimmage blog

Army’s second scrimmage of the spring. Scrimmage was held at Army Prep.

The story of the scrimmage was sophomore Kelvin White.

White was moved from quarterback, where he was third string, to wide receiver before Friday’s practice. He showed he’s a quick study Saturday. White, who is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, accounted for the only two touchdowns of scrimmage, both on catches. He slipped past coverage to haul in an 8-yard pass from Angel Santiago. White beat two-year starting CB Chris Carnegie for 34-yard touchdown. Santiago threw the perfect ball that White caught in stride in the end zone.

White said he was told Thursday of the switch by quarterbacks coach Mitch Ware and has welcomed the move.

“I knew it (the switch) was coming but I just didn’t know where I was going,” White said. “It gives me a better chance to get on the football field. It’s difficult. It’s a whole new position. I’m just trying to get the little things right now. I’m raw. I just got to get the little things right.”

White said he played a little wide receiver at East Pennsboro (Pa.) High but he has been a quarterback his whole life.

“He’s busting his tail,” Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis said. “I think he can make some plays for us. He’s a hard-working kid, unselfish. He didn’t even flinch for one moment when coach told him he was moving. He just went to work.

Notable players, who did not participate in scrimmage: RB Terry Baggett; T Ryan Powis; G Steve Shumaker; RB Lawrence Scott; LB Julian Holloway.

First-team offense: QB A.J. Schurr; FB Larry Dixon; RB Tony Giovannelli; RB Stephen Fraser; WR Xavier Moss; WR Justin Newman; LT Adam Szott; LG O.J. Hall; C Matt Hugenberg; RG Stefan Moreau; RT Justin Gilbert

Second-team offense: QB Angel Santiago; FB Matt Giachinta; RB Elijah St. Hilaire; RB Joe Walker; WR Edgar Poe; TE Jacob Owens; LT Niko Schillaci; LG Chris Smythe; C Todd McDonald; RG Colby Enegren; RT Corey Hobbs.

First-team defense: DE Joe Drummond; NG Richard Glover; DE Victor Ugenyi; LB James Kelly; WLB Jeremy Timpf; MLB Sean McBryde; SLB Steve Ricciardi; CB Josh Jenkins; CB Chris Carnegie; FS Geoff Bacon; SS Hayden Pierce.

Second-team defense: DE Ryan Alexander; NG T.J. Atimalala; DE Bobby Kough; LB Derek Sanchez; MLB Andrew King; WLB Seth Combs; SLB Addison Holstein; CB Lamar Johnson-Harris; CB Michael McFadden; FS Steven Johnson; SS Gervon Simon.

Scrimmage observations: New center Matt Hugenberg is getting the hang of snapping. There were a few quarterback-center exchange miscues but not as many as I expected. Freshman quarterback Matt Kaufmann has been elevated to No. 3 on the depth chart with the move of Kelvin White to wide receiver. Just about every pass Kaufmann threw was on point during the scrimmage. Offensive coordinator Brent Davis said he didn’t know anything about Kaufmann before spring practice. But, Davis has been impressed. “What Matt does is come in and compete,” Davis said. “He may not get quite as many reps but I really see him as a competitor and a guy when he’s been in there, he’s moved us. He’s certainly done a good job.”…The defense continues to remain ahead of the offense. For the second straight Saturday scrimmage, the defensive line led by Joe Drummond, Mike Ugenyi and T.J. Atimalala were getting a big push into the backfield and at times, seemed unblocked…Freshman LB Chasen Brown was helped off the field and didn’t return following a play near the sideline. Brown appeared to suffer a leg injury. Junior Trenton Turrentine running with the third team.

Scrimmage rewind: FB Larry Dixon had the longest run of the scrimmage – 24 yards up the middle… QB Matt Kaufmann delivered a perfect ball down the left sideline that WR Chevaughn Lawrence couldn’t haul in…LB Justin Fahn dropped FB Matt Giachinta for a 2-yard loss…Freshman DB Joey Giovannelli laid a good hit on RB Trenton Turrentine, and forced a fumble…LB Andrew King broke through the line untouched, dropping the quarterback for a loss. King was too quick for Dixon to block…WR Xavier Moss picked up 6 yards on a reverse…S Steven Johnson laid a big hit on A.J. Schurr just as the quarterback pitched the ball…Schurr spun away from Mike Ugenyi in the back and turned nothing into a short gain…King sacked Santiago, who was rolling left…DE Wyatt Wilkerson forced two fumbles during a span of three plays late in practice. LB Kyle Ricciardi fell on the first fumble. LB Jim Forgrave recovered the second fumble.

Special teams notes: Freshman CB Josh Jenkins was back, returning the opening kick. Junior RB Tony Giovannelli also returned a kick. Freshman WR Xavier Moss handled punt-return duties. Dan Grochowski made his only extra-point attempts. Andrew King blocked Cale Brewer’s extra-point try. Freshman Mitchell Howard made a 46-yard field, sneaking it just inside the right upright.

Sights and sounds: Brent Davis said, “That was last week,” when a snap from center fell to the turf on the fourth play of the scrimmage…1958 Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins, superintendent Robert Caslen and former Army QB Rollie Stichweh…Army commit Chris Zook, a defensive back from Houston, took in the scrimmage.

Videos: Kelvin White’s first TD catch and an interview with White, talking about the position change. Larry Dixon’s 24-yard run.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato



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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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