Army reloads
with young squad

Editor's note: This is the 11th in a series of 13 features on Hawaii's opponents this season.

In football last fall West Point was an Army of One -- one victory, at Tulane.

The Black Knights lost nine contests before they got their 14-10 win against the Green Wave in New Orleans.

It was one of the six games Reggie Nevels started at quarterback last fall. He won the job out of fall camp, but a torn hamstring in the season-opener cost him four games.

Despite quarterbacking Army's only win of 2002, Nevels had to win a five-man battle royale to regain his post going into Saturday's opener against Connecticut. Black Knights coach Todd Berry selected the 6-foot, 202-pound junior to run Army's three-wide receiver offense just two days ago.

"I didn't really have a timetable set," Berry said. "Obviously we knew that we were going to try to name one this week. I wanted to see that there was enough separation, and I think there's been enough separation over the last couple of weeks to be able to name one now."

Nevels sat out last spring for personal reasons and began fall camp as the fifth-string quarterback. He steadily climbed his way back to the top.

"What it came down to in the very end was who was just making the best decisions," Berry said. The coach added Nevels won the job by his performance in a two-minute drill during a scrimmage Saturday. "He was calm and composed. When he came back in the huddle he looked at everybody's eyes and everybody looked at him as the field general."

While a team of cadets should never be bereft of leadership, the Black Knights are very young on both sides of the ball. The only senior starter on offense is wide receiver Clint Woody (6-6, 230). Linebackers Ryan Kent (6-0, 215) and Brian Hill (6-3, 242) are the only seniors on defense.

Receiver is a fairly experienced position, though, as junior William White (5-11, 197) is back after 30 catches and 55 kickoff returns (22.5-yard average) in 2002. Junior Aaron Alexander (6-6, 203) gives Nevels another tall target to go with Woody.

Sophomore running back Carlton Jones (5-10, 202) carried for a team-high 611 yards in his plebe season, including 124 against Tulane.

Jones will try to do as well with an offensive line that is almost completely new. The only returning starter is left tackle Joel Glover (6-5, 291). He is joined by four other juniors: left guard Andy Dytrych (6-3, 290), center David Evetts (6-2, 288), right guard Jake Holly (6-3, 285) and right tackle Seth Nieman (6-5, 305). The tight end is junior Doug Horaist (6-4, 235).

On defense, Army's front line is its strength. Junior defensive ends Keenan Beasley (6-3, 246) and Odene Brathwaite (6-4, 260) both played well last year. Two more juniors, Will Sullivan (6-3, 257) and Trey Landry (6-4, 260), man the inside.

Kent led Army with 99 tackles last year, and is considered the heart of the defense. He and Hill are joined by juniors Greg Washington (6-0, 225) and Curt Daniels (6-0, 197) at the second layer of the 4-4 alignment.

The corners are juniors Delente Brewer (6-0, 191) and Jonathan Lewis (6-0, 192). Sophomore Dhyan Tarver (5-11, 180) moved to safety from corner in the offseason after excelling on kick coverage as a freshman.

Sophomore Joe Riley solidified the place-kicker job in spring and fall camps after he went 4-for-5 on field goals late last season. Junior Alex Bradford gets his first action as the punter. Sophomore Ray Stith (5-9, 174) is the punt returner.

Army Black Knights

2003 schedule
Sept. 6 Connecticut
Sept. 13 Rutgers
Sept. 20 Tulane
Sept. 27 South Florida
Oct. 4 at Texas Christian
Oct. 11 at Louisville
Oct. 18 East Carolina
Oct. 25 at Cincinnati
Nov. 1 at Alabama-Birmingham
Nov. 8 at Air Force
Nov. 15 Houston
Nov. 22 at Hawaii
Dec. 6 Navy

2002 results
1-11 overall, 1-7 Conference USA
Sept. 7 Holy CrossL, 21-50
Sept. 14 at RutgersL, 0-44
Sept. 21 LouisvilleL, 14-45
Sept. 28 Southern MissL, 6-27
Oct. 5 at Eastern CarolinaL, 24-58
Oct. 12 Texas ChristianL, 27-46
Oct. 19 at HoustonL, 42-56
Oct. 26 Alabama-BirminghamL, 26-29
Nov. 9 Air ForceL, 30-49
Nov. 16 at TulaneW, 14-10
Nov. 23 at MemphisL, 10-38
Dec. 7 Navy (at East Rutherford, N.J.)L, 12-58


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